Getting you the compensation you deserve after someone else's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Sycamore, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Sycamore, 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 Sycamore, 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 Sycamore and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything right to protect yourself and your loved ones, but drunk drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was upended when you did nothing wrong. The Sycamore, 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 before your accident. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the dedication, skill and tenacious legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Sycamore, IL clients. Talking to us is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you get the best possible compensation you deserve.

If you were harmed by a careless drunk driver, discover how much your damages may be worth by utilizing 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 Sycamore, 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. Talented, accomplished and tenacious drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery by:

  • Investigating your claim comprehensively, including gather police reports, eyewitness testimony and medical records
  • Connecting you with trusted doctors so you can recover fully
  • Working alongside economic and medical experts to know exactly how much your damages are worth
  • Combating the lies insurance companies use to avoid compensating you
  • Proving negligence on the part of the inebriated driver
  • Negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance adjuster
  • Filing a lawsuit when the insurance company is not offering the full compensation you deserve
  • Taking your case in front of a judge and jury if the insurance adjuster will not be fair in mediation
  • Fighting on your behalf until you get every cent you are owed

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 Sycamore, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to determine 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 legal representation for the best results:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may not want to admit fault 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 utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. None of that is true, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you are owed.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more severe your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your damages as much as possible. Persistent and compassionate 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. Reach out to 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 it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for 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 in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some selfish Sycamore, IL residents still choose to jeopardize others' safety while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are injured as a result, you deserve to be fairly compensated with a maximum recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for what they did. The Sycamore, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

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.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Sycamore, 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 enough to significantly reduce someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, a change in mood and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three alcohol beverages - a motorist suffers from decreased coordination, inability to trace moving objects, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is vital to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left to pick up the pieces after the catastrophic consequences of a dangerous Sycamore, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case does not make you whole again. You need the experienced and tenacious Sycamore, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the path to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Sycamore and Illinois

According 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 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 lead to personal injury

Other instances in which the class of felony increases are:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Sycamore, 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 keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the accident would not have happened but for the driver's negligence.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as emotional distress. It is important to mention that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained a monetary loss.

There are two factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 dictates that drivers are required to 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 stipulates 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 as long as you can demonstrate that the driver was driving drunk. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to demonstrate at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is imperative to have passionate and experienced Sycamore, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Is Anybody Else Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Sycamore, 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 known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able sue a licensed alcohol vendor after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • 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 furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much a vendor or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused 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 be liable for a portion of your damages. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit someone else to use something which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Sycamore, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by a commercial 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. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Sycamore, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of negligence claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your case immediately to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

What Damages Are Available for My Sycamore, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Civil claims in the United States are based on the doctrine 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, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash 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 genuinely make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of peace.

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, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home nursing. You will also receive compensation for any medical expenses that will arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being on the job as you were healing. If your injury resulted in a disability 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 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.

    In the case of future medical expenses 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 defines noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional hardships you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive challenges after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your spouse from the love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same advice and care that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. We are aggressive in our pursuit of punitive damages in drunk driving accident claims. Not only does that help secure you the money you deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies Under 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially egregious behavior. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who drives under the influence is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

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

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Sycamore, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish 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 money you are owed. For that reason, each of our Sycamore-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their lives to defending the rights of the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in TV or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are constantly honing our negotiation and trial skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in Sycamore and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's horrible behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Sycamore, 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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