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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Hinsdale, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Hinsdale, 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 Hinsdale, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Hinsdale and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless 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, your life was unexpectedly upended when you did nothing wrong. The Hinsdale, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have devoted their careers to helping people like you get peace and maximum compensation when they may be feeling like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you are losing time off work 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 dedication, skill and forceful 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 won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Hinsdale and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were hurt by a careless drunk driver, find out how much your claim 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 Hinsdale, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. However, 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, veteran and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 Hinsdale, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. 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 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 be motivated not to cooperate 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 their investigative and litigation skills in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would realize 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 in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are the result of other trauma or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Tenacious and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Contact 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 honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some reckless Hinsdale, IL individuals still decide to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Hinsdale, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Hinsdale, 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 just .02 percent is enough to significantly reduce someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, an altered mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a motorist suffers from reduced coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians 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 reeling from the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Hinsdale, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming 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 knowledgeable and skilled Hinsdale, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Hinsdale 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 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 lead to 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 Hinsdale, IL?

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must demonstrate 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 driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  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 breach of duty.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills 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 lawsuits different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se states 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 granted automatically under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the money you are owed; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their bottom line. That is why it is key to have tenacious and accomplished Hinsdale, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and get the compensation you are owed.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Hinsdale, 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 Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. 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 your drunk driving accident lawyers do not have to prove the vendor did anything wrong, such as sell alcohol to someone underage. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they sold to was responsible for 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 holds a private party — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money a person or organization 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 be responsible for some of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, it is negligent to permit someone else to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident claim in Hinsdale, 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 works 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. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Hinsdale, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive 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 Damages Are Available for My Hinsdale, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is responsible 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, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain that is a result of rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can genuinely compensate you, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

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 an impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be paid 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a disability that no longer permits you to work, you will also be compensated for the wages you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for transportation to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    In the case of 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 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 include anything from pain when going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive impairments due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because 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. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Hinsdale, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the money you are owed. That is why each of our Hinsdale-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their education and abilities to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly fine-tuning our lawyer skills to get great recoveries for our clients in Hinsdale and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's irresponsible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Hinsdale, 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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