Securing justice after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Lincolnwood, IL

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

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless drivers can still cause incredible devastation. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, your life was unexpectedly capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Lincolnwood, 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 accumulating, you are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the recent past. You do not have to go through this alone. With the compassions, expertise and unshakable legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Lincolnwood and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the great 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

View Location

What Can Lincolnwood, 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 the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, veteran and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to fight back against bullies.

Do I Need Lincolnwood, 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 decide 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 often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit guilt in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would fulfill their duty when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that winds up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a skilled 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 obviously to blame, other parties may be at fault, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Aggressive and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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 directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some careless Lincolnwood, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk just so they party and avoid paying for an Uber. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly compensated with a full recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Lincolnwood, 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 alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Lincolnwood, 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 just .02 percent is sufficient to significantly reduce 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, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three alcohol beverages - a driver experiences decreased coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Lincolnwood, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. You need the accomplished and aggressive Lincolnwood, 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 achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Lincolnwood and Illinois

Pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving 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 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

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.

View More FAQs

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver 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 defendant's negligence.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. 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 negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases you only need to show that the driver was drunk in order to prove the first two elements. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate 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 insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is key to have aggressive and skilled Lincolnwood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the compensation you are owed.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Lincolnwood, 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 called a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal than 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 a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they sold 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 holds a private party — if the person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller places 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, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to 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, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment case, a person may be liable if they permit someone else 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 Lincolnwood, 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

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 hired and directed the driver. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Lincolnwood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of negligence claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident immediately to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is to blame 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

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 amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and in-home nursing. 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer permits 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 transportation 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 compensated for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the compensation 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 mental pain you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the companionship 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 guidance and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help win you the money you are owed, 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 appalling conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who drives drunk is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

Call Burger Law Now

Lincolnwood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies who care more about money than morals. For that reason, each of our Lincolnwood-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently fine-tuning our abilities to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Lincolnwood and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's terrible actions did. For knowledgeable, empathetic and relentless representation, call the Lincolnwood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

Request a Free Consultation


“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

Hurt? Hire Us Today or call (314) 500-HURT

Other Locations

Schema