Securing justice after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers River North, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in River North, IL. If a thoughtless drunk driver harmed you or a loved one, call the River North, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in River North and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but careless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, your life was immediately turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The River North, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have committed their careers to helping individuals and families like you get peace of mind and the best possible compensation when they may be feeling like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. 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 in the recent past. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, expertise and forceful legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our River North, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your injuries 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 River North, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, seasoned and tenacious 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 River North, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every injury case is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance company 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, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, 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 obviously to blame, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them 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 grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more challenging, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Skilled and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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 speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether we can add to your claim.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless River North, IL residents still choose to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly compensated with a full recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The River North, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | River North, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to substantially hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a motorist suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to trace moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is imperative to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless River North, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving drunk and harming you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. You need the experienced and skilled River North, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to make sure you recover fair compensation for all of your damages. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to go over your case and begin on the road to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in River North and Illinois

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

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in 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 River North, IL?

Generally, 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 defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  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 you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like lost wages as well as noneconomic damages. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated monetary losses.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that motorists 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 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 under the condition that you can demonstrate that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, 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 critical to have aggressive and skilled River North, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to fight until you get the financial recovery you are owed.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in River North, 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 Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you sustained injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained 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 through security footage, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the patron 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 holds a private party — if the driver responsible for your injuries was under the age of 21 and became drunk at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller sets 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 injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to loss of support or loss of society because of 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 also owe you compensation. 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 if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident claim in River North, 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by a commercial driver, such as 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 River North, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every liable 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 River North, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is at-fault 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can truly compensate you, but the settlement or verdict should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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

  1. Economic damages — This the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is a non-arguable dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. 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 caused a disability that no longer permits 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 Uber 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 repaid for that too.

    If your injuries result in 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and mental hardships you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive challenges the reckless driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident caused lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies 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 dangerous conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives intoxicated is demonstrating a flagrant lack of respect for your safety.

In addition, our River North, IL attorneys have decades of experience winning cases in:

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River North, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on money than morals. For that reason, each of our River North-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has committed their careers to defending the rights of 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 constantly fine-tuning our abilities to secure the best results for our clients in River North and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's irresponsible decisions did. For knowledgeable, empathetic and tenacious representation, call the River North, 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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