Making you whole again after someone else's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Tazewell County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Tazewell County, IL. If a reckless drunk driver injured you or a loved one, call the Tazewell County, 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 Tazewell County 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 an instant. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, your life was unexpectedly upended through no fault of your own. The Tazewell County, 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 your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the compassions, knowledge and unshakable legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Tazewell County, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were hurt by a reckless drunk driver, discover how much your claim 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 Tazewell County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, seasoned and tenacious 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 Tazewell County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every injury case is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If the driver accepts liability 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, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty on state charges. 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 adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their duty when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, 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 deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and an experienced 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 liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more difficult, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Aggressive 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. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk 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 Common is Drunk Driving in Tazewell County, IL and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some careless Tazewell County, IL residents still choose to put others at risk just so they party and skip on paying for a taxi. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Tazewell County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Tazewell County, 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 abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, inability to track movement, difficulty steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and find other means of getting home if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a reckless Tazewell County, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving drunk and hurting you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case is not enough. You need the savvy and skilled Tazewell County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the path to recovery.

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

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and subsequent violations are Class X Felonies.

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Tazewell County, 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 avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant failed or was negligent in that duty.
  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 negligence.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law 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 the first two elements. 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, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is critical to have aggressive and experienced Tazewell County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Tazewell County, 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

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict 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 at fault. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the driver responsible for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money a person or organization can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. 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 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 a portion of your damages. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else 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 claim in Tazewell County, 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who works 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. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

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

What Damages Are Available for My Tazewell County, 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 injures you, 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. 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 amount 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 the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is a firm dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home care. 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 — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury caused 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 physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses or lost earning potential, 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 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and mental burdens you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty turning your head to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive difficulties the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the companionship and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, 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 win you the money you deserve, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as there is no coverage for punitive damages 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 conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives intoxicated is demonstrating a shameless lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Tazewell County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the money you deserve. That is why each of our Tazewell County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on 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 regularly honing our abilities to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Tazewell County and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous actions did. For knowledgeable, passionate and aggressive representation, call the Tazewell County, 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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