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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Elgin, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Elgin, IL. If a reckless drunk driver hurt you or someone you love, call the Elgin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Elgin and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but careless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Elgin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law to getting the best possible outcomes for our clients and seeing them made whole again. We know the medical bills are piling up, you are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did just a short while ago. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the compassions, knowledge and forceful legal advocacy 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 that the vulnerable in Elgin and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by a thoughtless 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 Elgin, 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. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, accomplished and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

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

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

The only way to know when to hire a personal injury lawyer is by having a professional examine the details of your accident. If the driver accepts liability and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. 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 injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, 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 criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to say 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 fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other parties may be at fault, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a detailed investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially important 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 significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Skilled 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, our consultations and initial investigations are free. 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 it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving 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 deaths have consistently declined in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some selfish Elgin, IL individuals still choose to disregard others' well-being just so they party and skip on paying for a rideshare. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a maximum recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Elgin, 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 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, over a third tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Elgin, 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 sufficient to substantially hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, inability to follow moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to follow proper road safety and let someone else take the wheel if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a dangerous Elgin, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. Trust in the knowledgeable and tenacious Elgin, 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 Elgin 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 it becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's breach of duty caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as pain and suffering. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are required to 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 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 prove 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 profits. That is why it is crucial to have tenacious and talented Elgin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Elgin, 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 Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is called a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law easier to apply 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 the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they served was responsible for your injuries
  • That the the patron became inebriated because of the alcohol that was sold to him

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the driver at fault for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a vendor or social host is required to pay out. 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 because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person 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 suit in Elgin, 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 a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. 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 Elgin, 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 Compensation Can I Recover for My Elgin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization 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, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can truly compensate you, 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 the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as braces. 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury 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 gas to and from medical 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 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 burdens you have been put through, which can include 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 if you have life-long physical or cognitive impairments after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same counsel and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help get you the money you deserve, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their 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. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is demonstrating a shameless lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Elgin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Elgin-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly sharpening our abilities to secure the best results for our clients in Elgin and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible actions did. For accomplished, empathetic and relentless representation, call the Elgin, 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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