Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Homewood, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Homewood, 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 Homewood, 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 Homewood and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but drunk drivers can still cause unfathomable damage. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Homewood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their careers to helping people in similar circumstances get justice and maximum compensation when they may be feeling like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. We know the medical bills are piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the compassions, expertise and forceful legal counsel 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 that the vulnerable in Homewood and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your claim may be worth by using 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 Homewood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, 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. Talented, experienced and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Homewood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every accident 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 do not require much medical treatment, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. 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 prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their obligation when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are pre-existing or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, 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. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fairly compensate you.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Tenacious and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, 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 speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Homewood, IL and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related deaths. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some careless Homewood, 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 are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Homewood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost one-fifth 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 | Homewood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is sufficient to considerably impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a driver suffers from reduced coordination, inability to follow movement, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a thoughtless Homewood, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or a loved one. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case does not make you whole again. Trust in the knowledgeable and proficient Homewood, 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 healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Homewood and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a driving under the influence becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • 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 personal injury

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant 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 caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as emotional distress. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that drivers are legally compelled 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 philosophy of negligence per se stipulates 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 granted automatically under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is key to have dedicated and experienced Homewood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the financial recovery you deserve.

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

A driver is not the only one who may be held accountable in your case. Other third parties include:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant 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 less strict 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they served 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the drunk driver was under the age of 21 and became drunk at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to 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, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident claim in Homewood, 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 your accident was caused 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 be partially to blame. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Homewood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of negligence claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim immediately to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, 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, 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 lower back injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the financial recovery 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 an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. 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 — You will receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. 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 Uber to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be repaid for that too.

    In the case of 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional hardships you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the reckless driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the companionship and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help get you the money you deserve, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because there is no coverage for punitive damages Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Homewood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies who care more about their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Homewood-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly fine-tuning our negotiation and trial skills to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Homewood 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 the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Homewood, 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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