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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Elmhurst, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Elmhurst, 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 Elmhurst, 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 Elmhurst and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but drunk drivers can still change your life without warning. 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 through no fault of your own. The Elmhurst, 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 keep coming in, 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. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the compassions, skill and aggressive legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Elmhurst, 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, discover how much your injuries 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 Elmhurst, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, seasoned and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we know the ins-and-outs of every type of auto accident claim and know how to get great compensation.

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

Every crash is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit guilt in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures 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 that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all lies, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a comprehensive investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is vital 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 severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more complex, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Aggressive and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with 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 Common is Drunk Driving in Elmhurst, IL and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently declined in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some reckless Elmhurst, IL residents still decide to put others at risk 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 are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Elmhurst, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will fight to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

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

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is more than .008 percent, a level of only .02 percent is sufficient to significantly 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 poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a person suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, challenges steering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is key to exercise great caution and have a back up plan 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 Elmhurst, IL driver not caring about the rules, driving drunk and harming you or someone you love. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. Trust in the experienced and skilled Elmhurst, 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 go over your case and start on the road to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Elmhurst 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 it 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 resulted in personal injury

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 Elmhurst, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver'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 emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. 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 theory of negligence per se stipulates 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 the first two elements. 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, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is critical to have committed and talented Elmhurst, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the compensation you are owed.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Elmhurst, 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

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were 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 demonstrate:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for your injuries
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the private residence.

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 resulted in 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, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident case in Elmhurst, 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 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:

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

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the doctrine of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is responsible 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, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can genuinely 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 impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. 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 — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, 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 Uber to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    If your injuries result in 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 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive difficulties the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting 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 had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie 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. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help win you the money you are owed, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies According to 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. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who drives drunk knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Elmhurst, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you deserve. That is why each of our Elmhurst-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their lives to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our abilities to secure the best results for our clients in Elmhurst and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's irresponsible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Elmhurst, 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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