Making you whole again after someone else's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Salem, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Salem, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else broke the rules of the road and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Salem, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Salem and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but careless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, your life was immediately capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Salem, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have dedicated their lives to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get justice and maximum compensation when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the dedication, skill and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Salem and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by an irresponsible drunk driver, discover how much your claim may be worth by utilizing our free personal injury calculator.

Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois

521 W. Main Street
Suite 201 O
Belleville, IL 62220

Phone: (618) 500-4878

View Location

What Can Salem, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, accomplished and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we have over 30 years of experience handling all types of auto accident claims and getting full compensation for our clients.

Do I Need Salem, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every crash is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While a knowledgeable defense lawyer may be able to get a drunk driver off on criminal charges, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty in their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. Ideally insurance companies would fulfill their duty when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is crucial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related deaths. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some selfish Salem, IL individuals still decide to disregard others' well-being just so they party and skip on paying for a taxi. If you are hurt as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Salem, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Salem, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is sufficient to significantly hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a person experiences reduced coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to exercise great caution and find other ways of transport if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Salem, IL motorist making a selfish decision, driving drunk and hurting you or someone you care about. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. Trust in the savvy and tenacious Salem, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and start on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Salem and Illinois

Pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a drunk driving becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

View More FAQs

How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Salem, IL?

There are five elements needed in order to prove negligence in a personal injury claim:

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's negligence was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that drivers have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning you do not have to prove the driver owed you a duty of care, as it is already stipulated under the law. Secondly, the legal doctrine of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of as long as you have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically receive the compensation you are owed; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is key to have aggressive and skilled Salem, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the compensation you deserve.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Salem, IL?

The driver is clearly at fault for their irresponsible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers well-versed in Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to show significant impairment when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they served caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron became inebriated because of the alcohol that was sold to him

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to loss of support or loss of society due to the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be liable for a portion of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident suit in Salem, IL, that means that you must show that the owner of the vehicle purposely gave the keys to the drunk driver, and that the owner knew or should have known that the driver had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who earns a living as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Salem, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every liable party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

What Compensation Can I Recover for My Salem, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is at-fault for your injuries, you should receive a financial recovery that is equal to the economic loss and physical pain their negligence put you through. In many car accident claims, for example a simple fender-bender, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that is a result of rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can truly compensate you, but the financial recovery should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

Damages in a personal injury claim are broken down into three distinct groups:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, medications, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also receive compensation for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a disability that no longer permits you to earn a living as you once did, we will also help you receive compensation for the money you would have earned but are no longer able to.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for gas to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be repaid for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will refer to their network of economic experts to be able to precisely account for inflation.

  2. Noneconomic damages 735 ILCS 5/2-1115.2 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and mental effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive challenges after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling behavior. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

In addition, we have extensive experience winning the following cases for our Salem, IL clients:

Call Burger Law Now

Salem, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about money than morals. That is why each of our Salem-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly honing our lawyer skills to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Salem and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's terrible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Salem, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

Request a Free Consultation


“Gary and his team provided us with effective, efficient and highly professional service. Gary provides sound advice and is a trustworthy and ethical attorney. I highly recommend the team!”

David and Fran Schneider

Hurt? Hire Us Today or call (314) 500-HURT

Other Locations

Schema