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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Gurnee, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Gurnee, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else broke the rules of the road and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Gurnee, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Gurnee and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was upended when you did nothing wrong. The Gurnee, 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 keep coming in, you you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the recent past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, skill and aggressive legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have recovered more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Gurnee and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the maximum financial recovery you deserve.

If you were injured by a reckless drunk driver, discover how much your injuries may be worth by utilizing 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 Gurnee, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, accomplished and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Gurnee, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every auto wreck is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If there is no dispute about who is at fault 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:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit liability in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 utilize the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. Ideally insurance companies would fulfill their commitment when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that a lawyer will only take money from you. None of that is true, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance company to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. Persistent and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri 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, which is approximately one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Gurnee, IL individuals still decide to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The Gurnee, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Gurnee, 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 substantially impede 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 - the product of about three alcohol beverages - a driver experiences decreased coordination, inability to track moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to follow proper road safety and find other means of getting home if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the devastating consequences of a dangerous Gurnee, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case is not enough. You need the savvy and tenacious Gurnee, 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 path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Gurnee and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a DUI 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 someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in bodily harm

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 Gurnee, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's negligence.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was driving drunk. 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; the truth is that many drunk drivers try to avoid taking responsibility and their insurance company will do what they can to help them. That is why it is crucial to have passionate and accomplished Gurnee, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the best results in your claim.

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

A driver is not the only one who may be held responsible in your case. 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 the accident caused you injuries. 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 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 demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they sold 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 drunk driver was under the age of 21 and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money someone can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in Gurnee, IL, that means that you must show that the owner of the vehicle purposely gave the keys to the drunk driver, 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 works as a 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:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Gurnee, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every negligent 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 Gurnee, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone 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, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be reimbursed for any medical bills 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 physically able to work. If your injury caused 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 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 potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the recovery 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 include anything from difficulty sleeping in certain positions to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive challenges the irresponsible driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the love 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 guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, 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 deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company because there is no coverage for punitive damages According to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives under the influence is demonstrating a flagrant disregard your safety.

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

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Gurnee, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Gurnee-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their lives to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in Gurnee and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Gurnee, 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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