Making you whole again after someone else's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Franklin Park, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Franklin Park, IL. If a selfish drunk driver hurt you or someone you love, call the Franklin 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 Franklin Park and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but careless drivers can still cause unfathomable damage. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Franklin Park, 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 accumulating, you are losing time off work and everything seems different than it was before your accident. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, expertise and forceful legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Franklin Park and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were hurt by a careless drunk driver, see how much your injuries 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 Franklin 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, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, veteran and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 Franklin 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 the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. 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 obviously at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a detailed investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, 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 knowledgeable 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, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Reach out to 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 you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive 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 consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some selfish Franklin Park, IL individuals still choose to disregard others' well-being just so they can have a good time and avoid paying for an Uber. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Franklin 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 states that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Franklin 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 hinder someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, a change in mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a person suffers from lowered coordination, inability to trace movement, difficulty steering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a thoughtless Franklin Park, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving drunk and injuring you or someone you love. 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 skilled Franklin Park, 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 being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Franklin 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 it becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • An accident occurred that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  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 accident would not have happened but for the driver's breach of duty.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

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 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 doctrine of negligence per se states 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 the first two elements. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the money you are owed; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is vital to have aggressive and skilled Franklin Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Franklin Park, IL?

The driver is clearly liable for their horrible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers well-versed in Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if anyone else is at fault:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they served was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became drunk at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller sets 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 making a claim for the accident, 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment case, it is negligent to permit a third person to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in Franklin 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured 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 Franklin Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your claim. 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 Compensation Can I Recover for My Franklin Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is at-fault for your damages, 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 pain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can truly compensate you, 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 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 amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, medications, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. 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 resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to work, 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 gas to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure 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 hardships you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. 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 punitive damages are not covered under insurance 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 appalling conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Franklin Park, 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 focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the money you deserve. For that reason, each of our Franklin Park-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to standing up for 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 fine-tuning our lawyer skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in Franklin Park and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's selfish decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Franklin 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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