Making you whole again after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Crest Hill, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Crest Hill, 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 Crest Hill, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Crest Hill and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but irresponsible drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was upended through no fault of your own. The Crest Hill, 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 keep coming in, you are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the not-too-distance past. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the commitment, knowledge and unshakable legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Crest Hill, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the great compensation you deserve.

If you were injured by an irresponsible 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

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What Can Crest Hill, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, 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. Skilled, experienced and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we have over 30 years of experience handling all types of auto accident claims and getting full compensation for our clients.

Do I Need Crest Hill, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. 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 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 not want to admit fault in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While a good 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 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, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. None of that is true, 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 obviously at fault, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance company to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Aggressive and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, 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 you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some selfish Crest Hill, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Crest Hill, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities 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 | Crest Hill, 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 ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences lowered coordination, inability to track movement, challenges steering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the devastating consequences of a reckless Crest Hill, IL motorist making a selfish decision, driving drunk and hurting you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time does not make you whole again. You need the experienced and aggressive Crest Hill, 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 go over your case and start on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Crest Hill 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 DUI 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 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 later violations are Class X Felonies.

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

Typically, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must prove 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 do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who breaks the law is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically as long as you can demonstrate that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show 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 tenacious and talented Crest Hill, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the financial recovery you are owed.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Crest Hill, 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 called a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained 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 show:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they sold to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • 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 person who caused your accident was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much a vendor or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $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 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 a portion of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable 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 Crest Hill, 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 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 also owe you damages. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Crest Hill, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of cases and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your case immediately to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

What Compensation Can I Recover for My Crest Hill, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is to blame 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, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can be expected to make you whole, but the financial recovery 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 injury. It is an impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as braces. 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 be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury caused a disability that no longer allows 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 Uber to and from chiropractic 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 bills or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the compensation 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 mental tribulations you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive challenges because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same counsel and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage 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 win you the money you are owed, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because 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 behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is demonstrating a brazen lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Crest Hill, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Crest Hill-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly honing our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in Crest Hill and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's selfish actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Crest Hill, 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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