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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Lemont, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Lemont, 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 Lemont, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Lemont and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but drunk drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was immediately turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Lemont, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law to getting the best possible outcomes for our clients and seeing them made whole again. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the not-too-distance past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, skill and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Lemont, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the best possible compensation you deserve.

If you were harmed by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your damages may be worth by utilizing 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 Lemont, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, experienced and tenacious 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 fight back against bullies.

Do I Need Lemont, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

The only way to know when to hire a personal injury lawyer is by having a professional examine the details of your accident. If there is no dispute about who is at fault 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 many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate 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 cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. 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 that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. None of that is true, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other entities may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Contact 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 straightforward with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some selfish Lemont, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to jeopardize others' safety just so they can have a good time and skip on paying for an Uber. If you are hurt as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The Lemont, 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 found that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Lemont, 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 abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a person suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is crucial to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Lemont, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting you or someone you care about. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. Trust in the knowledgeable and proficient Lemont, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and start on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Lemont and Illinois

Under 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 it 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

Other instances in which it is a more serious crime are:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident claims different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists are required to 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 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 show is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is key to have dedicated and accomplished Lemont, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Lemont, 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 laws permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal 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 prove:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they served 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the party.

Every 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, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, 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 you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may also owe you compensation. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, 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 suit in Lemont, 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 your accident was caused by someone who earns a living 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. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Lemont, 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 case right away to determine as many liable parties as possible.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, 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 physical strain that is a result of 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 financial recovery 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 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 amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic 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 physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury 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 Uber to and from medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    If your injuries result in 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 effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when sleeping in certain positions to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long 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 impede you and your spouse from the affection and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage others from making the same mistakes. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help win you the money you are owed, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as 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 egregious conduct. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while drunk how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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Lemont, 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 their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Lemont-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not 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 fine-tuning our abilities to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Lemont and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's selfish actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Lemont, 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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