Making you whole again after someone else's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Ravenswood, IL

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

You can follow all the rules of the road, but careless drivers can still cause unimaginable devastation. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, your life was immediately turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Ravenswood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have pledged their lives to helping people in similar circumstances get justice and maximum compensation when they may be feeling like there was no way out. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you you cannot earn a living right now and everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the dedication, expertise and unshakable legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Ravenswood, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were hurt by a selfish drunk driver, see how much your damages 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 Ravenswood, 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 full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, experienced and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Ravenswood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics 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 often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit guilt in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 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. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a irresponsible decision that winds up injuring you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all lies, and a knowledgeable 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 be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is crucial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more serious your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes calculating the full value of 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 knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

How Common is Drunk Driving in Ravenswood, IL and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Ravenswood, IL residents still decide to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are injured as a result, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a maximum recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Ravenswood, 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 found that almost 20 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.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Ravenswood, 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 hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - someone experiences decreased coordination, inability to track moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is crucial to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you have been drinking. 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 thoughtless Ravenswood, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case is not enough. Trust in the accomplished and tenacious Ravenswood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and start on the path to feeling that true justice was achieved.

Drunk Driving Laws in Ravenswood 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 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 Ravenswood, 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 act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's negligence.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident cases different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. 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 you only need to show that the driver was drunk in order to prove the first two elements. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically receive the compensation you are owed; 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 imperative to have tenacious and skilled Ravenswood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the compensation you deserve.

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

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places 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, 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, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment claim, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in Ravenswood, 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

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, you may be able to make a claim against the company that hired and directed the driver. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Ravenswood, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. 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 Ravenswood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is to blame for your damages, 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can truly make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

You can typically recover three types 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 a non-arguable dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. 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 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 transportation to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need to be reimbursed for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the recovery 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 emotional 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 exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive impairments after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. When we sue drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help win you the money you deserve, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as punitive damages are not covered under insurance 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, our experience tells us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Ravenswood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies who care more about their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Ravenswood-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly fine-tuning our negotiation and trial skills to get maximum compensation for our clients in Ravenswood and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible behavior did. For accomplished, empathetic and tenacious representation, call the Ravenswood, 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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