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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Lincoln Park, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Lincoln Park, 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 Lincoln Park, 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 Lincoln Park and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Saturday, your life was unexpectedly upended through no fault of your own. The Lincoln Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their careers to helping people like you get justice and great compensation when they may be feeling like there was no way out. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was in the recent past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the dedication, expertise and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Lincoln Park and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your injuries 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 Lincoln Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, accomplished and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know the ins-and-outs of every type of auto accident claim and know how to get great compensation.

Do I Need Lincoln Park, 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 the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While a knowledgeable 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 criminal court. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. Ideally insurance companies would realize their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that winds up injuring you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other parties may be at fault, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your damages as much as possible. Tenacious and dedicated 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Call 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 direct with you about whether we can add to your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some reckless Lincoln Park, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to jeopardize others' safety while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Lincoln Park, 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 reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Lincoln Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is enough to greatly impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges steering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to exercise great caution and find other means of getting home if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Lincoln Park, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. Trust in the savvy and talented Lincoln Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and begin on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Lincoln Park and Illinois

Pursuant 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 driving under the influence becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver 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 the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's negligence is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, 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 associated 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 motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal doctrine of negligence per se means 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 show 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 insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have committed and talented Lincoln Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and get the best results in your claim.

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

Many states have what is known as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 prove:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee 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 drunk driver was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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 injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to 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 also owe you compensation. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to use something which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident claim in Lincoln Park, 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 a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that hired and directed the driver. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Lincoln Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every negligent party is held accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is responsible 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, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the amount 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 the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also be paid for any medical expenses that we expect to arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer permits you to earn a living as you once did, 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 physical therapy appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical bills 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 trials you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive difficulties due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that increase your financial recovery, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as there is no coverage for punitive damages According to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is demonstrating a brazen disregard your safety.

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

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Lincoln Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the money you deserve. For that reason, each of our Lincoln Park-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their lives to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our negotiation and trial skills to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Lincoln Park and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Lincoln Park, 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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