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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Stronghurst, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Stronghurst, 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 Stronghurst, 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 Stronghurst and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but reckless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was upended through no fault of your own. The Stronghurst, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law to getting the best possible outcomes for our clients and seeing them made whole again. 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. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the dedication, knowledge and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Stronghurst and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by an irresponsible drunk driver, discover how much your injuries 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 Stronghurst, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Skilled, accomplished and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 Stronghurst, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • There is a dispute about liability. 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 while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their obligation 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 does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, 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 to blame, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance company to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Skilled 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced 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.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Stronghurst, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to jeopardize others' safety just so they enjoy themselves and avoid paying for a rideshare. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Stronghurst, 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 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Stronghurst, 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 greatly impair someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - a motorist suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, challenges steering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and find other ways of transport if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Stronghurst, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you love. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. You need the savvy and proficient Stronghurst, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to get you the full financial recovery you deserve. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and begin on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Stronghurst and Illinois

Pursuant 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 drunk driving 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 resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

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

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  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 accident would not have happened but for the defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal doctrine 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 taken care of as long as you have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate 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 insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have tenacious and accomplished Stronghurst, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Stronghurst, 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 called a dram shop rule, 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 explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they served was responsible for 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 drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the private residence.

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, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in 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 liable for a portion of your damages. 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 if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Stronghurst, 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 works as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Stronghurst, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of cases and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident immediately to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is at-fault 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 simple fender-bender, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can be expected to compensate you, but the settlement or verdict 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 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 treatment the day of the injury, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home care. You will also receive compensation 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits 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 compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical bills or lost earning potential, 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 mental tribulations you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive challenges after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company 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 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 Stronghurst, IL clients:

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Stronghurst, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Stronghurst-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to defending the rights 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 regularly sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Stronghurst and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Stronghurst, 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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