Making you whole again after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Kenwood, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Kenwood, IL. If a reckless drunk driver harmed you or someone you love, call the Kenwood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Kenwood and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but drunk drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was unexpectedly capsized through no fault of your own. The Kenwood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law truly care about out clients and their cases and families mean something to us. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the dedication, knowledge and aggressive legal counsel 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 won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Kenwood, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by a selfish drunk driver, see how much your damages 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 Kenwood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, accomplished and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Kenwood, 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 the advise of one. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions 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 other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may not want to admit liability in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. None of that is true, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation and identify all liable parties. This is especially beneficial when the policy limits are not sufficient to fairly compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Persistent and knowledgeable 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. 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 Common is Drunk Driving in Kenwood, IL and the U.S.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly 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 almost a third of all auto related deaths. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some reckless Kenwood, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly compensated with a complete recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The Kenwood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Kenwood, 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 only .02 percent is sufficient to substantially impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - a motorist suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to exercise great caution and let someone else take the wheel if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Kenwood, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case does not make you whole again. You need the knowledgeable and talented Kenwood, 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 discuss your options and begin on the path to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Kenwood 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 driving under the influence 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 it is a more serious crime include:

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

Typically, 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 had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to use reasonable care is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning you do not have to prove the driver owed you a duty of care, as it is already stipulated under the law. Secondly, the legal theory 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 taken care of as long as you have evidence that the driver was inebriated. 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.

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 critical to have passionate and accomplished Kenwood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the compensation you deserve.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Kenwood, 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

Many states have what is known as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal 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 demonstrate:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they sold to caused 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Every year 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 resulted in loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they 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 case in Kenwood, 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:

Experienced Kenwood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of negligence claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident immediately to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the theory of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization injures you, 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can genuinely compensate you, but the settlement or verdict 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 figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation 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 — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to earn a living as you once did, you will also be compensated for the money you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • 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 costs 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 pain you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive difficulties the irresponsible driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. 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 because 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 can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives under the influence is demonstrating a flagrant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Kenwood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless 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 deserve. That is why each of our Kenwood-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their careers to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our negotiation and trial skills to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Kenwood and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's selfish decisions did. For expert, empathetic and relentless representation, call the Kenwood, 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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