Making you whole again after someone else's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Seneca, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Seneca, 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 Seneca, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Seneca and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but careless drivers can still cause unfathomable damage. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized through no fault of your own. The Seneca, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law truly care about out clients and their cases and families mean something to us. We know the medical bills are piling up, you are losing time off work and everything seems different than it was before your accident. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the dedication, expertise and aggressive legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Seneca, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

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

Chicago

Chicago

22 W Washington St
Suite 1500 A
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (312) 500-4878

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

The criminal justice system will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. But, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Talented, experienced and aggressive 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 Seneca, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

The only way to know when to hire a personal injury lawyer is by having a professional examine the details of your claim. If the driver accepts liability and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause injuries are likely looking at criminal charges as well, 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • 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 reckless decision that ends up injuring you, that is not always the case. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. None of that is true, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a thorough investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially beneficial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, 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 fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Reach out to 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 honest with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily declined in the last 40 years, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some careless Seneca, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Seneca, 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 found that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

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

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is over .008 percent, a level of only .02 percent is enough to considerably hinder someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a driver experiences decreased coordination, reduced ability to trace movement, difficulty steering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to exercise great caution and let someone else take the wheel if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Seneca, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving drunk and hurting you or someone you care about. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. Trust in the knowledgeable and proficient Seneca, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to secure the financial settlement you and your family need and are owed. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Seneca and Illinois

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

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • An accident occurred that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

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

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

Typically, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must demonstrate the five elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. 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 lawsuits different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists are required to 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 violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of as long as you have evidence that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is crucial to have aggressive and skilled Seneca, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the best results in your claim.

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

A driver is not the only one who may be held responsible in your case. Other third parties include:

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 licensed alcohol vendor 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 easier to apply 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 demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they sold to caused your injuries
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the driver responsible for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to use something 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 Seneca, IL, that means that you must show that the owner of the vehicle purposely allowed the other driver to use their car, and that the owner knew or should have known that the driver was too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Seneca, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident right away to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the amount 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 refers to the total sum of the money you either lost out on or had to spend because of your injuries. It is a firm 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 braces. You will also be paid 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 allows you to work, 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional pain you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive challenges because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help win you the money you are owed, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as 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 egregious conduct. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who drives drunk knows exactly how reckless they are being.

In addition, our Seneca, IL attorneys have decades of experience winning cases in:

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Seneca, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. That is why each of our Seneca-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our negotiation and trial skills to deliver the best results for our clients in Seneca and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible decisions did. For skillful, passionate and aggressive representation, call the Seneca, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

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“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

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