Making you whole again after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Blue Island, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Blue Island, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else did not respect your safety and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Blue Island, 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 Blue Island and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but reckless drivers can still cause unimaginable destruction. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Blue Island, 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 just a short while ago. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the dedication, expertise and aggressive legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Blue Island and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until we win your case.

If you were hurt by a careless drunk driver, see how much your claim may be worth by utilizing 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 Blue Island, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, veteran and persistent 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 stand up to bullies.

Do I Need Blue Island, 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 decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, 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 drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. 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 obtain key evidence in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. None of that is true, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you are owed.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other entities may be at fault, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. 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 higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Aggressive 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, our consultations and initial investigations are 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 we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Blue Island, IL and the U.S.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related fatalities. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some selfish Blue Island, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to jeopardize others' safety while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are hurt as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Blue Island, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Blue Island, 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 impede someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - a motorist suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a thoughtless Blue Island, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring 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. Trust in the experienced and tenacious Blue Island, 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 discuss your options and begin on the road to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Blue Island 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 driving under the influence 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 lead to bodily harm

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and later violations are Class X Felonies.

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Blue Island, IL?

Generally, 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 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 you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. It is important to note 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 aspects that make drunk driving accident cases different from most other 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 the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se means that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. 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 show at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; 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 imperative to have passionate and experienced Blue Island, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the best results in your claim.

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

The driver is clearly to blame for their irresponsible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers experienced with 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 licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused your injuries
  • 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 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 the maximum amount of money a person or organization can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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 of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, 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 claim in Blue Island, 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, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. 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 Blue Island, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every negligent party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is responsible 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain that is a result of rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

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 impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and in-home care. 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 — 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 permits you to earn a living as you once did, 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 Uber to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the recovery 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 effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive impairments after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the defendant 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 win you the money you are owed, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company because 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 seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a flagrant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Blue Island, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the money you are owed. For that reason, each of our Blue Island-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently sharpening our lawyer skills to get great recoveries for our clients in Blue Island and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's irresponsible actions did. For accomplished, empathetic and tenacious representation, call the Blue Island, 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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