Making you whole again after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Evergreen Park, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Evergreen Park, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver injured you or someone you care about, call the Evergreen Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Evergreen Park and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless drivers can still cause unfathomable damage. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, your life was unexpectedly completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Evergreen Park, 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 are accumulating, you are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, expertise and aggressive legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have recovered more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Evergreen Park and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were hurt by a selfish drunk driver, find out how much your damages 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 Evergreen Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. 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, experienced and relentless 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 Evergreen Park, 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 the advise of one. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate 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 on state charges. 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 does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince 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. None of that is true, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you deserve.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. 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 car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Aggressive and compassionate 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. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some reckless Evergreen Park, IL individuals still decide to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are harmed as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Evergreen 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 almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Evergreen Park, 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 greatly impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a driver suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to trace movement, challenges steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a reckless Evergreen Park, IL driver disregarding your safety, 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 cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the savvy and tenacious Evergreen 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 path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Evergreen Park 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 driving under the influence 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 lead to bodily harm

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

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as mental anguish. 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 factors that make drunk driving accident cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. 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 principle of negligence per se states that anyone who violates a state statute is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. 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.

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 vital to have tenacious and experienced Evergreen Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the financial recovery you are owed.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Evergreen Park, 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 known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out 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 show significant impairment 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 with recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron 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 under the age of 21 and became intoxicated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money a person or organization 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 caused 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, the owner may also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to engage in an activity 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 Evergreen Park, 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 was too drunk to drive.

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, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Evergreen 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 hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your case right away to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party 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, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain that is a result of rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the amount 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 refers to the total sum of the money you either lost out on or had to spend because of your injuries. It is an objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be reimbursed for any medical expenses that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages 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 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 physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the compensation 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 mental pain you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive impairments after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Under 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. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Evergreen Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Evergreen Park-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their lives to defending the rights 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 consistently honing our lawyer skills to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Evergreen Park and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Evergreen 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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