Making you whole again after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Niles, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Niles, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver injured you or a loved one, call the Niles, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Niles and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but drunk drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, your life was unexpectedly turned upside down through no fault of your own. The Niles, 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 piling up, you are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it before your accident. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, knowledge and aggressive 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 for our Niles, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a selfish drunk driver, see 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 Niles, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, accomplished and persistent 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 Niles, 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 claim. If there is no dispute about who is at fault 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 other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. 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. None of that is true, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may be at fault, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital 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 more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance company to try to devalue your damages as much as possible. Persistent and dedicated 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. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily been on the decline in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related deaths. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some careless Niles, IL residents still make the terrible decision to jeopardize others' safety just so they can have a good time and skip on paying for a taxi. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly compensated with a complete recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Niles, 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 found that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

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

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is more than .008 percent, a level of only .02 percent is sufficient to substantially hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. 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 inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - a driver experiences reduced coordination, inability to trace moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to emergency situations. It is key to exercise great caution and find other means of getting home if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Niles, IL driver not caring about the rules, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case is not enough. You need the accomplished and aggressive Niles, 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 discuss your options and start on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Niles and Illinois

Pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a it 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 the class of felony increases include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant 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 breach of duty caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists are legally compelled 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 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 the first two elements. 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.

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 vital to have aggressive and accomplished Niles, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the financial recovery you are owed.

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

A driver is not the only one who may be held accountable in your claim. Other third parties include:

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 licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained 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 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 demonstrate:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for your injuries
  • That the the patron got drunk because of the alcohol that was sold to him

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the driver liable for your injuries was under the age of 21 and became intoxicated at the party.

Each year 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, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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 was driving someone else's car, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit a third person 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 claim in Niles, 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, such as 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:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Niles, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every negligent 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 Niles, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is to blame for your damages, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

Damages in a personal injury claim are broken down into three distinct groups:

  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 urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also be reimbursed for any medical bills that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the 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 allows you to work, you will also be compensated for the wages 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 medical appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, 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 trials you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty turning your head to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the reckless driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also makes the insurance company nervous 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 seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a blatant disregard your safety.

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

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Niles, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies who care more about money than morals. For that reason, each of our Niles-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials 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 Niles and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's horrible behavior did. For accomplished, passionate and relentless representation, call the Niles, 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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