Securing justice after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Western Springs, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Western Springs, 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 Western Springs, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a no-risk, no-obligation case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Western Springs and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but reckless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was upended when you did nothing wrong. The Western Springs, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have dedicated their careers to helping people like you get peace and great compensation when they may be feeling like no one could help them. We know the medical bills keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and everything seems different than it was in the recent past. We will fight for you until there is nothing left to fight. With the commitment, expertise and unshakable 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 won more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Western Springs and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Talking to us is free, and we do not charge any fees until the final verdict or settlement has been reached.

If you were injured by an irresponsible 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 Western Springs, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely seek a guilty verdict in criminal court. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Talented, accomplished and aggressive 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 Western Springs, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics 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 blame and your injuries are minor and only require an appointment with your primary care physician, you may very well be able to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. However, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • The drunk driver will not take responsibility for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will probably be prosecuted, and may avoid communicating with you and the insurance company 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 on state charges. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to obtain key evidence in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. Ideally insurance companies would realize their responsibility 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 if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are pre-existing or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously to blame, other entities may bear partial responsibility, such as a alcohol vendor that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will perform a detailed investigation and identify anyone who bears responsibility for the accident. This is especially vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to pay for the full scope of your injuries.
  • Your injuries will incur future medical expenses. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more complex, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Skilled and knowledgeable 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, we answer all of your questions for free. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether we can add to your claim.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people are killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers, or about one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently become less common since 1982, drunk drivers still account for three-tenths of total traffic fatalities as of 2018. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, some careless Western Springs, IL individuals still decide to put others at risk while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are harmed as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the negligent driver needs to pay for breaking the rules. The Western Springs, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts states 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.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Western Springs, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While it is only illegal to drink and drive if your blood alcohol concentration is over .008 percent, a level of just .02 percent is sufficient to greatly hinder someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in visual functions, inability to do two things at once, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after about three alcohol beverages - a person experiences reduced coordination, inability to trace moving objects, challenges steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to follow proper road safety and let someone else take the wheel if you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the devastating consequences of a reckless Western Springs, IL motorist not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and injuring 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. Trust in the experienced and talented Western Springs, 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 go over your case and begin on the road to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Western Springs 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 it 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 another
  • 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 Western Springs, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant was required to act in a certain, safe way.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not act in a way that kept you safe.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's negligence was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as pain and suffering. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot secure a financial recovery for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident claims different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers are legally compelled to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. Meaning the first element is a given. Secondly, the legal philosophy of negligence per se states 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 taken care of as long as you have evidence that the driver was intoxicated. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove 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 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 key to have aggressive and accomplished Western Springs, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the compensation you are owed.

Who Else Can I Sue for My Drunk Driving Accident Injuries in Western Springs, IL?

The driver is clearly liable for their irresponsible 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is known as a dram shop law, under which you may be able sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you sustained damages. Illinois' dram shop laws are stipulated in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law more liberal 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 through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee depositions
  • That the customer they served was responsible for your injuries
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who supplies their private guests with alcohol — if the driver liable for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became inebriated at the private residence.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on how much compensation you can receive in a dram shop case. As of Jan. 20, 2022, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person making a claim for the accident, or $95,073.37 if the accident led to 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 also owe you compensation. In a negligent entrustment case, a person may be liable if they 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 Western Springs, 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 in no condition to operate a vehicle.

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 contracted and directed the driver. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Western Springs, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct a comprehensive investigation into your accident. Doing so will not only make sure every at-fault 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 Western Springs, IL Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

The civil court system in the United States is based on the doctrine of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization is to blame 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 money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain and inconvenience that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the settlement or verdict should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

Damages in a personal injury claim are broken down into three distinct groups:

  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 emergency room visits, surgeries, prescription or over-the-counter meds, physical therapy 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 — Lost wages refer to the pay 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 work, 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 deserve a financial recovery 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 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 for any life-long physical or cognitive impairments the selfish driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your significant other from the affection and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and care 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 discourage future misbehavior. Punitive damages can — and should — be sought when making a civil claim against a drunk driver. Not only does that maximize your compensation, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company 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. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who drives intoxicated is very aware of the danger their actions pose.

In addition, we have extensive experience winning the following cases for our Western Springs, IL clients:

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Western Springs, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers think they can do whatever they want and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Western Springs-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of 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 regularly honing our negotiation and trial skills to deliver the best results for our clients in Western Springs and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's selfish actions did. For expert, empathetic and relentless representation, call the Western Springs, 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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