Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Wauconda, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Wauconda, IL. If a selfish drunk driver injured you or a family member, call the Wauconda, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Wauconda and throughout Illinois by standing up to bullies and getting them the financial recovery they deserve.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but thoughtless drivers can still cause unfathomable devastation. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or lazily driving around on a Sunday, all of a sudden your entire life was capsized through no fault of your own. The Wauconda, 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 are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did before your accident. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, skill and tenacious legal representation of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Wauconda, IL clients. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were injured by a thoughtless drunk driver, find out how much your claim 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 Wauconda, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. However, only a personal injury lawyer can get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Knowledgeable, experienced and tenacious 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 Wauconda, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the particulars of your case, and if you have never had to hire an attorney before it may be difficult to gauge when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts culpability and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, many other circumstances require an attorney for the best results:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may not want to admit fault 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. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their commitment when one of their policyholders injures you in a drunk driving accident, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are pre-existing or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. Those are all lies, and a talented 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 obviously liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as the driver's employer. Drunk driving accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Skilled and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

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

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have consistently been on the decline since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for 29 percent of all auto related deaths. While awareness campaigns and strict punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some selfish Wauconda, IL residents still choose to jeopardize others' safety just so they party and avoid paying for a taxi. If you are harmed as a result, you deserve to be justly reimbursed with a complete recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for what they did. The Wauconda, 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 one-fifth of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, over a third tested positive.

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

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to substantially impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks at the same time, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - the product of approximately three alcohol beverages - someone experiences lowered coordination, reduced ability to trace moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to emergency situations. It is crucial to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you are not in the best condition to drive. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a dangerous Wauconda, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and hurting you or a family member. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the knowledgeable and skilled Wauconda, 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 road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Wauconda and Illinois

Pursuant 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 lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in 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 Wauconda, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the driver needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant 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 failure to use reasonable care caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as mental anguish. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were associated economic damages.

There are two aspects that set drunk driving accidents apart from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning the first element is a given. 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 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 is that the driver caused the accident and that that is how you sustained your injuries.

Negligence per se does not mean you will automatically get the financial recovery you deserve; the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is critical to have aggressive and talented Wauconda, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the financial recovery you deserve.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Wauconda, 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop rules permit you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained 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 a visibly intoxicated person. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate with security footage, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the customer they served was responsible for your injuries
  • 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 person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller sets dram shop liability limits on how much a bar, restaurant or social host is required to pay out. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each injured party, or $95,073.37 if the accident caused loss of support or loss of society due to the wrongful death of a loved one.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If you were injured by a vehicle that was not being driven by the owner, the owner may be responsible for percentage of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to permit someone else to use a thing 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 Wauconda, 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If you were injured by a commercial driver, such as 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. 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 Wauconda, 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 accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

Civil claims in the United States are based on the principle of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is at-fault for your injuries, 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no financial recovery can be expected to compensate you, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 accident. It is an objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. You will also receive compensation for any medical bills that will 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 permits you to work, 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 physical therapy appointments, or had to invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve to be compensated for that too.

    If we have to take into consideration future medical expenses or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the recovery 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 pain when standing up and sitting down to the emotional impact of not being able to exercise the same way anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive challenges the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries 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 companionship 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 camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage others from making the same mistakes. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that help get you the money you deserve, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company as their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies Pursuant 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 conduct. 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, we have extensive experience winning the following cases for our Wauconda, IL clients:

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Wauconda, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers do not respect other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. That is why each of our Wauconda-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials 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 sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Wauconda and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's horrible behavior did. For knowledgeable, compassionate and relentless representation, call the Wauconda, 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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