Securing justice after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Shannon, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Shannon, 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 Shannon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Shannon and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but drunk drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Saturday, your life was immediately turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Shannon, 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 may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it before your accident. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, skill and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Shannon and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you get the maximum financial recovery you deserve.

If you were harmed by a careless drunk driver, discover how much your claim 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

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

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Talented, experienced and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

Do I Need Shannon, 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 accident. If the driver accepts culpability and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, 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 drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While a good 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 adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you 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 talented drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Persistent and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

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

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline 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 stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some selfish Shannon, IL residents still choose to put others at risk while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Shannon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that 19.7 percent 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.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Shannon, 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 even .02 percent is enough to considerably impair someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three drinks - someone experiences reduced coordination, inability to track moving objects, difficulty using the steering wheel and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Shannon, IL driver 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 cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the savvy and proficient Shannon, 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 road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Shannon 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:

  • 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in bodily harm

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

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

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

  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 failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident cases different 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 to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal doctrine of negligence per se states that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. 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 prove at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; 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 critical to have passionate and accomplished Shannon, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the financial recovery you deserve.

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

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

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal than 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 demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became drunk 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 person making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be responsible for some of your damages. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person 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 case in Shannon, 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused 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 have some liability. 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 Shannon, 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 accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

What Damages Are Available for My Shannon, 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 responsible 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 comes with 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 financial recovery can genuinely compensate you, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 an unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also receive compensation for any medical bills that we expect to arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to earn a living as you once did, you will also be compensated for the wages you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for gas to and from medical appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be reimbursed 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional hardships you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive difficulties due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help win you the money you deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies According to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is demonstrating a brazen disregard your safety.

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

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Shannon, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you are owed. That is why each of our Shannon-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their lives to fighting on behalf of 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 abilities to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Shannon and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's selfish actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Shannon, 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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