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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Vermilion County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Vermilion County, 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 Vermilion County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Vermilion County and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was upended when you did nothing wrong. The Vermilion 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 are losing time off work 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 commitment, knowledge and tenacious legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Vermilion County and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were harmed by a reckless drunk driver, find out 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 Vermilion County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, veteran 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 Vermilion County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every accident is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with 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, many other circumstances require an attorney 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 be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 their investigative and litigation skills in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, far too often that does not happen. 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 you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other entities may be at fault, 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 important 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 motivates the insurance company to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Persistent 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 talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced 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.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some reckless Vermilion County, IL residents still choose to put others at risk 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 are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Vermilion County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost one-fifth 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 | Vermilion County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is enough to substantially impair someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, challenges steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is imperative to follow proper road safety and let someone else take the wheel if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Vermilion County, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. You need the accomplished and talented Vermilion County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to secure the financial settlement you and your family need and are owed. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Vermilion County and Illinois

According 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

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

Typically, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must demonstrate the following five elements:

  1. Duty of Care That the driver 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 driver's breach of duty is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident cases different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers are legally compelled 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 theory 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 can demonstrate that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the compensation you deserve; 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 crucial to have passionate and accomplished Vermilion County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Vermilion 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 laws allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law easier to apply than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to show:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they sold to caused your injuries
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the person who caused your accident was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets 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, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to use something 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 Vermilion County, 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 you were injured by someone who earns a living as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. Reasons they are liable could include:

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

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault 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, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that is a result of 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 becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can genuinely compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

You can typically recover three types of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is a non-arguable dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home care. You will also be paid for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, you will also be compensated for the salary 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 medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve a financial recovery 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 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 be anything anything from difficulty turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive difficulties after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident 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 companionship and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same counsel and care that was once offered.
  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 file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help win 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 According to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless behavior. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who drives drunk knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Vermilion County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the money you are owed. For that reason, each of our Vermilion County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently fine-tuning our negotiation and trial skills to get great recoveries for our clients in Vermilion County and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Vermilion 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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