Securing justice after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Urbana, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Urbana, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver harmed you or someone you care about, call the Urbana, 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 Urbana and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but irresponsible drivers can still cause incredible devastation. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The Urbana, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their lives to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get peace and full financial recoveries when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the dedication, expertise and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have recovered more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Urbana 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 reckless drunk driver, discover how much your claim 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 Urbana, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, seasoned and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 Urbana, 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 determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions 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, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. 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 utilize the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their duty when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, 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 were not actually caused by the accident or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all lies, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you are owed.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a bar that overserved the driver. 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 pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Tenacious and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be quite 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 consistently become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some reckless Urbana, IL individuals still make the terrible decision 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 deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Urbana, 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. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Urbana, 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 enough to considerably reduce someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a driver suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is imperative to exercise great caution and find other means of getting home if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a reckless Urbana, IL driver 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. You need the accomplished and talented Urbana, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and start on the path to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Urbana and Illinois

Pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a drunk driving becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • 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 Urbana, IL?

Generally, 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 driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates 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 stipulates that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. 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 prove is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

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 dedicated and talented Urbana, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the financial recovery you are owed.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Urbana, IL?

The driver is clearly to blame for their reckless decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers well-versed in Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop rules permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were hurt. 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the drunk driver was under the age of 21 and became drunk at the party.

Every 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, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be liable for some of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable 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 Urbana, 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, you may be able to make a claim against the company that contracted and directed the driver. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Urbana, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of negligence claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident right away to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization injures you, 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 for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can be expected to 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 refers to the total sum of the money you either lost out on or had to spend because of your injuries. It is a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a disability that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the wages 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the compensation 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 trials you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive difficulties the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the love and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same advice and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies According to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives drunk is demonstrating a brazen disregard your safety.

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

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Urbana, 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 focus more on money than morals. For that reason, each of our Urbana-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to fighting on behalf 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 constantly fine-tuning our abilities to secure the best results for our clients in Urbana and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For knowledgeable, compassionate and tenacious representation, call the Urbana, 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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