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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers North Aurora, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in North Aurora, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver hurt you or a family member, call the North Aurora, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in North Aurora and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but reckless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or just running errands, your life was immediately turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The North Aurora, 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 not-too-distance past. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, expertise and aggressive 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 gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in North Aurora and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were harmed by an irresponsible drunk driver, see 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 North Aurora, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, veteran and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to fight back against bullies.

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

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. 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, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people will probably be prosecuted, 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 their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster 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, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are pre-existing or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly to blame, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Tenacious and knowledgeable 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily declined in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some selfish North Aurora, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to put others at risk while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. 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 breaking the rules. The North Aurora, 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 almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | North Aurora, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to greatly hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three alcohol beverages - someone experiences lowered coordination, inability to track moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to follow proper road safety and find other ways of transport if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the terrible consequences of a dangerous North Aurora, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving while intoxicated and hurting 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. Trust in the experienced and proficient North Aurora, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and start on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in North Aurora and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving 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
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe include:

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

Generally, 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 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 the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's breach of duty.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like medical bills 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 dictates that motorists are required to 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 stipulates 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 as long as you have evidence that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have committed and experienced North Aurora, 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 North Aurora, 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 permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal 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 demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they served caused the drunk driving accident
  • 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the person who caused your accident was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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 incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused 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 also owe you compensation. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to 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 case in North Aurora, 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 your accident was caused by someone who works as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that hired and directed the driver. 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 North Aurora, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every negligent 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 North Aurora, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the doctrine of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is to blame for your injuries, you should be compensated to the extent that returns you to your state before the other person's negligence. In many car accident claims, for example a simple fender-bender, 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 lose a loved one, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the settlement or verdict 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 the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, physical therapy appointments and in-home care. You will also be paid 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 permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 Uber to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical costs 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 emotional tribulations 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 accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in 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 prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same counsel and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the drunk driver 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 compensation, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a brazen disregard your safety.

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

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North Aurora, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. That is why each of our North Aurora-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us 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 consistently honing our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in North Aurora and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the North Aurora, 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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