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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Chicago Ridge, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Chicago Ridge, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else broke the rules of the road and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Chicago Ridge, 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 Ridge and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but irresponsible drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down through no fault of your own. The Chicago Ridge, 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 piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was before your accident. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, expertise and unshakable legal counsel 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 won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Chicago Ridge, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were hurt by an irresponsible 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 Chicago Ridge, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, seasoned 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 Chicago Ridge, 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 case. If the driver accepts blame 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, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people 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 a capable 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 in their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a knowledgeable 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 at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to fairly compensate you.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Persistent 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. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

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, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some selfish Chicago Ridge, IL residents still decide to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are harmed as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Chicago Ridge, 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 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, almost 40 percent tested positive.

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

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is more than .008 percent, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to substantially impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three drinks - a motorist experiences lowered coordination, inability to track moving objects, challenges steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to exercise great caution and find other means of transport if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the devastating consequences of a reckless Chicago Ridge, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the accomplished and proficient Chicago Ridge, 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 discuss your options and start on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Chicago Ridge 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 driving under the influence becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred that resulted in 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 penalty is more severe are:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Chicago Ridge, 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 was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's breach of duty caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled 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 philosophy of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute 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 duty of care and breach of duty. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate 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 are owed; 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 committed and talented Chicago Ridge, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Chicago Ridge, 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

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • 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 driver responsible for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became drunk at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money a person or organization can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be liable for some of your damages. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they 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 Chicago Ridge, 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 your accident was caused by a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Chicago Ridge, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every liable 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 Ridge, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, 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 for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain that is a result of rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no amount of money can truly make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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 amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. You will also receive compensation 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a disability 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 medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the recovery 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 burdens you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive impairments after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant 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 increase your financial recovery, 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 argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is demonstrating a blatant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Chicago Ridge, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Chicago Ridge-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently sharpening our abilities to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Chicago Ridge and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's selfish behavior did. For accomplished, empathetic and tenacious representation, call the Chicago Ridge, 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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