Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Markham, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Markham, IL. If a selfish drunk driver harmed you or someone you love, call the Markham, 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 Markham and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but thoughtless 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 just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Markham, 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 everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. You do not have to go through this alone. With the dedication, skill and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have secured more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Markham, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were hurt 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 Markham, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, seasoned and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice 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 Markham, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every accident is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company 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 their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. Ideally insurance companies would fulfill their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are pre-existing or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. Those are all lies, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • 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 a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a detailed investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. 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 incur future medical expenses. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Aggressive and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Reach out to 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 it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our roads safer, some reckless Markham, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk just so they party and skip on paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a complete recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for breaking the rules. The Markham, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found 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 over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Markham, 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 greatly reduce someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, a change in mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a driver suffers from reduced coordination, inability to follow moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Markham, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. Trust in the experienced and proficient Markham, 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 go over your case and begin on the path to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Markham 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 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 lead to bodily harm

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.

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  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 defendant's breach of duty is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as mental anguish. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

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 people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle have an obligation 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 theory of negligence per se means that anyone who breaks the law is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was inebriated. 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 insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have aggressive and accomplished Markham, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Markham, IL?

The driver is clearly to blame for their horrible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers familiar with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if anyone else is at fault:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 the establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they served 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 not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the party.

Annually, 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, those limits are $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 because of 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. In a negligent entrustment case, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in Markham, 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 you were injured by someone who earns a living as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Markham, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim immediately to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your damages, 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 rear-end accident, that might mean paying for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the pain that is a result of rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

There are three categories of damages in a personal injury claim:

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is an impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, medications, physical therapy appointments and in-home care. You will also be paid for any medical bills that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer allows you to work, you will also be compensated for the money you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for Uber to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration 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 be anything anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that maximize your compensation, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as punitive damages are not covered under insurance 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 conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives under the influence is demonstrating a brazen disregard your safety.

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

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Markham, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the money you are owed. That is why each of our Markham-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their lives 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 negotiation and trial skills to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Markham and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's selfish decisions did. For expert, passionate and tenacious representation, call the Markham, 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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