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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Aurora, IL

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

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but thoughtless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was upended when you did nothing wrong. The Aurora, 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 are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, expertise and forceful legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Aurora and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were harmed by a selfish drunk driver, find out how much your injuries 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 Aurora, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, accomplished and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to fight back against bullies.

Do I Need Aurora, 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 gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts liability and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their duty when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade 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 minimizing your claim, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a thorough investigation and identify all liable parties. 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 significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your damages as much as possible. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

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 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.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline in the last four decades, 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 definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some careless Aurora, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Aurora, 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 a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Aurora, 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 visual functions, inability to multi-task, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is crucial to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Aurora, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case does not make you whole again. Trust in the knowledgeable and talented Aurora, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Aurora 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 it becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred 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 it is a more serious crime are:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Aurora, 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 was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  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 failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers have an obligation 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 stipulates that anyone who violates a state statute automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was driving drunk. 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.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically receive the financial recovery you deserve; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their profits. That is why it is crucial to have tenacious and skilled Aurora, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Aurora, 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 laws permit you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. 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 your drunk driving accident lawyers do not have to prove the vendor did anything wrong, such as sell alcohol to someone underage. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they served 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 drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. 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 resulted in loss of support or loss of society due to the wrongful death of a loved one.

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, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to use a thing 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 Aurora, 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 earns a living 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 hired and directed the driver. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Aurora, 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 right away to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your damages, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that is a result of rehabilitating from a neck 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 compensate you, 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 the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is an unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. 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 receive the 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 earn a living as you once did, 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 transportation to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    In the case of future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the recovery adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 mental burdens you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive difficulties due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • 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 prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same counsel and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies 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 dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while drunk is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

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

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Aurora, 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 their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Aurora-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their education and abilities to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly sharpening our lawyer skills to deliver the best results for our clients in Aurora and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Aurora, 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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