Making you whole again after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Elburn, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Elburn, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else broke the rules of the road and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Elburn, 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 Elburn and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Elburn, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have devoted their lives to helping people like you get peace of mind and the best possible financial recoveries when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. 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 just a short while ago. You do not have to go through this alone. With the dedication, expertise and unshakable legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Elburn and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the great compensation you deserve.

If you were harmed by a careless drunk driver, see how much your damages 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 Elburn, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Skilled, experienced and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Elburn, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident 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 an appointment with your primary care physician, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. 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 are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit fault 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 utilize the law in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. Ideally insurance companies would fulfill their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that winds up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all lies, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a thorough investigation and identify all liable parties. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more difficult, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Skilled and knowledgeable 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. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some selfish Elburn, IL residents still make the terrible decision to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be fairly compensated with a maximum recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Elburn, 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 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Elburn, 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 reduce someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - a driver suffers from reduced coordination, reduced ability to trace moving objects, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is imperative to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a thoughtless Elburn, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting you or a loved one. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case is not enough. You need the knowledgeable and proficient Elburn, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. 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 Elburn 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 DUI 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

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

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Elburn, 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 failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's negligence caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that drivers have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning you do not have to prove the driver owed you a duty of care, as it is already stipulated under the law. Secondly, the legal doctrine of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law 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 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 dedicated and skilled Elburn, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the financial recovery you deserve.

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

The driver is clearly liable 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 any of the other following parties share liability:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to 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 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 the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused your injuries
  • 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 drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the party.

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 person making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to 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. In a negligent entrustment claim, it is negligent to permit a third person to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in Elburn, 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, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that contracted and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Elburn, 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 claim immediately to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone 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 and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can truly compensate you, but the amount 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 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 treatment the day of the injury, surgeries, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home care. You will also be reimbursed 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 caused a disability 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 deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills 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 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 be anything anything from pain when going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive challenges due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as there is no coverage for punitive damages Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is demonstrating a shameless lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Elburn, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the money you are owed. That is why each of our Elburn-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently sharpening our lawyer skills to deliver the best results for our clients in Elburn and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's horrible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Elburn, 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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