Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Kirkland, IL

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

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless drivers can still cause unimaginable damage. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on the weekend, your life was unexpectedly turned upside down through no fault of your own. The Kirkland, 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 are accumulating, 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 compassions, skill and forceful legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Kirkland, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the maximum compensation you deserve.

If you were hurt by a reckless drunk driver, discover 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 Kirkland, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, accomplished and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

Do I Need Kirkland, 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 gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts culpability 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:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While a capable defense lawyer may be able to get a drunk driver off on criminal charges, 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 prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. Ideally insurance companies would fulfill their responsibility 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 does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, 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. Reach out to 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 you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some careless Kirkland, IL residents still make the terrible 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 are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Kirkland, 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. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Kirkland, 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 enough to considerably hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - someone suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and find other ways of transport if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Kirkland, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or someone you care about. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. You need the experienced and skilled Kirkland, 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 recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Kirkland and Illinois

According 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
  • An accident occurred that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Kirkland, 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 defendant had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as mental anguish. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se means 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 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.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their profits. That is why it is imperative to have passionate and skilled Kirkland, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the best results in your claim.

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

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to 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 inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets 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, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused 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 make a claim against the owner. 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 it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident case in Kirkland, 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. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Kirkland, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your case right away to determine as many liable parties as possible.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party 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 rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can truly compensate you, 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 non-arguable dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and in-home care. You will also receive compensation for any medical expenses that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a disability that no longer allows you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure 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 mental effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive difficulties after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in 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 are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, 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 increase your compensation, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels 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 conduct. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who drives under the influence knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Kirkland, 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 focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Kirkland-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on 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 constantly honing our lawyer skills to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Kirkland and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Kirkland, 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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