Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Palatine, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Palatine, 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 Palatine, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Palatine and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

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 on your way to a sports game or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized through no fault of your own. The Palatine, 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 piling up, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, skill and aggressive legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Palatine, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the best possible financial recovery you deserve.

If you were hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, find out how much your injuries may be worth by using 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 Palatine, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Talented, veteran 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 Palatine, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident 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, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • 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 drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. Ideally insurance companies would realize their obligation when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, 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. None of that is true, and an accomplished drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more complex, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Aggressive 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some reckless Palatine, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to put others at risk while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be justly compensated with a full recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Palatine, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will fight to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Palatine, 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 considerably reduce someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, a change in mood and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a driver suffers from decreased coordination, reduced ability to trace movement, difficulty using the steering wheel 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 are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a dangerous Palatine, IL motorist disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a family member. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the accomplished and skilled Palatine, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and start on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Palatine 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 it becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • 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 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.

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Palatine, 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 your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also 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 required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal doctrine 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 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 injured you.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; the truth is that many drunk drivers try to avoid taking responsibility and their insurance company will do what they can to help them. That is why it is key to have passionate and experienced Palatine, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the compensation you are owed.

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

The driver is clearly liable for their reckless decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers well-versed in 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 bar or restaurant 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 demonstrate:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they sold 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 of legal age to drink and became drunk at the private residence.

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 incurring damages, 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 liable for a portion of your damages. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable 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 Palatine, 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 your accident was caused by a commercial driver, such as 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. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Palatine, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive 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 Palatine, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is to blame for your damages, 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, follow-up doctors' appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a little while. 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 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 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 treatment the day of the injury, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. 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 resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, 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 deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the compensation adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 pain you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive challenges due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the companionship and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that maximize your compensation, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as 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 egregious conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives drunk is demonstrating a flagrant disregard your safety.

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

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Palatine, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our Palatine-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently honing our lawyer skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Palatine and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's selfish behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Palatine, 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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