Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers DeKalb, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in DeKalb, 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, 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 and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but thoughtless drivers can still cause incredible devastation. 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 capsized through no fault of your own. The DeKalb, 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 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 compassions, skill and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our DeKalb, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, see how much your claim 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 DeKalb, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Skilled, experienced and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every auto wreck is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If there is no dispute about who is at fault 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, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are pre-existing or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. 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 more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance company to try to devalue your damages as much as possible. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

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 direct with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless DeKalb, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be fairly compensated with a complete recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The DeKalb, 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 found that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | DeKalb, 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 enough to greatly impair 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, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three alcohol beverages - a person suffers from reduced coordination, inability to follow movement, difficulty steering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is imperative to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the devastating consequences of a thoughtless DeKalb, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or someone you love. 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 experienced and proficient DeKalb, 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 road to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in DeKalb and Illinois

Under 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 drunk driving 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 ensuing violations are Class X Felonies.

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in DeKalb, 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 driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's negligence caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as pain and suffering. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

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 to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle 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 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 demonstrate is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the financial recovery you are owed; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is vital to have aggressive and talented DeKalb, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the financial recovery you are owed.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their horrible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers experienced with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if anyone else is at fault:

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 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 or employee testimony
  • That the patron they served caused your injuries
  • 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 person who caused your accident was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places 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 caused loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may be liable for a portion of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, it is negligent to permit a third person to use a thing 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, 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 you were injured 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 have some liability. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced DeKalb, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of negligence claims 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 Compensation Can I Recover for My DeKalb, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is responsible for your injuries, 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 money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 accident. It is a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. You will also be paid for any medical expenses 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning potential, 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 mental effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive difficulties due to 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 love and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. 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 deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous behavior. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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DeKalb, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you deserve. For that reason, each of our DeKalb-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed 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 and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in DeKalb and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's dangerous decisions did. For knowledgeable, compassionate and tenacious representation, call the DeKalb, 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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