Making you whole again after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Kendall County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Kendall County, 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 Kendall County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Kendall County and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on a Saturday, your life was unexpectedly completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Kendall County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their careers to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get justice and the best possible financial recoveries when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it in the recent past. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, expertise 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 secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Kendall County, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until we win your case.

If you were harmed by a reckless drunk driver, find out how much your claim may be worth by utilizing our free personal injury calculator.

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What Can Kendall County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Talented, experienced and relentless 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 Kendall County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to determine 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 an appointment with your primary care physician, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit guilt in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. 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 obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their responsibility 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 persuade you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and a talented 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 clearly liable, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a detailed investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to properly compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your damages as much as possible. Persistent and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Kendall County, IL residents still decide to disregard others' well-being just so they can have a good time and skip on paying for a rideshare. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Kendall County, 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 almost 20 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.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Kendall County, 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 greatly hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - someone suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to trace movement, difficulty steering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a reckless Kendall County, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and injuring you or someone you love. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. You need the experienced and talented Kendall County, 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 being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Kendall County 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 it becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • 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 subsequent violations are Class X Felonies.

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver'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 mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also 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 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal theory of negligence per se means that anyone who breaks the law is negligent as a matter of law. 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 demonstrate is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, 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 imperative to have committed and talented Kendall County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the financial recovery you deserve.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Kendall County, IL?

The driver is clearly liable for their horrible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers familiar 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 known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to show significant impairment 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 through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they sold to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron got drunk 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 a vendor or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, it is negligent to 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 case in Kendall County, 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who earns a living 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. 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 Kendall County, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every at-fault party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

What Damages Are Available for My Kendall County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party 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 rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the physical strain that is a result of rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the financial recovery 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 urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and in-home care. You will also be reimbursed 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to work, 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 chiropractic 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 compensation 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 pain you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive difficulties due to the accident.
    • 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 partner 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 care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is demonstrating a shameless lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Kendall County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Kendall County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their careers to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in 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 get the best results for our clients in Kendall County and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's terrible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Kendall County, 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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