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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Deerfield, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Deerfield, 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 Deerfield, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Deerfield and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but drunk drivers can still cause unimaginable destruction. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was immediately completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The Deerfield, 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 you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did before your accident. 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 Deerfield, 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 thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your injuries 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 Deerfield, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Talented, accomplished and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

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

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident 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, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit fault in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. 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 cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that winds up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all lies, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a thorough investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Skilled 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, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

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

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some reckless Deerfield, IL individuals still decide to disregard others' well-being just so they can have a good time and skip on paying for a taxi. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for the harm they have caused. The Deerfield, 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 almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, over a third tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Deerfield, 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 greatly impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, a change in mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - someone experiences reduced coordination, inability to follow moving objects, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Deerfield, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you care about. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the accomplished and proficient Deerfield, 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 go over your case and start on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Deerfield and Illinois

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

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Deerfield, 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 defendant 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 negligence was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary 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 aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal doctrine of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was driving drunk. 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.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their profits. That is why it is key to have committed and skilled Deerfield, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the financial recovery you are owed.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Deerfield, IL?

The driver is clearly at fault for their horrible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers familiar with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is known as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal 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 show:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused 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 holds a private party — if the driver liable for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to loss of support or loss of society due to 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 file a suit against the owner. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Deerfield, 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 too drunk to drive.

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:

Experienced Deerfield, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of cases and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident right away to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the doctrine 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation 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 destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the financial recovery should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

There are three categories of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is an unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, operations, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. 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 caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to work, you will also be compensated for the wages 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 medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, 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 ensure 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 emotional effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive challenges after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the love and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share 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 discourage others from making the same mistakes. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that maximize your compensation, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Under 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 have learned that anyone who drives intoxicated how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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Deerfield, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Deerfield-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their lives to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly sharpening our lawyer skills to get the best results for our clients in Deerfield and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's terrible behavior did. For expert, passionate and tenacious representation, call the Deerfield, 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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