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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Villa Park, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Villa Park, IL. If a selfish drunk driver harmed you or someone you care about, call the Villa Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Villa Park and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but irresponsible drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were on your way home for your in-laws or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down through no fault of your own. The Villa Park, 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 accumulating, you you cannot earn a living right now and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did in the not-too-distance past. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the compassions, expertise and tenacious legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of experience, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Villa Park, IL clients. 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 hurt by a thoughtless drunk driver, discover how much your claim 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 Villa Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, accomplished and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

At Burger Law, we know auto accident claims and how to fight back against bullies.

Do I Need Villa Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every crash is unique, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If the driver accepts liability and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, a lawyer likely will not be able to add much value to your claim. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will probably be prosecuted, and may be motivated not to cooperate 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 the law in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their obligation when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, an insurance adjusters real job is to save the company money, not fairly compensate you. Even in the event that 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. Those are all lies, and an accomplished 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 at fault, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes valuing your damages more difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

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 experienced with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, which is approximately one death every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily declined since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related deaths. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some careless Villa Park, IL residents still choose to put others at risk 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 complete recovery and the negligent driver needs to be held accountable for what they did. The Villa 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 found that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of over a third of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Villa Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of even .02 percent is sufficient to significantly hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of roughly three drinks - a person experiences lowered coordination, reduced ability to track movement, difficulty steering and not being able to respond in enough time to emergency situations. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and let someone else take the wheel if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a dangerous Villa Park, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. Trust in the accomplished and tenacious Villa 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 begin on the road to feeling that true justice was done.

Drunk Driving Laws in Villa Park and Illinois

Under to 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, drunk or drug impaired driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, a driving under the influence 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 someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in bodily harm

Third and fourth violations are Class 2 Felonies, a fifth violation is a Class 1 Felony, and sixth and subsequent violations are Class X Felonies.

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Villa Park, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver had a responsibility to keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant failed or was negligent in that duty.
  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 failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  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 associated monetary losses.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that drivers are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with pedestrians or other vehicles. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se states that anyone who violates a state statute is automatically considered to have breached their duty of care. Therefore, in drunk driving cases you only need to show that the driver was drunk in order to prove the first two elements. 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.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the compensation you deserve; the truth is that many drunk drivers try to avoid taking responsibility and their insurance company will do what they can to help them. That is why it is critical to have dedicated and skilled Villa Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

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

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

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were hurt. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated 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 prove:

  • That the establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can show with security footage, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the customer they served 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 holds a private party — if the drunk driver was not old enough to drink legally and became inebriated at the party.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, those limits are $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, 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 the driver was driving someone else's car, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the practice of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit someone else to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident claim in Villa Park, 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 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 contracted and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Villa Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every liable party is held responsible, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of making one whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party is at-fault for your damages, you should be paid a dollar amount commensurate to the extent of your damages. 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 whiplash injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no financial recovery can be expected to compensate you, but the amount 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 refers to the total sum of the money you either lost out on or had to spend because of your injuries. It is an unbiased dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home nursing. You will also be reimbursed for any medical bills that will arise 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 resulted in a disability that no longer permits 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 transportation 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 reimbursed for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs 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 effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from difficulty carrying groceries in to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive impairments due to the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • 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 rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are intended to punish the drunk driver and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help secure you the money you are owed, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company because punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies According to 735 ILCS 5/2-604.1, you and your drunk driving accident lawyers can argue in favor of punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially reckless behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a shameless disregard your safety.

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

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Villa Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies focus more on their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Villa Park-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV or billboards. When we are not investigating claims or in the courtroom defending the rights of our clients, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly honing our abilities to secure great recoveries for our clients in Villa Park and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's terrible behavior did. For skillful, compassionate and tenacious representation, call the Villa 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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