Securing justice after someone else's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Shorewood, IL

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

You can follow all the rules of the road, but irresponsible drivers can still cause unfathomable damage. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Shorewood, 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 are losing time off work and everything seems different than it was before your accident. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the commitment, knowledge and forceful legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Shorewood and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by a selfish drunk driver, find out how much your injuries 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 Shorewood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, seasoned and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Shorewood, 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 the driver accepts culpability and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 cross-examine the drunk driver in a deposition in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their duty when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are the result of other trauma or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all lies, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance company to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Aggressive and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to 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 quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our communities safer, some reckless Shorewood, IL individuals still decide to jeopardize others' safety because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a complete recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for the harm they have caused. The Shorewood, 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 one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Shorewood, 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 sufficient to significantly impair someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three drinks - a motorist experiences reduced coordination, inability to trace movement, challenges using the steering wheel and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is imperative to follow proper road safety and find other ways of transport if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a dangerous Shorewood, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or a family member. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time is not enough. You need the accomplished and tenacious Shorewood, 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 find out the best way to proceed and begin on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Shorewood and Illinois

Under 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:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred 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

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 Shorewood, IL?

Generally, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must prove the five elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care That the driver 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 your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the defendant's negligence.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as emotional distress. 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 factors that make drunk driving accident claims different 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 have an obligation to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal doctrine 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 taken care of as long as you have evidence that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove 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 receive the financial recovery you deserve; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is critical to have aggressive and talented Shorewood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the financial recovery you deserve.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their irresponsible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers well-versed in Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if anyone else is at fault:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop rules allow you to sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. Illinois' dram shop laws are laid out 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 prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they served was responsible for your injuries
  • That the the patron became inebriated 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 person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Every year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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 a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver was driving someone else's car, the owner may be responsible for a portion of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Shorewood, 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 you were injured by a commercial driver, such as in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may have some liability. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Shorewood, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim right away to determine as many liable parties as possible.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of making one whole. The concept is that when a person or organization injures you, 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 rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can genuinely compensate you, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

Damages in a personal injury claim are broken down into three distinct groups:

  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 emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. You will also receive compensation for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need 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 caused 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 Uber to and from chiropractic 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 bills or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the settlement or verdict amount 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 mental effects on your well-being, which can include anything from difficulty sleeping in certain positions to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the irresponsible driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the affection and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • 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 typically not included 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 help secure you the money you are owed, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because there is no coverage for punitive damages According to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious behavior. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while drunk is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Shorewood, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions 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 Shorewood-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials 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 lawyer skills to get the best results for our clients in Shorewood and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's dangerous actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Shorewood, 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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