Securing justice after someone else's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Dolton, IL

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

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was unexpectedly capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Dolton, 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 are piling up, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the compassions, skill and forceful legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Dolton and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were injured by a reckless drunk driver, see how much your damages 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 Dolton, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, 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 Dolton, 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 determine 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 many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty in their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, 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 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 at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Aggressive and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related deaths. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some careless Dolton, IL residents still choose to disregard others' well-being just so they enjoy themselves and avoid paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a full recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Dolton, 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 one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Dolton, 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 only .02 percent is enough to substantially impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - a motorist suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, difficulty using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and find other means of transport if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Dolton, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving drunk and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. You need the experienced and proficient Dolton, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. 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 Dolton and Illinois

Pursuant 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:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • An accident occurred 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 Dolton, 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 avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

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 required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. 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 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.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, 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 imperative to have passionate and experienced Dolton, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Dolton, IL?

It is important to find all liable parties, especially if the driver has policy limits that do not fully compensate you for your damages. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to make a claim against:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is called 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 explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to prove:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they sold to 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 driver at fault for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money someone 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 also owe you compensation. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they 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 claim in Dolton, 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 you were injured by someone who earns a living as a driver, for example 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. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Dolton, 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 find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the doctrine of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can truly compensate you, 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 refers to the total sum of the money you either lost out on or had to spend because of your injuries. It is an unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, medications, chiropractic 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 — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a disability that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 transportation to and from medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need 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 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 bending over to tie your shoes to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same advice and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company because there is no coverage for punitive damages Under 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 dangerous conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is demonstrating a flagrant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Dolton, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the money you are owed. For that reason, each of our Dolton-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to defending the rights 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 honing our negotiation and trial skills to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Dolton and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Dolton, 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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