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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Edgewater, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Edgewater, 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 Edgewater, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Edgewater 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 irresponsible drivers can still cause unimaginable devastation. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or just running errands, your life was unexpectedly completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The Edgewater, 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 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 in the not-too-distance past. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, expertise 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 secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Edgewater and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were hurt by an irresponsible 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 Edgewater, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, veteran and tenacious 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 Edgewater, 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 decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While a capable 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 in criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds up injuring you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are pre-existing or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you are owed.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other parties may be at fault, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a thorough investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially beneficial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance company to try to devalue your damages as much as possible. Skilled and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some selfish Edgewater, IL residents still decide to jeopardize others' safety while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a full recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Edgewater, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

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

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is sufficient to significantly hinder someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a person suffers from decreased coordination, inability to track moving objects, difficulty steering and not being able to respond in enough time 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 have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the catastrophic consequences of a reckless Edgewater, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and injuring you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the experienced and talented Edgewater, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to get you the full financial recovery you deserve. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and start on the road to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Edgewater and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving while drunk on under the influence of 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
  • An accident occurred that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and subsequent violations are Class X Felonies.

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant 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 driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like medical bills 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 the majority of 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 the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal theory of negligence per se means that anyone who breaks the law is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was intoxicated. 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.

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 critical to have tenacious and talented Edgewater, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their selfish 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 licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. 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 the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer 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 driver liable for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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, 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, the owner may also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment claim, it is negligent to permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident claim in Edgewater, 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 your accident was caused by someone who works as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Edgewater, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen 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 find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization injures you, 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, 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 a non-arguable dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, physical therapy appointments and in-home care. 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 — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer allows you to work, you will also be compensated for the salary 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 physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be repaid for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the settlement or verdict amount adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 emotional pain you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when turning your head to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also makes the insurance company nervous 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 reckless behavior. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who drives under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Edgewater, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you are owed. That is why each of our Edgewater-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly fine-tuning our negotiation and trial skills to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Edgewater and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's dangerous actions did. For expert, passionate and relentless representation, call the Edgewater, 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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