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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Frankfort, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Frankfort, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver harmed you or someone you care about, call the Frankfort, 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 Frankfort and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still cause unfathomable destruction. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on a Saturday, your life was immediately turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Frankfort, 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 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, skill and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have recovered more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Frankfort, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the maximum compensation you deserve.

If you were injured by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your claim 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 Frankfort, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, seasoned and tenacious 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 Frankfort, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people will probably be prosecuted, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are pre-existing or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable 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 at fault, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a detailed investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your damages as much as possible. Tenacious 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Reach out to 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 honest 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 Frankfort, IL and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently been on the decline in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some careless Frankfort, IL residents still choose to put others at risk just so they party and skip on paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Frankfort, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Frankfort, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of even .02 percent is sufficient to substantially hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a driver suffers from decreased coordination, inability to track movement, difficulty steering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is imperative to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a dangerous Frankfort, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case does not make you whole again. Trust in the experienced and tenacious Frankfort, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and start on the path to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Frankfort 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
  • 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 resulted in personal injury

Other instances in which it is a more serious crime are:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

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 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled 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 doctrine of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show 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, drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their profits. That is why it is vital to have dedicated and experienced Frankfort, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Frankfort, 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 licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the driver at fault for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became drunk at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places 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, 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 a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may also owe you compensation. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit someone else 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 case in Frankfort, 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 a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

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

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is to blame for your injuries, 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can be expected to compensate you, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

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

  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 unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. 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 physically able to work. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to work, you will also be compensated for the money 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 invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical costs or lost earning capacity, 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 burdens you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when carrying groceries in to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive difficulties the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring.
    • 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 counsel and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as 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 egregious behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives drunk is demonstrating a flagrant disregard your safety.

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

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Frankfort, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on money than morals. That is why each of our Frankfort-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our lawyer skills to secure the best results for our clients in Frankfort and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's irresponsible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Frankfort, 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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