Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Chicago, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Chicago, 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, 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 Chicago and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, 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 upended through no fault of your own. The Chicago, 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 are piling up, you are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it in the recent past. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the compassions, expertise and forceful legal representation 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 recovered more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Chicago, IL clients. 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 damages 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 Chicago, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, seasoned and relentless 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 Chicago, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every injury case is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While a knowledgeable defense lawyer may be able to get a drunk driver off on criminal charges, 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 prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize 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 persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. None of that is true, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a thorough investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your damages as much as possible. Aggressive 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, 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 experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality 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 awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some reckless Chicago, IL residents still decide to jeopardize others' safety just so they enjoy themselves and avoid paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The Chicago, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

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

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is over .008 percent, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to considerably hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three alcohol beverages - a person suffers from decreased coordination, inability to follow moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to exercise great caution and find other ways of transport if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Chicago, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving while intoxicated and harming you or someone you care about. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. Trust in the knowledgeable and skilled Chicago, 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 go over your case and start on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Chicago and Illinois

Under 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 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 the class of felony increases are:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's negligence was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as mental anguish. It is important to note 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 aspects that make drunk driving accident claims 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 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 stipulates 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 granted automatically under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

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 key to have committed and experienced Chicago, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

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

The driver is clearly at fault 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 anyone else is at fault:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained 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 someone underage. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they sold to caused your injuries
  • 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 drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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, those limits are $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 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, the owner may be liable for a portion of your damages. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person 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 case in Chicago, 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 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 contracted and directed the driver. 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, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. 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 Compensation Can I Recover for My Chicago, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made 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 money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

There are three categories 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 an unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, surgeries, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also be paid for any medical bills 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 physically able to work. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to earn a living as you once did, 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure 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 pain you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the affection and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter 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 help secure you the money you are owed, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as 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 dangerous conduct. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while drunk how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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Chicago, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. For that reason, each of our Chicago-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted 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 sharpening our lawyer skills to deliver the best results for our clients in Chicago and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible actions did. For accomplished, empathetic and tenacious representation, call the Chicago, 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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