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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Lockport, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Lockport, 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 Lockport, 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 Lockport and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but irresponsible drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or lazily driving around on the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Lockport, 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 may not be able to work because of your injuries and everything seems different than it was before your accident. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, expertise and aggressive 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 that the vulnerable in Lockport and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by an irresponsible drunk driver, see 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 Lockport, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, experienced and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

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

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

Every auto wreck is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions 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 injure people 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 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 hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all lies, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially beneficial when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. Persistent 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. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some reckless Lockport, IL individuals still choose to put others at risk just so they can have a good time and skip on paying for a taxi. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for breaking the rules. The Lockport, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

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, over a third tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Lockport, 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 significantly reduce someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences decreased coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, difficulty using the steering wheel and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative 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 experience the devastating consequences of a reckless Lockport, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving drunk and hurting you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the accomplished and aggressive Lockport, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and start on the road to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Lockport and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a drunk driving 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 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 later violations are Class X Felonies.

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

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must demonstrate the following five elements:

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant 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 your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  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 the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning you do not have to prove the driver owed you a duty of care, as it is already stipulated under the law. Secondly, the legal philosophy 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 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; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their bottom line. That is why it is critical to have dedicated and skilled Lockport, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Lockport, 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 referred to as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law easier to apply 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 someone underage. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • 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 driver at fault for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment 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 resulted in 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, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident case in Lockport, 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 had had to much too drink.

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, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

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

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, 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 simple fender-bender, that might mean paying for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience that is a result of rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can be expected to make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

You can typically recover three types of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your accident. It is an unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also receive compensation 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 physically able to work. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the salary 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be repaid for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical costs or lost earning capacity, 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and mental burdens you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the companionship and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same counsel and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage 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 secure you the money you are owed, but it also makes the insurance company nervous 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 argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

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

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Lockport, 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 money than morals. For that reason, each of our Lockport-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their lives to defending the rights of 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 abilities to get maximum compensation for our clients in Lockport and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's selfish decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Lockport, 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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