Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Evanston, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Evanston, IL. If a selfish drunk driver hurt you or a loved one, call the Evanston, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Evanston and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life in an instant. 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 Evanston, 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 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, knowledge 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 Evanston, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a selfish drunk driver, see how much your claim 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 Evanston, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, seasoned and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Evanston, 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 claim. 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 may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit guilt 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 their investigative and litigation skills in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. 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 if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are pre-existing or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you deserve.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other parties may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a comprehensive investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, 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. Persistent and compassionate 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. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly 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 been on the decline in the last 40 years, 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 certainly done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some reckless Evanston, IL residents still choose 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 deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Evanston, 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 19.7 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Evanston, 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 greatly impede someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - someone experiences decreased coordination, inability to follow movement, challenges steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is vital to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a thoughtless Evanston, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the savvy and talented Evanston, 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 go over your case and start on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Evanston and Illinois

Pursuant 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
  • An accident occurred that resulted in 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 ensuing violations are Class X Felonies.

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Evanston, 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 driver had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  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 accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as emotional distress. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers are required to 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 states that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of as long as you can demonstrate that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

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 critical to have passionate and accomplished Evanston, 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 Evanston, 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 rules allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you 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 the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they served 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 holds a private party — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each 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, the maximum is $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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be liable for percentage of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident suit in Evanston, 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by someone who works 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. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Evanston, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. 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 Damages Are Available for My Evanston, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your injuries, 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can truly make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

Damages in a personal injury claim are broken down into three distinct groups:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is an unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also receive compensation for any medical expenses that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury 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 transportation to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills or lost earning potential, 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 defines 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 bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive challenges the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse 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 advice and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage 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 secure 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 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 reckless conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

In addition, we have extensive experience winning the following cases for our Evanston, IL clients:

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Evanston, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Evanston-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly sharpening our lawyer skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Evanston and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For expert, compassionate and aggressive representation, call the Evanston, 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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