Making you whole again after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Warren, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Warren, 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 Warren, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Warren 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 careless drivers can still cause unfathomable devastation. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was immediately capsized through no fault of your own. The Warren, 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 keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it in the not-too-distance past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the compassions, knowledge and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Warren, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the great compensation you deserve.

If you were harmed by a careless 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 Warren, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to 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 Warren, 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 claim. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit fault in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While a good 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 their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their obligation when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. None of that is true, 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 clearly at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more severe 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 damages as much as possible. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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 talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Warren, 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, or about one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some selfish Warren, IL residents still choose to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Warren, 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 reported that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Warren, 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 significantly reduce someone's ability to drive. 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 approximately three drinks - someone experiences lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, difficulty steering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to exercise great caution and let someone else take the wheel if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a thoughtless Warren, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or someone you love. 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. Trust in the savvy and skilled Warren, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and start on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Warren 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 driving under the influence 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 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 the class of felony increases include:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Warren, 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 driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to use reasonable care 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. It is important to mention 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 factors that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different 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 other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning you do not have to prove the driver owed you a duty of care, as it is already stipulated under the law. Secondly, the legal philosophy 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 demonstrate is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

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 dedicated and experienced Warren, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the compensation you deserve.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Warren, 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

Dram shop rules permit you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 show significant impairment when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • 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 person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets 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, the maximum is $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 the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment claim, it is negligent to permit someone else 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 Warren, 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 a commercial 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. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Warren, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every liable party is held accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, 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, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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 urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be paid for any medical bills that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury caused a disability that no longer allows 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 Uber to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of 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 emotional tribulations you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive impairments because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the companionship and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as there is no coverage for punitive damages According 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. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while drunk knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Warren, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies who care more about their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Warren-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to standing up for 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 regularly sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Warren and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's terrible behavior did. For expert, passionate and relentless representation, call the Warren, 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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