Securing justice after someone else's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Sterling, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Sterling, 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 Sterling, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Sterling and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but drunk drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, your life was immediately capsized through no fault of your own. The Sterling, 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 may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, expertise and tenacious 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 secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Sterling and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until we win your case.

If you were injured by an irresponsible drunk driver, find out how much your damages 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

View Location

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

The criminal justice system will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, accomplished and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Sterling, 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 is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people will probably be prosecuted, 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 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 criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, 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 skilled 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 clearly liable, other parties may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to properly compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on 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 help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are 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 direct with you about whether we can add to your claim.

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

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently been on the decline in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some reckless Sterling, IL residents still decide to jeopardize others' safety just so they can have a good time and skip on paying for a taxi. If you are harmed as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Sterling, 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. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Sterling, 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 just .02 percent is enough to considerably impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a person suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to trace movement, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left reeling from the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Sterling, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or a loved one. 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. Trust in the knowledgeable and talented Sterling, 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 path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Sterling and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving while drunk on under the influence of 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 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

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

View More FAQs

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant 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 failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that drivers are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se states that anyone who violates a state statute is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically as long as you can demonstrate that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the compensation you deserve; 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 committed and talented Sterling, 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 Sterling, 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were 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 show:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for 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 intoxicated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places 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 making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may be responsible for some of your damages. In a negligent entrustment case, it is negligent to permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in Sterling, 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 you were injured by someone who works 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 contracted 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 Sterling, 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 Sterling, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the theory of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone 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, physical therapy appointments and the pain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the financial recovery 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 figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also be paid 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the salary you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for transportation to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be repaid 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 mental effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty turning your head to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive impairments due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that maximize your compensation, 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 can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while under the influence is demonstrating a flagrant lack of respect for your safety.

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

Call Burger Law Now

Sterling, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you deserve. For that reason, each of our Sterling-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently fine-tuning our abilities to secure great recoveries for our clients in Sterling and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Sterling, 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