Making you whole again after someone else's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Brookfield, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Brookfield, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver harmed you or someone you love, call the Brookfield, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Brookfield and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but drunk drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Brookfield, 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 accumulating, you are losing time off work and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the dedication, skill and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Brookfield and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

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

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, veteran 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 Brookfield, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate 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 utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their obligation 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 is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. None of that is true, and a knowledgeable 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 be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a comprehensive investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, 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 be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Brookfield, IL individuals still decide to jeopardize others' safety just so they enjoy themselves and avoid paying for a rideshare. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be justly compensated with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The Brookfield, 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 a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Brookfield, 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 significantly hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - a driver experiences decreased coordination, inability to track moving objects, challenges steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a dangerous Brookfield, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the experienced and talented Brookfield, 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 go over your case and begin on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Brookfield and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a drunk driving 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 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

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

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Brookfield, 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 defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. 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 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 legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law 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 show is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; 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 crucial to have aggressive and talented Brookfield, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Brookfield, 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 known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they served was responsible for 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant or social host is required to pay out. 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 of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment case, 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 suit in Brookfield, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who works as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Brookfield, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of negligence claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident right away to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience that is a result of rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the financial recovery should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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 firm dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. 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 — 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 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 gas to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be repaid 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional burdens you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive difficulties because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner 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 that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that maximize your compensation, but it also makes the insurance company nervous 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 egregious behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives under the influence is demonstrating a flagrant disregard your safety.

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

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Brookfield, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Brookfield-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our abilities to secure great recoveries for our clients in Brookfield and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's selfish behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Brookfield, 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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