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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Taylorville, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Taylorville, IL. If a reckless drunk driver injured you or someone you care about, call the Taylorville, 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 Taylorville 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 put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was immediately completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Taylorville, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have dedicated their lives to helping people in similar circumstances get a sense of healing and full compensation when they may be feeling like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, knowledge and unshakable legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Taylorville and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were hurt by a careless drunk driver, see 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 Taylorville, 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, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, accomplished and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

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

Do I Need Taylorville, 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 case. 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 probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may not want to admit liability in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. 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 utilize the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company 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 decides to make a reckless decision that ends up injuring you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. None of that is true, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. 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 properly compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Skilled and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, 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 for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

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

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some reckless Taylorville, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held responsible for breaking the rules. The Taylorville, 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 almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Taylorville, 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 just .02 percent is enough to considerably reduce someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a driver suffers from decreased coordination, inability to follow movement, challenges steering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Taylorville, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case is not enough. You need the knowledgeable and talented Taylorville, 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 feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Taylorville 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 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 lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

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 Taylorville, 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 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 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 damage to your car as well as mental anguish. It is important to note 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 set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that drivers are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle 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 duty of care and breach of duty. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their bottom line. That is why it is vital to have aggressive and experienced Taylorville, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Taylorville, 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 specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal 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 someone underage. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they served 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 person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much a vendor or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to loss of support or loss of society because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

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. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Taylorville, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that hired and directed the driver. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Taylorville, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of negligence claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim right away to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your damages, 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 rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation 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 or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the settlement or verdict 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 amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be reimbursed for any medical expenses that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages 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 perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the money 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical costs or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the recovery adjusts for inflation as well.

  2. Noneconomic damages 735 ILCS 5/2-1115.2 defines 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 sleeping in certain positions to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive difficulties 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 spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share 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 drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help secure you the money you are owed, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is demonstrating a flagrant disregard your safety.

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

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Taylorville, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies who care more about money than morals. For that reason, each of our Taylorville-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently fine-tuning our negotiation and trial skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in Taylorville and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's horrible decisions did. For accomplished, passionate and aggressive representation, call the Taylorville, 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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