Making you whole again after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers McHenry County, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in McHenry County, IL. If a reckless drunk driver hurt you or a loved one, call the McHenry County, 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 McHenry County and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized when you did nothing wrong. The McHenry County, 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 before your accident. You do not have to go through this alone. With the dedication, skill and unshakable legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in McHenry County 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 hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your injuries may be worth by filling out 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 McHenry County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, seasoned and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

Do I Need McHenry County, 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 there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. 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 injuries are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit liability in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 obtain key evidence in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize their obligation 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 convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. None of that is true, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a detailed investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. 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 devalue your injuries as much as possible. Skilled 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some reckless McHenry County, IL individuals still decide to jeopardize others' safety just so they party and skip on paying for an Uber. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a full recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for what they did. The McHenry County, 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 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | McHenry County, 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 only .02 percent is enough to significantly impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a person suffers from reduced 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 key to exercise great caution and have a back up plan if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous McHenry County, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and harming you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case does not make you whole again. Trust in the experienced and skilled McHenry County, 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 healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in McHenry County 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:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and subsequent violations are Class X Felonies.

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's failure to use reasonable care is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as emotional distress. 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 cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that drivers are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se states that anyone who breaks the law automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are taken care of under the condition that you have evidence 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.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically be awarded the compensation you are owed; the truth is that many drunk drivers try to avoid taking responsibility and their insurance company will do what they can to help them. That is why it is critical to have passionate and experienced McHenry County, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the compensation you are owed.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in McHenry County, 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 bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were 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 someone underage. You just have to prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to 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 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 private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $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, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit someone else 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 McHenry County, 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 a commercial driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. 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 McHenry County, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every at-fault party is held accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is responsible for your damages, 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

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 a non-arguable dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, 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 — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury caused a disability that no longer permits 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 transportation to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of future medical expenses 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 include anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive difficulties due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies 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 dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives intoxicated is demonstrating a blatant disregard your safety.

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

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McHenry County, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you deserve. That is why each of our McHenry County-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our lawyer skills to get great recoveries for our clients in McHenry County and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For expert, passionate and tenacious representation, call the McHenry County, 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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