Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Skokie, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Skokie, IL. If a reckless drunk driver hurt you or someone you care about, call the Skokie, 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 Skokie and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but reckless drivers can still cause unfathomable damage. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on the weekend, your life was immediately completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Skokie, 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 everything seems different than it was just a short while ago. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, knowledge and unshakable legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have gotten more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Skokie and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were harmed by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover 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 Skokie, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. But, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, veteran and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Skokie, 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 accepts liability and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, it probably will not be too difficult to get fair compensation. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to significantly add value to your claim:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize the law in order to get you the results you deserve.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their duty when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even if the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or they only have to pay for some of your medical care. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a knowledgeable 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 obviously to blame, other entities may be at fault, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a thorough investigation and identify all liable parties. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • 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 motivates the insurance company to try to minimize your injuries as much as possible. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only fight hard to get you the compensation you need and are owed, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk 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.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for almost a third of all auto related fatalities. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some careless Skokie, IL residents still decide to put others at risk just so they party and avoid paying for a rideshare. If you are hurt as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Skokie, 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 a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Skokie, 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 you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three alcohol beverages - a motorist experiences decreased coordination, reduced ability to follow movement, difficulty using the steering wheel and a slower response to emergency situations. It is vital to follow proper road safety and find other means of getting home if you have had too much to drink. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Skokie, IL driver making a selfish decision, driving while intoxicated and harming you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the experienced and talented Skokie, 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 begin on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Skokie 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 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 Skokie, IL?

Typically, when you are proving negligence in a personal injury claim, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers must prove 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 driver did not do what they should have in order to avoid injuring you.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's negligence was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as pain and suffering. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident cases 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 other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. 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 principle of negligence per se means that anyone who breaks the law 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 have evidence that the driver was inebriated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is key to have aggressive and experienced Skokie, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Skokie, 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 bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are explained in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal than 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 prove:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they sold to caused the drunk driving accident
  • 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 supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets 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, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused loss of support or loss of society because of the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. In a negligent entrustment case, 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 that would create an unreasonable risk of harm to others. In a drunk driving accident suit in Skokie, 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 you were injured by a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. 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 Skokie, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive 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 Skokie, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is responsible for your injuries, 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 simple fender-bender, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can truly compensate you, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

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 an impartial dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as braces. 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 physically able to work. If your injury caused 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 Uber to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated 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 emotional pain you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty bending over to tie your shoes to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive difficulties because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you once had.
    • 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 meant to punish the drunk driver and discourage future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help win you the money you deserve, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as there is no coverage for punitive damages Pursuant 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 conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Skokie, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the compensation you are owed. For that reason, each of our Skokie-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their education and abilities to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on 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 maximum compensation for our clients in Skokie and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For skillful, passionate and tenacious representation, call the Skokie, 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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