Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Northlake, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Northlake, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else did not respect your safety and got behind the wheel drunk, call the Northlake, 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 Northlake 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 thoughtless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Northlake, 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 you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, knowledge and forceful legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Northlake 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 great financial recovery you deserve.

If you were hurt by an irresponsible 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 Northlake, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Talented, seasoned and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

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

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to determine 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 an appointment with your primary care physician, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause accidents 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 drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 utilize the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize 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 if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are pre-existing or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other parties may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation 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 need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Skilled and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Reach out to 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 Common is Drunk Driving in Northlake, IL and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be pretty 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 in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some reckless Northlake, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to jeopardize others' safety while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are harmed as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Northlake, 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 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Northlake, 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 considerably hinder someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - someone experiences reduced coordination, inability to trace moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is key to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Northlake, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and harming 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. You need the knowledgeable and tenacious Northlake, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to get you the full financial recovery you deserve. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and start on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Northlake 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 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 another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to avoid harming 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 accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident cases different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se means 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 demonstrate 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 imperative to have committed and skilled Northlake, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Northlake, 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 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 less strict 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 someone underage. You just have to prove:

  • That the establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society due to 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 some of your damages. According to the theory of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to use something which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Northlake, 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who works as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Northlake, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of negligence claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your case immediately to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization injures you, 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, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can truly make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of justice.

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 an impartial dollar figure. 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 treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will receive the full amount of the wages you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury 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 Uber to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills or lost earning potential, 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 hardships you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty sleeping in certain positions to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive difficulties because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Pursuant 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 behavior. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who drives intoxicated knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Northlake, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies who care more about their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our Northlake-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly fine-tuning our abilities to get maximum compensation for our clients in Northlake and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Northlake, 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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