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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Geneva, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Geneva, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver hurt you or someone you care about, call the Geneva, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Geneva and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, your life was immediately capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Geneva, 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 everything seems different than it was in the recent past. You do not have to go through this alone. With the compassions, expertise and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Geneva, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were hurt by an irresponsible drunk driver, find out 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 Geneva, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Skilled, experienced and relentless 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 Geneva, 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 a quick trip to the emergency room, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty in criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their obligation when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. None of that is true, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you deserve.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, 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 ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. 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 direct 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 Geneva, IL and the U.S.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some selfish Geneva, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk just so they enjoy themselves and avoid paying for an Uber. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be justly compensated with a complete recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Geneva, 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 a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Geneva, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to considerably impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - a driver suffers from lowered coordination, inability to follow movement, difficulty maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a dangerous Geneva, IL driver not caring about the rules, driving drunk and harming you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. Trust in the savvy and skilled Geneva, 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 being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Geneva and Illinois

According 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 bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases are:

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

Typically, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must prove the following five elements:

  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 your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se stipulates 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 duty of care and breach of duty. 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.

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 key to have committed and talented Geneva, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Geneva, 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is called a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were hurt. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law easier to apply 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 at fault. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron got drunk because of the alcohol that was sold to him

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the driver at fault for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. In a negligent entrustment case, it is negligent to 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 suit in Geneva, 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, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that hired and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Geneva, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident right away to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the theory of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is to blame 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the amount 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 an impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, operations, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also be reimbursed for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being physically able to work. 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 transportation to and from medical appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will refer to their network of economic experts to be able to precisely account for inflation.

  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 emotional effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from pain when sleeping in certain positions to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive difficulties the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the affection and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies 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. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

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

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Geneva, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Geneva-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently sharpening our lawyer skills to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Geneva and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's horrible decisions did. For skillful, empathetic and relentless representation, call the Geneva, 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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