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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Schaumburg, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Schaumburg, IL. If a reckless drunk driver injured you or someone you care about, call the Schaumburg, 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 Schaumburg 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 thoughtless drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were driving home from dinner or just running errands, your life was immediately capsized when you did nothing wrong. The Schaumburg, 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 keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it in the recent past. You do not have to go through this alone. With the dedication, expertise and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Schaumburg, 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 reckless drunk driver, discover how much your injuries may be worth by using our free personal injury calculator.

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What Can Schaumburg, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, only a personal injury lawyer can get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, seasoned and aggressive 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 Schaumburg, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

The only way to know when to hire a personal injury lawyer is by having a professional examine the details of your case. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. 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 accidents will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit liability in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. 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 cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that winds up injuring 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 pre-existing or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. None of that is true, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may be at fault, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more grave your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of 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 ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk for a candid conversation with 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.

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 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common since 1982, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some reckless Schaumburg, IL residents 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 are owed a full financial recovery and the careless driver needs to be held responsible for the harm they have caused. The Schaumburg, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Schaumburg, 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 greatly impede someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - a driver experiences decreased coordination, inability to follow movement, difficulty steering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Schaumburg, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving drunk and hurting you or someone you love. 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. Trust in the experienced and proficient Schaumburg, 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 start on the road to recovery.

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

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • 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 subsequent violations are Class X Felonies.

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Schaumburg, 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 defendant did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  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 accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car 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 the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. 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 philosophy of negligence per se states that anyone who violates a state statute automatically did not act in a reasonable manner to avoid injuring you. 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 show at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically be awarded the compensation you are owed; 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 dedicated and accomplished Schaumburg, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

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

The driver is clearly liable for their reckless decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers familiar with 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 permit you to 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 demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they sold to caused your injuries
  • 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 driver at fault for your injuries was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the party.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much a establishment or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, 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. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident claim in Schaumburg, 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 Schaumburg, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. 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 Schaumburg, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the doctrine of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is responsible 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, that might mean paying for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

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 an impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, chiropractic 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 — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    In the case of future medical bills 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 refers to 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 going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained life-long physical or cognitive challenges due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that increase your compensation, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as there is no coverage for punitive damages According 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 behavior. At Burger Law, we believe that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Schaumburg, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the financial recovery you deserve. That is why each of our Schaumburg-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to standing up for 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 sharpening our abilities to secure great recoveries for our clients in Schaumburg and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Schaumburg, 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!”

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