Securing justice after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Shabbona, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Shabbona, 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 Shabbona, 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 Shabbona and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized through no fault of your own. The Shabbona, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their careers to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get a sense of healing and full compensation when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the recent past. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, skill and unshakable 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 gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Shabbona and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by an irresponsible drunk driver, find out how much your injuries may be worth by filling out 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 Shabbona, 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 the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Talented, veteran and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to fight back against bullies.

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

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. 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, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their obligation when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a detailed investigation and identify all liable parties. This is especially vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Tenacious and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some reckless Shabbona, IL individuals still choose to jeopardize others' safety while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be justly compensated with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Shabbona, 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 alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Shabbona, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is more than .008 percent, a level of only .02 percent is enough to significantly reduce someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, inability to track moving objects, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital 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 experience the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Shabbona, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and injuring you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the savvy and proficient Shabbona, 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 discuss your options and begin on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Shabbona 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 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 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

Other instances in which it is a more serious crime include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  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 the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se states that anyone who violates a state statute automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases you only need to show that the driver was drunk in order to prove the first two elements. 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, the truth is that many drunk drivers try to avoid taking responsibility and their insurance company will do what they can to help them. That is why it is crucial to have aggressive and experienced Shabbona, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the compensation you are owed.

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

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is known as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. 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 the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk 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 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the driver at fault for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the party.

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

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident claim in Shabbona, 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 was too drunk to drive.

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, 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:

Experienced Shabbona, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of cases and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident immediately to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your damages, 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 for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can be expected to compensate you, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

You can typically recover three types of damages in a personal injury claim:

  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 an objective dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also be reimbursed for any medical bills that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a disability that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the money you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for Uber to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses 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 defines 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 pain when turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive difficulties due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent 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 prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that increase your compensation, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because punitive damages are not covered under insurance 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 conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is demonstrating a blatant disregard your safety.

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

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Shabbona, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you deserve. For that reason, each of our Shabbona-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly fine-tuning our abilities to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Shabbona and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's selfish behavior did. For skillful, compassionate and relentless representation, call the Shabbona, 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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