Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Downers Grove, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Downers Grove, IL. If a selfish drunk driver harmed you or a family member, call the Downers Grove, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Downers Grove and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless drivers can still cause unimaginable devastation. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The Downers Grove, 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 accumulating, you are losing time off work 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 dedication, skill and forceful legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Downers Grove, 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 injured by a thoughtless 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 Downers Grove, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. However, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Talented, accomplished and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

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

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

That depends on the specifics 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 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 is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 utilize the law in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their obligation when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and an experienced 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 to blame, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing 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 be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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. Call 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 you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently been on the decline in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some selfish Downers Grove, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to disregard others' well-being just so they can have a good time and avoid paying for a rideshare. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a complete recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Downers Grove, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Downers Grove, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of even .02 percent is sufficient to significantly impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, a change in mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - a person suffers from lowered coordination, inability to follow movement, difficulty steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Downers Grove, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the experienced and aggressive Downers Grove, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and start on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Downers Grove 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 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 someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

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

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Downers Grove, IL?

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must prove the five elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to use reasonable care is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for 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 drivers have an obligation 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 doctrine of negligence per se states 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 under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show 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 bottom line. That is why it is key to have committed and accomplished Downers Grove, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Downers Grove, IL?

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they sold to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • 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 not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused loss of support or loss of society due to the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may be responsible for some of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages 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 suit in Downers Grove, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who works as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Downers Grove, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every liable party is held accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is at-fault for your damages, you should be compensated to the extent that returns you to your state before the other person's negligence. 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, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most tragic 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 high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

You can typically recover three types 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 objective dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also receive compensation for any medical expenses that we expect to arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer permits 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 hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical costs 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 pain you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting 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 guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that increase your compensation, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because 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 argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while drunk is demonstrating a brazen disregard your safety.

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

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Downers Grove, 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. For that reason, each of our Downers Grove-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly fine-tuning our abilities to get the best results for our clients in Downers Grove and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's terrible decisions did. For expert, passionate and tenacious representation, call the Downers Grove, 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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