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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Mundelein, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Mundelein, IL. If a selfish drunk driver harmed you or someone you care about, call the Mundelein, 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 Mundelein and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but drunk drivers can still cause unimaginable damage. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was upended when you did nothing wrong. The Mundelein, 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 you cannot earn a living right now 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, expertise and aggressive legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Mundelein and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until we win your case.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your claim 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 Mundelein, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, accomplished and relentless 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 Mundelein, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every injury case is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. 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, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents 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 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 hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their duty when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you deserve.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Persistent and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Contact 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 honest with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily 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 definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some careless Mundelein, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Mundelein, 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 reported that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Mundelein, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is sufficient to significantly reduce someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, a change in mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - a motorist suffers from lowered coordination, inability to follow movement, difficulty steering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a reckless Mundelein, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you love. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. Trust in the experienced and aggressive Mundelein, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Mundelein and Illinois

According 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
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in 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 Mundelein, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to use reasonable care was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as mental anguish. 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 factors that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. 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 automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. 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 show is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically receive the compensation you deserve; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their profits. That is why it is vital to have committed and talented Mundelein, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the compensation you deserve.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Mundelein, 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to prove:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer 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 driver liable for your injuries was under the age of 21 and became drunk 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, 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 because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be responsible for percentage of your damages. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use a thing 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 Mundelein, 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 was too drunk to drive.

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 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 Mundelein, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every at-fault party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

What Damages Are Available for My Mundelein, 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 be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no amount of money can truly compensate you, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

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 a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and assistive devices such as vehicle improvements. You will also be reimbursed 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer allows you to work, we will also help you receive compensation for the money you would have earned but are no longer able to.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for gas to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the settlement or verdict amount 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 trials you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty sleeping in certain positions to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive challenges because of 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 spouse from the affection 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 they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that increase your compensation, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies According 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 appalling behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Mundelein, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our Mundelein-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly honing our abilities to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Mundelein and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible behavior did. For expert, compassionate and relentless representation, call the Mundelein, 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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