Making you whole again after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Matteson, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Matteson, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else broke the rules of the road and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Matteson, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Matteson and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Matteson, 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 keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the recent past. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the dedication, skill and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Matteson and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by a reckless drunk driver, discover 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 Matteson, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, experienced and tenacious 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 Matteson, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every auto wreck is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If the driver accepts liability and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may not want to admit liability in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While a good 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 their investigative and litigation skills in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are pre-existing or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously liable, other parties 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. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing 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 fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, 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 you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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 every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some selfish Matteson, IL individuals still decide to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The Matteson, 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 states that almost one-fifth 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.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Matteson, 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 enough to greatly reduce someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three drinks - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, inability to track movement, difficulty steering and not being able to respond in enough time to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Matteson, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you love. 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. Trust in the accomplished and proficient Matteson, 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 go over your case and begin on the road to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Matteson 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 DUI 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 lead to 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 Matteson, 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 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 driver's negligence caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists have an obligation 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 philosophy of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute 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 duty of care and breach of duty. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove 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 passionate and experienced Matteson, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the financial recovery you are owed.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Matteson, IL?

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is known as 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 explained 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 bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money someone 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 a family member's wrongful death.

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 philosophy of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident claim in Matteson, 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 you were injured 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 contracted and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Matteson, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of negligence claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your case immediately to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one 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, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

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 figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, medications, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also receive compensation 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, 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 send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be repaid 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 refers to 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 going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive challenges after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the affection and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that maximize your compensation, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because 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 may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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Matteson, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies focus more on money than morals. For that reason, each of our Matteson-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in Matteson and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous actions did. For accomplished, compassionate and tenacious representation, call the Matteson, 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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