Securing justice after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Garfield Park, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Garfield Park, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else did not respect your safety and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Garfield Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Garfield Park and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless drivers can still cause unfathomable destruction. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was unexpectedly completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Garfield 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 you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, skill and aggressive legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Garfield Park and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by a selfish drunk driver, find out 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 Garfield Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, accomplished and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to fight back against bullies.

Do I Need Garfield 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 there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. 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 prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless 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 convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. None of that is true, and a skilled 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 entities may be at fault, 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 the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on 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. Skilled and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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 speak for a candid conversation with 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.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some careless Garfield Park, IL individuals still choose to disregard others' well-being just so they party and skip on paying for a taxi. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a complete recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Garfield Park, 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 almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities 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 | Garfield 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 even .02 percent is sufficient to greatly impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three drinks - a driver experiences lowered coordination, inability to follow moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to exercise great caution and let someone else take the wheel if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the catastrophic consequences of a reckless Garfield Park, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. You need the knowledgeable and skilled Garfield 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 start on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Garfield Park and Illinois

Pursuant 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:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • 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 later violations are Class X Felonies.

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not do what they should have in order to avoid injuring you.
  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 was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as mental anguish. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident cases different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. 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 breaks the law is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. 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 demonstrate at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is crucial to have dedicated and talented Garfield Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the best results in your claim.

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

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

A Bar, Restaurant 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 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 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 with surveillance video, 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 person who caused your accident was under the age of 21 and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to 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 be responsible for a portion of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Garfield 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 was too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused 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 Garfield 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 get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident immediately to determine as many liable parties as possible.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is responsible 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 simple fender-bender, that might mean paying for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can genuinely 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 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 urgent care, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also receive compensation for any medical bills that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay 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 permits you to earn a living as you once did, 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 Uber to and from medical 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 costs or lost earning potential, 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 effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from pain when carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive impairments due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that increase your compensation, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as there is no coverage for punitive damages Pursuant 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 appalling conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who drives drunk is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Garfield Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Garfield Park-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to defending the rights 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 consistently sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in Garfield Park and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's dangerous actions did. For knowledgeable, empathetic and tenacious representation, call the Garfield 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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