Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Harvey, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Harvey, 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 Harvey, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Harvey 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 put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. 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 Harvey, 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 piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the dedication, expertise and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Harvey, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the maximum compensation you deserve.

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

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, experienced and persistent 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 Harvey, 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 do not require much medical treatment, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. 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 get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their responsibility when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all lies, and an experienced 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 clearly at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your damages 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, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest 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 quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, 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 still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some careless Harvey, IL residents still decide to put others at risk just so they party and avoid paying for an Uber. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be fairly compensated with a complete recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Harvey, 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 reported that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Harvey, 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 considerably reduce someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, challenges steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is vital to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left to pick up the pieces after the devastating consequences of a reckless Harvey, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the knowledgeable and talented Harvey, 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 Harvey 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 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 lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant 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 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 receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

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 people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled 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 violates a state statute 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 have evidence that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the compensation you are owed; 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 key to have committed and experienced Harvey, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the compensation you are owed.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Harvey, 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

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict 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 the establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron became inebriated because of the alcohol that was sold to him

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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 be responsible for percentage of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Harvey, 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 a commercial driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Harvey, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your accident. 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 Harvey, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is responsible for your injuries, you should be compensated to the extent that returns you to your state before the other person's negligence. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

You can typically recover three types 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 care. You will also receive compensation for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need 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 caused a disability 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 physical therapy appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills 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 mental effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive challenges after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because there is no coverage for punitive damages According 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 sits in the drivers seat while drunk how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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Harvey, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. That is why each of our Harvey-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our lawyer skills to deliver the best results for our clients in Harvey and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's terrible behavior did. For expert, compassionate and aggressive representation, call the Harvey, 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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