Securing justice after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Cook County, IL

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

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, your life was unexpectedly upended through no fault of your own. The Cook County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have committed their lives to helping people like you get justice and full compensation when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the commitment, knowledge and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Cook County, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a reckless drunk driver, find out how much your claim 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

View Location

What Can Cook County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, 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. Knowledgeable, veteran and persistent 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 Cook County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every accident is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions 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 will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who injure people will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit liability in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their commitment 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 if 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 they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities 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 beneficial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Aggressive and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, 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 directly to 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.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some careless Cook County, IL residents still choose to put others at risk just so they party and skip on paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Cook County, 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 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 | Cook County, 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 substantially reduce someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a driver experiences decreased coordination, inability to track movement, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is vital to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and find other means of getting home if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Cook County, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving drunk and harming you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. You need the experienced and proficient Cook County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and begin on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Cook County and Illinois

Pursuant 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 it 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 resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe include:

View More FAQs

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  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 resulted in 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 lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal doctrine of negligence per se stipulates 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 be awarded the financial recovery you deserve; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is vital to have passionate and experienced Cook County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Cook County, IL?

The driver is clearly to blame for their reckless decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers well-versed in Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules permit you to 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 easier to apply 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 at fault. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer 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 holds a private party — if the driver liable for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became drunk at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much a vendor or social host is required to pay out. 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 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, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in Cook County, 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 a commercial 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. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Cook County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident immediately to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, you should be compensated to the extent that returns you to your state before the other person's negligence. In many car accident claims, for example a simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience that is a result of rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, 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.

You can typically recover three types 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 an objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and in-home nursing. You will also receive compensation for any medical expenses that will 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 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 invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, 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 effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when bending over to tie your shoes to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the reckless driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the affection and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that maximize your compensation, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company 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 egregious behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who drives under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

Call Burger Law Now

Cook County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Cook County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly honing our abilities to get maximum compensation for our clients in Cook County and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's terrible decisions did. For skillful, compassionate and tenacious representation, call the Cook County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

Request a Free Consultation


“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

Hurt? Hire Us Today or call (314) 500-HURT

Other Locations

Schema