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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Hyde Park, IL

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

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on a Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Hyde Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their careers to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get peace and full compensation when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it in the recent past. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, knowledge and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Hyde Park and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the best possible financial recovery you deserve.

If you were injured by a reckless drunk driver, discover how much your injuries 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 Hyde Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, veteran and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we have over 30 years of experience handling all types of auto accident claims and getting full compensation for our clients.

Do I Need Hyde Park, 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 there is no dispute about who is at fault 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:

  • There is a dispute about liability. 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 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 in their criminal case. 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 does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds up injuring you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even if 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 you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, 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. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

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

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some selfish Hyde Park, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a complete recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Hyde Park, 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 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Hyde Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is over .008 percent, a level of even .02 percent is sufficient to substantially reduce someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three alcohol beverages - a driver suffers from reduced coordination, inability to trace movement, difficulty maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a dangerous Hyde Park, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the experienced and proficient Hyde Park, 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 find out the best way to proceed and start on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Hyde Park 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 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 personal injury

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and ensuing violations are Class X Felonies.

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

Typically, 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 defendant 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 caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident claims different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists 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 philosophy 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 you only need to show that the driver was drunk in order to prove the first two elements. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

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 vital to have aggressive and skilled Hyde Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Hyde Park, IL?

The driver is clearly at fault for their selfish decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers experienced with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if anyone else is at fault:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is called 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 is different from 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 demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they served caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the drunk driver was under the age of 21 and became drunk at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places 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 person making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to loss of support or loss of society because of 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, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. In a negligent entrustment case, a person may be liable if they 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 suit in Hyde Park, 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured 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 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 Hyde Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your claim. 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 Hyde Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is responsible for your damages, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, that might mean paying for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can truly make you whole, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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, surgeries, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. You will also receive compensation for any medical bills that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows 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 gas to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be repaid for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the settlement or verdict amount 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 emotional burdens you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive impairments the reckless driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver 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 deserve, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies 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 egregious behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives drunk is demonstrating a brazen lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Hyde Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Hyde Park-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in Hyde Park 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 skillful, passionate and tenacious representation, call the Hyde Park, 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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