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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers South Elgin, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in South Elgin, IL. If you or a loved one was injured because someone else did not respect your safety and got behind the wheel drunk, call the South Elgin, 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 South Elgin and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but reckless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on the weekend, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The South Elgin, 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 before your accident. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, skill and forceful 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 for our South Elgin, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were hurt by a reckless drunk driver, find out how much your damages 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 South Elgin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, seasoned and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to stand up to bullies.

Do I Need South Elgin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every crash is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. 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 face the harsh penalties of a DUI. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, you can still sue a drunk driver if they were found not guilty in their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their duty when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. None of that is true, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, 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. This is especially vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more complex, 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 be able to calculate and demand full compensation, 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 speak for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest 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.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some careless South Elgin, IL residents still make the terrible decision to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are injured as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The South Elgin, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | South Elgin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is over .008 percent, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to substantially reduce someone's driving skills. 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 driver experiences lowered coordination, reduced ability to trace moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is imperative to exercise great caution and always have someone else drive if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a thoughtless South Elgin, IL driver disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and injuring you or someone you love. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. Trust in the savvy and talented South Elgin, 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 go over your case and start on the path to feeling that true justice was done.

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

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • 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

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in South Elgin, IL?

There are five elements needed in order to prove negligence in a personal injury claim:

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like medical bills as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal principle of negligence per se stipulates that anyone who breaks the law is negligent as a matter of law. Therefore, in drunk driving cases you only need to show that the driver was drunk in order to prove duty of care and breach of duty. 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.

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 imperative to have aggressive and accomplished South Elgin, 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 South Elgin, IL?

A driver is not the only one who may be held accountable in your claim. Other third parties include:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is called a dram shop law, under which you may be able 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 more liberal than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to show significant impairment when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became drunk at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets 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, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in loss of support or loss of society due to 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, the owner may be responsible for some of your damages. In a negligent entrustment case, someone may owe you damages if they permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident suit in South Elgin, 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 someone who works as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, you may be able to make a claim against the company that hired and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced South Elgin, 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 accident immediately to find as many liable parties as possible.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone is at-fault for your damages, 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, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the amount 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 injury. It is an impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home care. You will also receive compensation for any medical bills that we expect to arise 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 caused 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 wages you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for gas to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    In the case of 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 trials you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive difficulties the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the love and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the drunk driver and deter future misbehavior. When we sue drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as 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 seek punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious behavior. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who drives under the influence how much of a potential threat they are to other people on the roads.

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

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South Elgin, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. That is why each of our South Elgin-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not investigating and litigating cases, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently fine-tuning our abilities to get great recoveries for our clients in South Elgin and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the South Elgin, 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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