Securing justice after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Oak Lawn, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Oak Lawn, 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 Oak Lawn, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Oak Lawn 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 put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was unexpectedly completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The Oak Lawn, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their careers to helping individuals and families like you get a sense of healing and full financial recoveries when they may be feeling like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. 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 before your accident. You do not have to go through this alone. With the dedication, skill and aggressive legal counsel 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 Oak Lawn, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by a reckless drunk driver, find out how much your claim may be worth by utilizing our free personal injury calculator.

Chicago

Chicago

22 W Washington St
Suite 1500 A
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (312) 500-4878

View Location

What Can Oak Lawn, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, accomplished and aggressive 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 Oak Lawn, 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 do not require much medical treatment, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. 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 injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit liability in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While a knowledgeable 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 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. Ideally insurance companies would realize their duty when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that ends up injuring 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 they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, 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 obviously at fault, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fairly compensate you.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more significant 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. Aggressive 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Call 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 Oak Lawn, IL and the U.S.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily declined since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some careless Oak Lawn, IL individuals still choose to jeopardize others' safety while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a full recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Oak Lawn, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported 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 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Oak Lawn, 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 even .02 percent is sufficient to significantly reduce someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three drinks - a motorist suffers from reduced coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is imperative to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and find other ways of transport if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the catastrophic consequences of a reckless Oak Lawn, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving drunk and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the experienced and talented Oak Lawn, 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 discuss your options and start on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Oak Lawn 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 driving under the influence 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 lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

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.

View More FAQs

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  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 defendant's breach of duty.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as pain and suffering. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. 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 theory of negligence per se states that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. 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 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 critical to have dedicated and accomplished Oak Lawn, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Oak Lawn, IL?

The driver is clearly to blame for their irresponsible 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

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 someone underage. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they sold to caused your injuries
  • That the the patron became inebriated 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 not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller sets 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 injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

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. In a negligent entrustment case, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Oak Lawn, 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 had had to much too drink.

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, the driver's employer may have some liability. 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 Oak Lawn, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive 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 Oak Lawn, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, you should receive a financial recovery that is equal to the economic loss and physical pain their negligence put you through. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can be expected to compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

You can typically recover three types 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 an objective dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also receive compensation for any medical expenses 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 transportation to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and mental effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that increase your compensation, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially dangerous conduct. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

Call Burger Law Now

Oak Lawn, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want 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 Oak Lawn-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly fine-tuning our abilities to get the best results for our clients in Oak Lawn and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous decisions did. For knowledgeable, compassionate and relentless representation, call the Oak Lawn, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

Request a Free Consultation


“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

Hurt? Hire Us Today or call (314) 500-HURT

Other Locations

Schema