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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Streator, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Streator, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else did not respect your safety and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Streator, 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 Streator and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but thoughtless drivers can still cause incredible damage. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Streator, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have devoted their lives to helping people like you get peace of mind and great financial recoveries when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills keep coming in, 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 compassions, expertise and forceful legal advocacy 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 that the vulnerable in Streator 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 harmed by a selfish drunk driver, find out how much your damages 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 Streator, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, seasoned and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Streator, 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 blame 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 legal representation for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit liability 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 prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you 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 a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you deserve.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other entities may be at fault, 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. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. Aggressive and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Streator, IL and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty 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 consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some reckless Streator, IL residents still decide to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Streator, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Streator, 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 sight, inability to do two things at once, an altered mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three drinks - a driver experiences decreased coordination, reduced ability to trace moving objects, difficulty using the steering wheel and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is key to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a reckless Streator, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. You need the experienced and aggressive Streator, 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 road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Streator and Illinois

Under 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
  • 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 personal injury

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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

Typically, 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 had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like lost wages 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 claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that drivers 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 philosophy of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically under the condition that 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 injured you.

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 imperative to have committed and talented Streator, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the financial recovery you deserve.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Streator, 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 referred to as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict than many other states' in that your drunk driving accident lawyers do not have to prove the vendor did anything wrong, such as sell alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the driver liable for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money someone can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, 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, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment case, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to engage in an activity 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 Streator, 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by someone who works as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. Reasons they are liable could include:

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

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is responsible for your damages, you should receive a financial recovery that is equal to the economic loss and physical pain their negligence put you through. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, that might mean paying for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, 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 a non-arguable dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also be reimbursed 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 physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be repaid for that too.

    In the case of future medical costs or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the recovery 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 effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help secure you the money you are owed, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company because punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a brazen disregard your safety.

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

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Streator, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. That is why each of our Streator-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials 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 Streator and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible behavior did. For skillful, compassionate and tenacious representation, call the Streator, 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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