Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Dekalb County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Dekalb County, 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 Dekalb County, 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 Dekalb County and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still cause unimaginable devastation. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on the weekend, your life was unexpectedly completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Dekalb County, 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 accumulating, you are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it in the recent past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the dedication, skill and tenacious legal advocacy 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 Dekalb County, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your injuries 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 Dekalb County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Talented, experienced and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Dekalb County, 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 claim. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit liability 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would realize their duty when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that ends up injuring 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 that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all lies, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you deserve.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to appropriately compensate you.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more severe 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. Tenacious and dedicated 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, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk 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.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri 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, or about one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Dekalb County, IL individuals still decide to put others at risk while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are hurt as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Dekalb County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Dekalb County, 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 enough to considerably reduce someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, difficulty maneuvering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Dekalb County, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving drunk and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the savvy and aggressive Dekalb County, 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 begin on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Dekalb County 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 driving under the influence 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 lead to personal injury

Other instances in which it is a more serious crime include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's negligence is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as mental anguish. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained 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 dictates that motorists are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically as long as you have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

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 bottom line. That is why it is crucial to have tenacious and talented Dekalb County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and get the best results in your claim.

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

A driver is not the only one who may be held responsible in your case. Other third parties include:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is called a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor 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 more liberal than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to show significant impairment 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 with security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they sold to caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

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 not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. In a negligent entrustment case, a person may be liable if they permit a third person 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 case in Dekalb County, 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 someone who earns a living as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that hired and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Dekalb County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim immediately to determine as many liable parties as possible.

What Compensation Can I Recover for My Dekalb County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization 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, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can genuinely compensate you, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

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 accident. It is an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also be paid for any medical bills that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows 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 transportation to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical bills or lost earning potential, 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 mental effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty standing up and sitting down to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive impairments because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage others from making the same mistakes. When we sue drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair 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 appalling behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

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

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Dekalb County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our Dekalb County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their education and abilities to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly honing our negotiation and trial skills to get maximum compensation for our clients in Dekalb County and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible decisions did. For accomplished, empathetic and relentless representation, call the Dekalb County, 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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