Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Northbrook, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Northbrook, IL. If a reckless drunk driver injured you or a family member, call the Northbrook, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Northbrook and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless drivers can still cause unfathomable devastation. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Northbrook, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have devoted their careers to helping individuals and families in similar circumstances get a sense of healing and great compensation when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it before your accident. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the commitment, expertise and forceful legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Northbrook and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. 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 injured by a careless drunk driver, find out 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 Northbrook, 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, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Talented, seasoned and relentless 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 Northbrook, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every crash is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their obligation when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma 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.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle 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 crucial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Skilled 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact 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 it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some careless Northbrook, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Northbrook, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Northbrook, 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 greatly hinder 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, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three drinks - someone suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to trace moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the devastating consequences of a dangerous Northbrook, IL motorist making a selfish decision, driving drunk and hurting you or someone you love. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. You need the accomplished and proficient Northbrook, 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 find out the best way to proceed and begin on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Northbrook and Illinois

Pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a drunk driving 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 resulted in 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 it is a more serious crime include:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's failure to use reasonable care was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like damage to your car 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 factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists have an obligation 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 means 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 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; 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 critical to have committed and experienced Northbrook, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their selfish decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers well-versed in Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained 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 liable. You just have to prove:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller places 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 injured party, 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 the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to file a suit against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person 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 Northbrook, 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 you were injured by someone who earns a living 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. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Northbrook, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of cases and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your accident right away to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of making one 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 simple fender-bender, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the financial recovery should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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 accident. It is an unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. You will also be reimbursed for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need 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 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 physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical bills 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 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and mental burdens you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the accident 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 affection and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage 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 help secure you the money you deserve, but it also makes the insurance company nervous because punitive damages are not covered under insurance 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 appalling conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives intoxicated is demonstrating a brazen lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Northbrook, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about money than morals. For that reason, each of our Northbrook-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their lives to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on 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 fine-tuning our abilities to deliver the best results for our clients in Northbrook and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's dangerous actions did. For skillful, empathetic and relentless representation, call the Northbrook, 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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