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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Bourbonnais, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Bourbonnais, 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 Bourbonnais, 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 Bourbonnais and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but reckless drivers can still cause incredible devastation. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The Bourbonnais, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have devoted their lives to helping people like you get justice and great compensation when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. We know the medical bills are piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was in the not-too-distance past. You do not have to go through this alone. With the compassions, knowledge and unshakable legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Bourbonnais, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were harmed by a selfish drunk driver, discover 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 Bourbonnais, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Skilled, veteran and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

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

Every crash is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. 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 adjuster is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that winds up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade 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. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially beneficial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • 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 complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Skilled and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, 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 direct with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Bourbonnais, IL 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 death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some selfish Bourbonnais, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to disregard others' well-being just so they party 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 full recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The Bourbonnais, 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 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 | Bourbonnais, 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 greatly hinder someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - someone suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to track movement, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to follow proper road safety 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 be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a dangerous Bourbonnais, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk 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. You need the knowledgeable and skilled Bourbonnais, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to get you the full financial recovery you deserve. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and start on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Bourbonnais and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs 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 lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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

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

  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 resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's failure to use reasonable care is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of 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 a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically as long as you have evidence that the driver was inebriated. 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 get the money 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 critical to have aggressive and accomplished Bourbonnais, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Bourbonnais, 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 allow you to sue a bar or restaurant 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 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 establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they served caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron got drunk 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 under the age of 21 and became drunk at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. 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 led to 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, the owner may be liable for some of your damages. In a negligent entrustment case, it is negligent to permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident claim in Bourbonnais, 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 was in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by a commercial 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:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Bourbonnais, 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 responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can truly compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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

  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 a firm dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also be paid for any medical expenses that we expect to arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a disability that no longer allows you to work, 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 transportation to and from medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    In the case of future medical costs or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the settlement or verdict amount 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 be anything anything from pain when carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive challenges after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Pursuant 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 dangerous conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is demonstrating a brazen disregard your safety.

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

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Bourbonnais, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Bourbonnais-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly honing our lawyer skills to get maximum compensation for our clients in Bourbonnais and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's horrible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Bourbonnais, 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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