Making you whole again after a drunk driver's selfish decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Tinley Park, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Tinley Park, IL. If a selfish drunk driver injured you or a family member, call the Tinley Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Tinley Park and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones, but reckless drivers can still change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on a Sunday, your life was immediately capsized through no fault of your own. The Tinley Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law truly care about out clients and their cases and families mean something to us. 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. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the compassions, skill and forceful legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Tinley Park, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.

If you were injured by an irresponsible drunk driver, discover how much your injuries 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 Tinley Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, 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. Skilled, accomplished and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Tinley Park, 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 decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts liability and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. 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 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 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 prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. Ideally insurance companies would recognize their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even if the driver does take responsibility, the insurance company might try to persuade 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. Those are all deceptions aimed at minimizing your claim, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other parties may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a comprehensive investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially important when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance company to try to devalue your damages as much as possible. Persistent and knowledgeable 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 directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be straightforward with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly 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 deaths have steadily been on the decline in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our roads safer, some reckless Tinley Park, IL individuals still decide to jeopardize others' safety 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 deserve to be justly compensated with a maximum recovery and the careless driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Tinley Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

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

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Tinley Park, 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 greatly reduce someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three drinks - someone experiences reduced coordination, inability to follow movement, challenges using the steering wheel and a slower response to emergency situations. It is crucial to exercise great caution and find other means of transport if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a thoughtless Tinley Park, IL motorist disregarding your safety, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and harming you or a family member. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case does not make you whole again. You need the accomplished and aggressive Tinley Park, 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 find out the best way to proceed and start on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Tinley Park and Illinois

Under 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:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • 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 bodily harm

Other instances in which the penalty is more severe are:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Tinley Park, 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 was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's negligence is the reason for the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, 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 most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that people who get behind the wheel of a vehicle are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal doctrine of negligence per se means 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 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 that that is how you sustained your injuries.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their bottom line. That is why it is key to have aggressive and experienced Tinley Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers by your side to get the best results in your claim.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Tinley Park, IL?

The driver is clearly to blame for their selfish 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 Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop rules permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if the accident caused you injuries. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law easier to apply 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 show:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they supplied alcohol to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the person who caused your accident was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller stipulates 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, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, or $95,073.37 if the accident resulted in 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, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the practice 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 claim in Tinley Park, 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 your accident was caused by someone who earns a living 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 contracted and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Tinley Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of cases and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim immediately to determine everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the theory of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party injures you, you should be compensated to the extent that returns you to your state before the other person's negligence. In many car accident claims, for example a simple fender-bender, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, follow-up doctors' appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can truly make you whole, but the financial recovery should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

There are three categories of damages in a personal injury claim:

  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 treatment the day of the accident, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. 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 — 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 caused a long-term or permanent injury that no longer permits 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 transportation to and from physical therapy appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be repaid for that too.

    In the case of future medical expenses or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure 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 trials you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty going up and down the stairs to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you sustained permanent physical or cognitive difficulties due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused 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 shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same guidance and camaraderie that was once offered.
  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 increase your financial recovery, 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 appalling conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is demonstrating a shameless lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Tinley Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies focus more on money than morals. That is why each of our Tinley Park-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their education and abilities to defending the rights 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 constantly sharpening our lawyer skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in Tinley Park and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's horrible actions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Tinley Park, 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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