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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Richton Park, IL

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

You can follow all the rules of the road, but irresponsible drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was upended through no fault of your own. The Richton 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 piling up, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it in the not-too-distance past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the compassions, knowledge and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have gotten over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Richton Park, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by a selfish drunk driver, discover 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 Richton Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to confront the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Skilled, experienced and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Richton Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every auto wreck is different, 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 do not require much medical treatment, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company 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 on state charges. 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 refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would fulfill 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 if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to say 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 a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a thorough investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing 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 knowledgeable 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. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, or about one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Richton Park, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to jeopardize others' safety just so they party and avoid paying for a taxi. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Richton 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 found that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

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

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is more than .008 percent, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to greatly impair someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, a change in mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a person suffers from lowered coordination, inability to trace moving objects, challenges steering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Richton Park, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you care about. 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. You need the accomplished and aggressive Richton 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 start on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Richton Park and Illinois

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a driving under the influence 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 someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

Other instances in which it is a more serious crime include:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Richton Park, 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 defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as pain and suffering. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. 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 as long as you have evidence that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

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 profits. That is why it is key to have committed and skilled Richton Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Richton Park, 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

Many states have what is called a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal 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 recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to was responsible for your injuries
  • 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 drunk driver was under the age of 21 and became drunk at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money someone can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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 also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment case, 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 it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident case in Richton Park, 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 you were injured by someone who earns a living 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 contracted 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 Richton Park, 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 responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

What Damages Are Available for My Richton Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the theory of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can be expected to make you whole, but the settlement or verdict 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 a firm dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. 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 — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages 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 perform the tasks required of your job, 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 Uber to and from medical 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 costs or lost earning capacity, 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 be anything anything from difficulty turning your head to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive challenges the irresponsible driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the affection and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same guidance and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are intended to punish the defendant and discourage future misbehavior. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help win you the money you deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company because 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 argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

In addition, our Richton Park, IL attorneys have decades of experience winning cases in:

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Richton Park, 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 focus more on think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you deserve. That is why each of our Richton Park-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in Richton Park and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Richton 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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