Securing justice after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Sangamon County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Sangamon County, IL. If a reckless drunk driver injured you or a family member, call the Sangamon County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Sangamon County and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on the weekend, your life was unexpectedly upended through no fault of your own. The Sangamon County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law to getting the best possible outcomes for our clients and seeing them made whole again. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it before your accident. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the dedication, knowledge and forceful legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Sangamon County, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a selfish drunk driver, see how much your damages may be worth by using our free personal injury calculator.

Chicago

Chicago

22 W Washington St
Suite 1500 A
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (312) 500-4878

View Location

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

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, accomplished and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 Sangamon County, 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 there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. This is especially vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance company to try to minimize your damages as much as possible. Tenacious and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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 directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Sangamon County, IL and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some selfish Sangamon County, IL residents still decide to disregard others' well-being just so they can have a good time and avoid paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Sangamon County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will fight to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Sangamon County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of just .02 percent is enough to considerably hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a driver suffers from decreased coordination, inability to track movement, difficulty using the steering wheel and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a dangerous Sangamon County, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you love. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the accomplished and skilled Sangamon County, 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 begin on the road to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Sangamon County 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 DUI becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

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

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and subsequent violations are Class X Felonies.

View More FAQs

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

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must prove the following five elements:

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's negligence.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal theory of negligence per se means that anyone who breaks the law is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their bottom line. That is why it is crucial to have tenacious and skilled Sangamon County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Sangamon County, IL?

It is important to find all liable parties, especially if the driver has policy limits that do not fully compensate you for your damages. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to make a claim against:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from many other states' in that your drunk driving accident lawyers do not have to prove the vendor did anything wrong, such as sell alcohol to someone underage. You just have to prove:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they served caused your injuries
  • 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the driver at fault for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money a person or organization can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society due to the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment case, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident suit in Sangamon County, 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 your accident was caused by a commercial driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that hired and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

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

What Damages Are Available for My Sangamon County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the doctrine of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is to blame for your injuries, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that is a result of rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a loved one, 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 injury. It is a non-arguable dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also receive compensation for any medical expenses that we expect to arise 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 long-term or permanent injury 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 transportation to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be repaid for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the compensation adjusts for inflation as well.

  2. Noneconomic damages 735 ILCS 5/2-1115.2 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive difficulties the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse 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 camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company 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 may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is demonstrating a brazen disregard your safety.

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

Call Burger Law Now

Sangamon County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Sangamon County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly honing our lawyer skills to get the best results for our clients in Sangamon County and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Sangamon County, 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