Making you whole again after someone else's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Oswego, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Oswego, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver hurt you or a loved one, call the Oswego, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Oswego and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but drunk drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on the weekend, your life was unexpectedly turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Oswego, 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 keep coming in, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the compassions, expertise and unshakable legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have secured over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Oswego and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until we win your case.

If you were harmed 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 Oswego, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Talented, experienced and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

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

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

The only way to know when to hire a personal injury lawyer is by having a professional examine the details of your accident. 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 often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit fault in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. 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 obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize their duty when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the money you deserve.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct 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 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 difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Aggressive and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are 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 honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

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 consistently become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our communities safer, some reckless Oswego, IL residents still make the terrible decision to jeopardize others' safety 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 the harm they have caused. The Oswego, 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 alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Oswego, 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 enough to considerably impair someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three alcohol beverages - a driver suffers from lowered coordination, inability to trace moving objects, difficulty steering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a thoughtless Oswego, IL motorist making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting 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 does not make you whole again. Trust in the savvy and aggressive Oswego, 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 being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Oswego and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a it becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred 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 it is a more serious crime are:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Oswego, 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 driver was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not do what they should have in order to avoid injuring you.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's breach of duty is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as emotional distress. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot receive compensation for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. 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 stipulates that anyone who violates a state statute is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases the first two elements are granted automatically under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically be awarded the financial recovery you deserve; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have tenacious and talented Oswego, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the financial recovery you deserve.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Oswego, 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

Many states have what is called a dram shop rule, under which you may be able 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 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 prove:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the driver responsible for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became drunk at the private residence.

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 person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to 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 be liable for percentage of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, someone may owe you damages if they permit a third person to engage in an activity 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 Oswego, 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 your accident was caused by someone who works as a driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Oswego, 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 Compensation Can I Recover for My Oswego, 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 is responsible 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 rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the pain that is a result of 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 truly compensate you, 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 objective dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be paid 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 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 invest in childcare while you were recovering, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    In the case of future medical expenses 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 emotional effects on your well-being, which can include anything from pain when 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 lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help win you the money you are owed, 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 can argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Oswego, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Oswego-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not 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 regularly sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Oswego and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's terrible actions did. For skillful, compassionate and aggressive representation, call the Oswego, 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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