Securing justice after someone else's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Lake County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Lake County, IL. If a selfish drunk driver hurt you or someone you love, call the Lake County, 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 Lake County and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Lake County, 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 piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. You do not have to go through this alone. With the compassions, skill and forceful legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Lake County, IL clients. Talking to us 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 claim 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 Lake County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, veteran and relentless 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 Lake County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will probably be prosecuted, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While a good 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their duty when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, far too often that does not happen. 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 they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fairly compensate you.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more difficult, 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 fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some reckless Lake County, IL individuals still decide to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a maximum recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Lake 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 states that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Lake County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to considerably impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, a change in mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three alcohol beverages - a motorist suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to follow proper road safety and find other means of transport if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Lake County, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and harming you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. You need the knowledgeable and tenacious Lake 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 discuss your options and start on the path to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Lake County 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:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident 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

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe include:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Lake 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 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 accident would not have happened but for the driver's negligence.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, 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 economic damages.

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 dictates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle 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 states 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 duty of care and breach of duty. 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 key to have passionate and talented Lake County, 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 Lake County, IL?

A driver is not the only one who may be held responsible in your claim. Other third parties include:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is called a dram shop law, 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 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 your drunk driving accident lawyers do not have to prove the vendor did anything wrong, such as sell alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to show:

  • That the establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to was responsible for your injuries
  • 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 drunk driver was under the age of 21 and became intoxicated at the party.

Every year 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, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may also owe you compensation. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person 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 suit in Lake County, 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who earns a living 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 Lake County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of cases and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim immediately to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the doctrine of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is to blame for your damages, 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, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain that comes 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 genuinely make you whole, but the amount should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is an impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. You will also be reimbursed for any medical bills that we expect to 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 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 medical appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need a financial recovery 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 tribulations you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive impairments due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the affection and intimate relationships you once had.
    • 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 typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because there is no coverage for punitive damages Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned 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 Lake County, IL clients:

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Lake County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you are owed. That is why each of our Lake County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in 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 regularly sharpening our abilities to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Lake 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 behavior did. For expert, compassionate and tenacious representation, call the Lake 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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