Securing justice after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Park Ridge, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Park Ridge, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver hurt you or someone you care about, call the Park Ridge, 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 Park Ridge and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life in an instant. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, your life was immediately completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The Park Ridge, 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 are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it before your accident. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the dedication, skill and tenacious legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Park Ridge, 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 thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your damages 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 Park Ridge, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, experienced and relentless 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 Park Ridge, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every auto wreck is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who injure people will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company in order to not face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While a capable 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 their investigative and litigation skills in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company is not being fair. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, 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 were not actually caused by the accident or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. Those are all lies, and an accomplished 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 clearly at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more grave your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. Persistent 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be pretty sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some reckless Park Ridge, IL residents still make the irresponsible decision 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 are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held responsible for what they did. The Park Ridge, 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 almost one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Park Ridge, 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 enough to considerably impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences decreased coordination, inability to follow movement, difficulty maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is key to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a thoughtless Park Ridge, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving drunk and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case does not make you whole again. You need the savvy and tenacious Park Ridge, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Park Ridge and Illinois

Pursuant 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:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • An accident occurred 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 subsequent violations are Class X Felonies.

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to use reasonable care.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as pain and suffering. 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 specifically states that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal theory of negligence per se stipulates 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 prove is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically receive the financial recovery you are owed; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is vital to have dedicated and skilled Park Ridge, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Park Ridge, IL?

A driver is not the only one who may be held responsible in your case. Other third parties include:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. 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 show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to caused 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment 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 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 responsible for a portion of your damages. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to 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 suit in Park Ridge, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by someone who earns a living as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. 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 Park Ridge, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every at-fault party is held accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Civil 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 injuries, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. In many car accident claims, for example a a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying for lost wages, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience that is a result of rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no financial recovery can be expected to compensate you, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

There are three categories of damages in a personal injury claim:

  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 unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, 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 able to work while you recovered. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer permits you to perform the tasks required of your job, you will also be compensated for the money 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 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.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical costs 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 tribulations you have been put through, which can be anything anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive challenges because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other 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 counsel and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help get you the money you deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as there is no coverage for punitive damages 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 egregious conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives drunk is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

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

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Park Ridge, 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 focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Park Ridge-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly sharpening our lawyer skills to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Park Ridge and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's selfish decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Park Ridge, 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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