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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers South Wilmington, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in South Wilmington, IL. If a reckless drunk driver harmed you or a family member, call the South Wilmington, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in South Wilmington and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, your life was immediately completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The South Wilmington, 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 accumulating, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was before your accident. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, knowledge and aggressive legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our South Wilmington, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a reckless drunk driver, find out how much your damages 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 South Wilmington, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, seasoned and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know the ins-and-outs of every type of auto accident claim and know how to get great compensation.

Do I Need South Wilmington, 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 there is no dispute about who is at fault 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, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company 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 criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize 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 does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all lies, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance company to try to devalue your damages as much as possible. Tenacious and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some selfish South Wilmington, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are injured as a result, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a complete recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The South Wilmington, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | South Wilmington, 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 sufficient to considerably impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a driver suffers from lowered coordination, inability to trace movement, difficulty using the steering wheel and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is key to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a reckless South Wilmington, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or a family member. 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 experienced and tenacious South Wilmington, 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 discuss your options and begin on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in South Wilmington and Illinois

Pursuant 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 it 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 someone else
  • 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 South Wilmington, 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 defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as mental anguish. 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 most other 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 pedestrians or other vehicles. 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 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 as long as you have evidence that the driver was inebriated. 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 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 vital to have tenacious and experienced South Wilmington, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in South Wilmington, 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

Many states have what is called a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 prove:

  • That the establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they sold to caused your injuries
  • That the the patron got drunk 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 person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became drunk at the party.

Each year 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, 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 the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may be responsible for percentage of your damages. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable 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 suit in South Wilmington, 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 you were injured by someone who earns a living as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that contracted and directed the driver. Reasons they are liable could include:

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

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is at-fault for your injuries, you should be compensated to the extent that returns you to your state before the other person's negligence. In many car accident claims, for example a a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

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 an unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also be paid for any medical bills 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 physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration 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 effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from pain when bending over to tie your shoes to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the irresponsible driver caused.
    • 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 once shared.
    • 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 intended to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help win you the money you deserve, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives under the influence is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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South Wilmington, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our South Wilmington-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 or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly sharpening our lawyer skills to deliver the best results for our clients in South Wilmington and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible decisions did. For knowledgeable, passionate and tenacious representation, call the South Wilmington, 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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