Securing justice after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Englewood, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Englewood, IL. If a selfish drunk driver harmed you or someone you care about, call the Englewood, 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 Englewood and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but reckless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Englewood, 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 keep coming in, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. You do not have to go through this alone. With the dedication, expertise and tenacious legal representation 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 more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Englewood and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the maximum compensation you deserve.

If you were injured by a careless drunk driver, see how much your damages may be worth by utilizing 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 Englewood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, only a personal injury lawyer can get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, veteran and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Englewood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every injury case is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions 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 will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may not want to admit guilt in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While a good 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 utilize the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver does take responsibility, 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 a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a thorough investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to fairly compensate you.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Aggressive 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with 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 Englewood, IL and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related deaths. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some reckless Englewood, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to disregard others' well-being just so they can have a good time and avoid paying for a taxi. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Englewood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Englewood, 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 enough to considerably impair someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from decreased coordination, inability to trace moving objects, challenges steering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the devastating consequences of a dangerous Englewood, IL motorist making a selfish decision, driving drunk and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time does not make you whole again. Trust in the savvy and skilled Englewood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and begin on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Englewood and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving 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
  • 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 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 Englewood, 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 had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  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 driver's failure to use reasonable care caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se states that anyone who violates a state statute automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was intoxicated. 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 truth is that many drunk drivers try to avoid taking responsibility and their insurance company will do what they can to help them. That is why it is crucial to have passionate and talented Englewood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Englewood, IL?

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

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor 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 injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 at fault. You just have to show:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to was responsible for your injuries
  • That the the patron got drunk because of the alcohol that was sold to him

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the driver liable for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller places 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 person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in 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 a portion of your damages. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident claim in Englewood, 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured 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. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Englewood, 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 case right away to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization injures you, you should receive a financial recovery that is equal to the economic loss and physical pain their negligence put you through. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain that is a result of rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can be expected to make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 a non-arguable dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be paid for any medical bills that we expect to arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, 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 transportation to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical bills or lost earning potential, 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 emotional burdens you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries 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 companionship and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help win you the money you deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company because there is no coverage for punitive damages According 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 behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who drives drunk how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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Englewood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible 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 money you deserve. That is why each of our Englewood-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to defending the rights 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 constantly honing our abilities to secure great recoveries for our clients in Englewood and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's terrible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Englewood, 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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