Securing justice after someone else's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers McHenry, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in McHenry, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver harmed you or someone you love, call the McHenry, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in McHenry and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, your life was unexpectedly completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The McHenry, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have devoted their lives to helping individuals and families like you get a sense of healing and maximum compensation when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills are piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now 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 dedication, expertise and forceful 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 won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in McHenry and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the best possible compensation you deserve.

If you were harmed by a selfish 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

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What Can McHenry, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Skilled, seasoned and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we have over 30 years of experience handling all types of auto accident claims and getting full compensation for our clients.

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

Every accident is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries 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 a capable 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their duty when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that winds up injuring 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 were not actually caused by the accident 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 multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries are severe. 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. Skilled and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call 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 you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some reckless McHenry, IL individuals still choose to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are injured as a result, you deserve to be fairly compensated with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The McHenry, 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 one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, over a third tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | McHenry, 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 substantially impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three drinks - a motorist experiences decreased coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to exercise great caution and let someone else take the wheel if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a thoughtless McHenry, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving drunk and harming you or a family member. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. You need the knowledgeable and skilled McHenry, 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 recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in McHenry and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving 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 later violations are Class X Felonies.

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

Typically, 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 needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not do what they should have in order to avoid injuring you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's negligence was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. It is important to mention 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 cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. 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 principle of negligence per se stipulates 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 as long as 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 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 key to have passionate and skilled McHenry, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in McHenry, IL?

The driver is clearly liable for their selfish 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 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 the accident caused you injuries. 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 the drunk driver did not have to show significant impairment when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to show:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they sold to was responsible for 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 under the age of 21 and became intoxicated at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident suit in McHenry, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who earns a living as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

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

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

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization 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 for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain that is a result of rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

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

  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 unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also be paid for any medical expenses that will arise 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 disability that no longer allows 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 transportation to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    In the case of future medical costs or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the recovery adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 emotional hardships you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you grew accustomed 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 typically not included in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that increase your compensation, but it also makes the insurance company nervous 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 can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who drives drunk is demonstrating a blatant disregard your safety.

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

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McHenry, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our McHenry-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their lives to defending the rights 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 fine-tuning our abilities to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in McHenry and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the McHenry, 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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