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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Oak Park, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Oak Park, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver hurt you or someone you love, call the Oak Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Oak Park and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still cause unfathomable devastation. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Saturday, your life was immediately turned upside down through no fault of your own. The Oak Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law to getting the best possible outcomes for our clients and seeing them made whole again. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the recent past. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, skill and forceful legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Oak Park and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees 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 Oak Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, seasoned and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

At Burger Law, we have over 30 years of experience handling all types of auto accident claims and getting full compensation for our clients.

Do I Need Oak Park, 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 a consultation with one. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions 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 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 are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may not want to admit guilt in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. 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 their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would realize their commitment 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 is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to say 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 deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Skilled and compassionate 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 for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be direct 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 there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one death in just under an hour. 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 organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some selfish Oak Park, IL individuals still decide to disregard others' well-being because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Oak Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Oak Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of even .02 percent is sufficient to substantially impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three alcohol beverages - a motorist suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to follow moving objects, challenges using the steering wheel and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is crucial to exercise great caution and let someone else take the wheel if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a dangerous Oak Park, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or someone you love. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. Trust in the savvy and skilled Oak Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to secure the financial settlement you and your family need and are owed. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and begin on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Oak Park and Illinois

Under 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 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 resulted in bodily harm

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.

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

Typically, 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 defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to use reasonable care was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as pain and suffering. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained 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 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled 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 means that anyone who breaks the law is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically under the condition that you have evidence that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate 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 bottom line. That is why it is vital to have tenacious and talented Oak Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Oak Park, IL?

The driver is clearly liable for their selfish decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers experienced with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if anyone else is at fault:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor 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 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for 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 driver liable for your injuries was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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 person making a claim for the accident, 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 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 Oak Park, 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by a commercial driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. 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 Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every liable party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a rear-end accident, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that is a result of rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one has permanent disability, no financial recovery can truly compensate you, but the financial recovery 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 accident. It is an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also be paid for any medical expenses that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay 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 earn a living as you once did, you will also be compensated for the salary you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for gas to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical bills or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the compensation adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 pain when turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the accident caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family 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 drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. When we sue drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as 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 dangerous behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while under the influence is demonstrating a shameless lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Oak Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies focus more on money than morals. For that reason, each of our Oak Park-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our negotiation and trial skills to get maximum compensation for our clients in Oak Park and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Oak Park, 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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