Making you whole again after someone else's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers La Grange, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in La Grange, 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 La Grange, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in La Grange and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The La Grange, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have committed their careers to helping individuals and families like you get peace and great compensation when they may be feeling like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it before your accident. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, knowledge and unshakable legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our La Grange, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the best possible compensation you deserve.

If you were harmed by a thoughtless drunk driver, find out 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 La Grange, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, 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 La Grange, 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 determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. 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 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 accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. Ideally insurance companies would fulfill their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you deserve.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other entities may be at fault, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your damages as much as possible. Persistent and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

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

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily declined in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some reckless La Grange, IL individuals still choose to jeopardize others' safety 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 negligent driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The La Grange, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | La Grange, 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 only .02 percent is enough to greatly impair someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a person suffers from decreased coordination, inability to trace movement, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous La Grange, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the knowledgeable and skilled La Grange, 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 road to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in La Grange 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 drunk driving 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 lead to bodily harm

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 La Grange, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not use reasonable care.
  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 failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as mental anguish. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident claims different 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 to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. 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 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 granted automatically under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have tenacious and accomplished La Grange, 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 La Grange, 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 permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were hurt. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out 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 show:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society due to 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 make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in La Grange, 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by someone who works as a driver, such as 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:

Experienced La Grange, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of cases and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident right away to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the theory of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is at-fault for your injuries, 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 simple fender-bender, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. 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 financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

Damages in a personal injury claim are broken down into three distinct groups:

  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 urgent care, operations, medications, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. 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 physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer permits 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 physical therapy 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 bills or lost earning capacity, 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 emotional effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when turning your head to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive difficulties the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same advice and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as punitive damages are not covered under insurance 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 egregious conduct. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

In addition, our La Grange, IL attorneys have decades of experience winning cases in:

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La Grange, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our La Grange-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials 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 negotiation and trial skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in La Grange and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's terrible actions did. For expert, compassionate and relentless representation, call the La Grange, 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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