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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Westchester, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Westchester, 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 Westchester, 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 Westchester 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 thoughtless drivers can still cause unfathomable destruction. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on a Saturday, your life was unexpectedly completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Westchester, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have dedicated their lives to helping people in similar circumstances get peace of mind and maximum financial recoveries when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. We know the medical bills are piling up, you are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it in the recent past. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the commitment, skill and aggressive legal counsel 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 that the vulnerable in Westchester and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were hurt by a selfish 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 Westchester, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Talented, seasoned and aggressive drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get justice by:

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 Westchester, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every injury case is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking a consultation with one. If there is no dispute about who is at fault and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, 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:

  • The other driver will not admit fault. Drunk drivers who cause injuries are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While while not every drunk driver is found guilty, 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 the law in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company refuses to offer a full settlement. While you would like to think insurance companies would recognize 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 admits liability, the insurance company might try to convince you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or that they do not have to pay for lost wages because you had paid time off available. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, 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 obviously liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a restaurant that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a detailed investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. This is especially important when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries need extensive medical treatment. The more significant your injuries the higher your medical bills will be, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more difficult, and motivates the insurance company to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. 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 talk for a candid conversation with a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar 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.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be quite sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly done a lot to make our roads safer, some selfish Westchester, IL residents still choose to jeopardize others' safety just so they can have a good time and avoid paying for an Uber. If you are injured as a result, you deserve to be fairly compensated with a complete recovery and the careless driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Westchester, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will fight to make sure that you receive maximum compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

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, over a third tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Westchester, 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 substantially impede someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to perform two tasks simultaneously, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three drinks - a person suffers from lowered coordination, inability to track movement, challenges steering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you are intoxicated. Regrettably, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left to pick up the pieces after the horrible and unfair consequences of a thoughtless Westchester, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you care about. Just knowing that the negligent driver will likely face criminal charges, steep fees, restrictions on their license and possibly jail time does not make you whole again. You need the accomplished and talented Westchester, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to see things made right. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and start on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Westchester and Illinois

According 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:

  • The driver had more than two previous DUI offenses
  • The driver caused a motor vehicle accident that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that resulted in personal injury

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

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

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the defendant failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident caused your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like medical bills as well as pain and suffering. 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 motorists are to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning a driver automatically owed you a duty of care. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute 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 injured you.

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 experienced Westchester, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up for you and fight until you get the best results in your claim.

Are Any Third Parties Liable for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Westchester, IL?

The driver is clearly liable for their reckless decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers experienced with 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

Many states have what is known as a dram shop rule, under which you may be able 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 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 someone underage. You just have to show:

  • That the vendor sold the driver alcohol, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • That the the patron got drunk 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 drunk driver was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

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 led to loss of support or loss of society a family member's wrongful death.

The Owner of the Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may be responsible for percentage of your damages. According to the philosophy of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to use a thing which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident case in Westchester, 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 you were injured by someone who earns a living as a driver, such as 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 Westchester, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have experience with all of these types of negligence 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 Damages Are Available for My Westchester, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Tort claims in the United States are based on the doctrine of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization 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 a low-speed crash in a parking lot, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can be expected to compensate you, but the settlement or verdict 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 accident. It is a firm dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as braces. You will also receive compensation for any treatment, joint replacements or replacement assistive devices you may need in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — Lost wages refer to the pay you lost from not being physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a disability that no longer permits you to work, you will also be compensated for the salary you would have made in the future, but for the injuries.
    • Out-of-pocket expenses — If you had to pay for Uber to and from medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be reimbursed for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical bills or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will ensure the recovery adjusts for inflation as well.

  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 emotional pain you have been put through, which can include anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any life-long physical or cognitive impairments the reckless driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the companionship and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and camaraderie that was once offered.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury compensation, and are meant 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 help win you the money you deserve, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because there is no coverage for punitive damages Under 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 appalling conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who drives intoxicated is demonstrating a brazen lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Westchester, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies who care more about think it is acceptable to withhold the money you deserve. For that reason, each of our Westchester-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has devoted their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We have no interest in 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 constantly sharpening our lawyer skills to deliver maximum compensation for our clients in Westchester and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's selfish decisions did. For accomplished, empathetic and relentless representation, call the Westchester, 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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