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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Glendale Heights, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Glendale Heights, 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 Glendale Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Glendale Heights and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized through no fault of your own. The Glendale Heights, 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 may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the compassions, expertise and aggressive legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Glendale Heights, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a careless drunk driver, discover 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 Glendale Heights, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, seasoned and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

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

Do I Need Glendale Heights, 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, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may not want to admit guilt in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. 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 cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. None of that is true, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. 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 thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Skilled and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether we can add to your claim.

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, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some selfish Glendale Heights, IL individuals still decide to put others at risk just so they can have a good time and skip on paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly compensated with a maximum recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Glendale Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

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, over a third tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Glendale Heights, 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 enough to significantly impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a motorist suffers from lowered coordination, inability to track movement, challenges steering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is imperative to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left reeling from the devastating consequences of a reckless Glendale Heights, IL driver not caring about the rules, driving while intoxicated and hurting you or a loved one. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. Trust in the accomplished and proficient Glendale Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Glendale Heights and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving under the influence of alcohol or 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
  • 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 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 Glendale Heights, 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 avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to use reasonable care is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal philosophy 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 granted automatically under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; 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 crucial to have aggressive and talented Glendale Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Glendale Heights, IL?

The driver is clearly to blame for their reckless decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers familiar with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

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 the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 show significant impairment when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to prove:

  • That the establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the driver responsible for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment 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 due to the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be responsible for some of your damages. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, 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 claim in Glendale Heights, 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 you were injured by someone who earns a living as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Glendale Heights, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim immediately to find as many liable parties as possible.

What Damages Are Available for My Glendale Heights, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. 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 that comes with rehabilitating from a neck 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 genuinely compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is a non-arguable dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be paid for any medical expenses that we expect to 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 caused 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 gas to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be repaid for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure 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 emotional effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when turning your head to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive challenges after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage 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 secure 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 egregious conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives intoxicated is demonstrating a brazen lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Glendale Heights, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you deserve. For that reason, each of our Glendale Heights-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to defending the rights of 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 honing our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in Glendale Heights and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous decisions did. For knowledgeable, empathetic and aggressive representation, call the Glendale Heights, 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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