Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Carol Stream, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Carol Stream, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver hurt you or a family member, call the Carol Stream, 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 Carol Stream and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but irresponsible drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Carol Stream, 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 your life is not the same as it before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the dedication, skill and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Carol Stream and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. 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 thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your claim 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 Carol Stream, 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 stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, veteran and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Carol Stream, 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 determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts liability 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 injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty in criminal court. 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 is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their duty when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are the result of other trauma or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you are owed.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other parties may be at fault, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Persistent and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently been on the decline in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some reckless Carol Stream, IL individuals still decide to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Carol Stream, 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. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Carol Stream, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of even .02 percent is enough to significantly impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three drinks - a person experiences reduced coordination, reduced ability to track movement, difficulty steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a dangerous Carol Stream, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk 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 accomplished and aggressive Carol Stream, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and begin on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Carol Stream and Illinois

According 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 someone else
  • 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 Carol Stream, 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 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 your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant'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 pain and suffering. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states 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 states that anyone who breaks the law is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of as long as you can demonstrate that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

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 crucial to have aggressive and skilled Carol Stream, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Carol Stream, IL?

A driver is not the only one who may be held responsible in your claim. Other third parties include:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop rule, 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 laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law easier to apply 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 prove:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron 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 holds a private party — if the drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Every 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 incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to loss of support or loss of society due to 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, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment case, a person may be liable if they permit someone else 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 Carol Stream, 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured 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 Carol Stream, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of cases and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident right away to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Personal injury 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 rear-end accident, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

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 emergency room visits, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic 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 physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury 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 gas to and from medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical costs 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 be anything anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive impairments because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the love and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are intended 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 deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies According 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 behavior. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while drunk knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Carol Stream, 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 money than morals. For that reason, each of our Carol Stream-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on 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 honing our lawyer skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Carol Stream and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's terrible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Carol Stream, 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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