Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Elmwood Park, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Elmwood Park, 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 Elmwood Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Elmwood Park and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but drunk drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on the weekend, your life was unexpectedly turned upside down through no fault of your own. The Elmwood Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have dedicated their careers to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get a sense of healing and the best possible financial recoveries when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. We know the medical bills are piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, knowledge and aggressive 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 gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Elmwood Park, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by a selfish 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 Elmwood Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Skilled, seasoned and relentless 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 Elmwood Park, 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 case. 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, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. 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 liability 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 in their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their obligation 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 is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. None of that is true, and an accomplished 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 the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially beneficial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Tenacious and knowledgeable 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, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Elmwood Park, IL and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related deaths. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some reckless Elmwood Park, IL residents still choose to disregard others' well-being just so they party and skip on paying for a taxi. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a complete recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for the harm they have caused. The Elmwood Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Elmwood Park, 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 only .02 percent is enough to significantly reduce someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a person suffers from decreased coordination, inability to track moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is crucial to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the catastrophic consequences of a reckless Elmwood Park, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the savvy and tenacious Elmwood Park, 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 being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Elmwood Park and Illinois

According 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 drunk driving becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • 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 resulted in bodily harm

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

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you 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 emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that drivers are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle 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 bottom line. That is why it is imperative to have tenacious and experienced Elmwood Park, 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 Elmwood Park, IL?

A driver is not the only one who may be held accountable in your case. Other third parties include:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified 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 a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they sold to caused 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 driver liable for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became drunk at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $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 a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may be responsible for percentage of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident suit in Elmwood Park, 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, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that hired and directed the driver. Reasons they are liable could include:

Experienced Elmwood Park, 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 find as many liable parties as possible.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the doctrine of being made 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the settlement or verdict 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 firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, surgeries, 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to work, 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be repaid for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the recovery 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 trials you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive challenges due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • 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 not common in personal injury compensation, and are intended 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 maximize your compensation, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because 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 may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a shameless lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Elmwood Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the money you are owed. That is why each of our Elmwood Park-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly honing our abilities to get maximum compensation for our clients in Elmwood Park and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible decisions did. For knowledgeable, passionate and tenacious representation, call the Elmwood Park, 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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