Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Whiteside County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Whiteside County, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver hurt you or a family member, call the Whiteside County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Whiteside County and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but careless 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 immediately upended through no fault of your own. The Whiteside County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law truly care about out clients and their cases and families mean something to us. We know the medical bills are piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did before your accident. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, expertise and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Whiteside County, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were harmed by a reckless 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 Whiteside County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Talented, veteran and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we have over 30 years of experience handling all types of auto accident claims and getting full compensation for our clients.

Do I Need Whiteside County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If there is no dispute about who is at fault 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:

  • 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 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 get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their obligation when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that a lawyer will only take money from you. 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 clearly liable, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to appropriately compensate you.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing 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. Persistent and knowledgeable 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak 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 Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some selfish Whiteside County, IL individuals still decide to put others at risk just so they can have a good time and avoid paying for an Uber. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly compensated with a maximum recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The Whiteside 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 found that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Whiteside County, 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 greatly hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three drinks - a driver suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the devastating consequences of a dangerous Whiteside County, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving drunk and hurting you or someone you care about. 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 accomplished and tenacious Whiteside County, 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 feeling that true justice was achieved.

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

Other instances in which the class of felony increases are:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Whiteside County, 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 driver did not use reasonable care.
  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 driver's negligence.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, 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 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 specifically states that drivers are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. 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 principle of negligence per se means 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 the first two elements. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically receive the compensation you are owed; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is key to have dedicated and experienced Whiteside 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 Whiteside 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is called a dram shop law, under which you may be able 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 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 the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to was responsible for 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 driver at fault for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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, those limits are $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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, 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 that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident case in Whiteside 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by someone who earns a living 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 hired and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Whiteside County, 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 case right away to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

What Damages Are Available for My Whiteside County, 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 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 money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can truly make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

There are three categories 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 figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. 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 — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. 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 Uber to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills 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 trials you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the reckless driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the defendant 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 get you the money you deserve, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as there is no coverage for punitive damages 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 gets behind the wheel while intoxicated knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Whiteside County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you deserve. That is why each of our Whiteside County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers 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 regularly sharpening our abilities to deliver the best results for our clients in Whiteside County and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's dangerous actions did. For skillful, passionate and tenacious representation, call the Whiteside 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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