Making you whole again after someone else's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Lake View, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Lake View, IL. If a selfish drunk driver injured you or a family member, call the Lake View, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Lake View and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but irresponsible drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, your life was unexpectedly capsized through no fault of your own. The Lake View, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their lives to helping people in similar circumstances get peace of mind and full compensation when they may be feeling like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. We know the medical bills are accumulating, 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 be by your side until things are made right again. With the dedication, expertise and aggressive 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 more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Lake View and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by a careless drunk driver, discover how much your claim may be worth by filling out 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 View, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. But, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, experienced and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 View, 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 gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. 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 probably be prosecuted, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. 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 utilize the law in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. Ideally insurance companies would realize their obligation when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that ends up injuring you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are pre-existing or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and an experienced 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 thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your damages as much as possible. Aggressive and dedicated 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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 there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some reckless Lake View, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk just so they can have a good time and avoid paying for a rideshare. If you are harmed as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Lake View, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost 20 percent 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.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Lake View, 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 enough to considerably hinder someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, a change in mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a person experiences lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is key to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a dangerous Lake View, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the accomplished and talented Lake View, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Lake View 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 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 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 Lake View, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like damage to your car 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 cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. 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.

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 key to have committed and accomplished Lake View, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the compensation you are owed.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Lake View, 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 Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law less strict than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused your injuries
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

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 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 establishment 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 caused loss of support or loss of society due to the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may be responsible for some of your damages. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to use a thing 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 Lake View, 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 a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Lake View, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with 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 Compensation Can I Recover for My Lake View, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is at-fault for your damages, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no amount of money can truly compensate you, but the financial recovery 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 an objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also receive compensation for any medical bills that we expect to arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the 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, you will also be compensated for the wages you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for gas to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills or lost earning potential, 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional burdens you have been put through, which can be anything 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 permanent physical or cognitive difficulties due to 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 spouse from the love and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same counsel and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we sue drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help get you the money you deserve, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who drives intoxicated how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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Lake View, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you deserve. That is why each of our Lake View-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed 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 sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in Lake View and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's selfish behavior did. For knowledgeable, empathetic and tenacious representation, call the Lake View, 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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