Securing justice after someone else's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Chicago Heights, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Chicago Heights, 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 Chicago Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Chicago Heights and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Saturday, your life was immediately capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Chicago Heights, 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 you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, knowledge and aggressive legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Chicago Heights, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by a reckless drunk driver, find out how much your injuries may be worth by using 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 Chicago Heights, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, seasoned and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Chicago Heights, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

The only way to know when to hire a personal injury lawyer is by having a professional examine the details of your claim. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, 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:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people 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 get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their obligation when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless 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 say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that a lawyer will only take money from you. None of that is true, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more difficult, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Persistent and knowledgeable 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics 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 steadily become less common since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Chicago Heights, IL individuals still choose to jeopardize others' safety just so they party and skip on paying for a rideshare. If you are harmed as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held responsible for breaking the rules. The Chicago Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states 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 almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Chicago Heights, 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 ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, a change in mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, reduced ability to trace movement, difficulty steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a dangerous Chicago Heights, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting 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 accomplished and tenacious Chicago Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and start on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Chicago Heights and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving while drunk on under the influence of drugs is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a DUI becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • 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 bodily harm

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 Chicago Heights, IL?

There are five elements needed in order to prove negligence in a personal injury claim:

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  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 economic 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 economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident cases different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. 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 theory of negligence per se stipulates 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 prove is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, 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 passionate and talented Chicago Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Chicago Heights, 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 known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained 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 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 demonstrate:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they sold to 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 driver responsible for your injuries was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money someone can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused loss of support or loss of society because of 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, the owner may be responsible for a portion of your damages. In a negligent entrustment case, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident claim in Chicago Heights, 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, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Chicago Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every at-fault party is held accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is responsible for your injuries, 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 simple fender-bender, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can be expected to compensate you, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

Damages in a personal injury claim are broken down into three distinct groups:

  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 an objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, 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 permits you to earn a living as you once did, you will also be compensated for the money 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 physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be repaid for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the compensation 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 tribulations you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty sleeping in certain positions to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the affection and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help win you the money you are owed, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies According 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 intoxicated is demonstrating a brazen lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Chicago Heights, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies who care more about money than morals. For that reason, each of our Chicago Heights-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives 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 consistently honing our lawyer skills to secure the best results for our clients in Chicago Heights and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Chicago Heights, 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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