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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Westmont, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Westmont, IL. If a selfish drunk driver harmed you or someone you love, call the Westmont, 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 Westmont and throughout Illinois by securing them the maximum compensation they are owed.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but irresponsible drivers can still cause incredible damage. Whether you were on your way to a sports game or just running errands, all of a sudden your entire life was turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Westmont, 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 keep coming in, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did just a short while ago. You do not have to go through this alone. With the commitment, skill and tenacious legal advocacy 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 for our Westmont, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by an irresponsible drunk driver, see 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 Westmont, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely hold a drunk driver accountable in criminal court. But, only a personal injury lawyer can get you full compensation for your injuries. Knowledgeable, veteran and persistent 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 Westmont, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

The only way to know when to hire a personal injury lawyer is by having a professional examine the details of your case. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and only require a quick trip to the emergency room, 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:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who injure people are likely looking at criminal charges as well, and may be motivated not to cooperate in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. While a knowledgeable defense lawyer may be able to get a drunk driver off on criminal charges, 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 adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would recognize their responsibility when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, 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 persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or that a lawyer will only take money from you. Those are all lies, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the financial recovery you are owed.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when your damages exceed the driver's insurance policy limits.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more complex, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to devalue your injuries as much as possible. Persistent and dedicated drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact 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 honest with you about whether it is worth it or not for you to hire an attorney for your claim.

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

Drunk driving statistics can be quite sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, which is approximately one death in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have consistently declined since 1982, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely done a lot to make our roads safer, some reckless Westmont, IL individuals still choose to disregard others' well-being while not understanding or not caring about the potential consequences of their actions. If you are hurt as a result, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for breaking the rules. The Westmont, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of 37.1 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Westmont, 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 greatly reduce someone's ability to drive. 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 - reached after about three drinks - someone suffers from lowered coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, challenges maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and always have someone else drive if you are not in the best condition to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still experience the horrible and unfair consequences of a reckless Westmont, IL motorist not caring about the rules, driving while intoxicated and injuring you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh repercussions in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the knowledgeable and aggressive Westmont, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to get you the full financial recovery you deserve. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to discuss your options and start on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Westmont 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 personal injury

Other instances in which the class of felony increases include:

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Westmont, 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 avoid harming you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver failed or was negligent in that duty.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident resulted in your injuries.
  4. Proximate Cause That the driver's negligence was the direct cause of the accident.
  5. Damages That the accident led to tangible loss, such as economic damages like damage to your car as well as mental anguish. 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 factors that set drunk driving accidents apart from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that drivers have an obligation 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 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 show is that the driver caused the accident and injured you.

While it may seem like that makes a drunk driving case a slam-dunk, the insurance company will still be motivated to pay you as little as possible. That is why it is vital to have dedicated and talented Westmont, 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 Westmont, IL?

The driver is clearly at fault for their horrible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers familiar 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

Dram shop rules allow 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 less strict than many other states' in that the drunk driver did not have to show significant impairment when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be liable. You just have to show:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can demonstrate through recordings, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused 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 person who caused your accident was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the party.

Each year 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, those limits are $77,787.30 for each injured party, 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 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. In a negligent entrustment case, a person may be liable if they permit someone else 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 case in Westmont, 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 too drunk to drive.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by someone who works 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 hired and directed the driver. Examples of negligence on the part of the employer could include:

Experienced Westmont, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of negligence claims and know how to hold the appropriate parties liable. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim right away to find everyone who is responsible for your injuries.

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

Personal injury claims in the United States are based on the theory of being made whole. The concept is that when a person or organization 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 rear-end accident, that might mean paying money you lost from work while recovering, chiropractic appointments and the pain involved with rehabilitating from a whiplash injury for a few months. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a loved one, no amount of money can be expected to compensate you, but the financial recovery 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 impartial dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, surgeries, medications, chiropractic 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 — 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 disability 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 medical appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you need to be compensated for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs 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 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 include anything from pain when standing up and sitting down to the emotional impact of not being able to pick up your kids anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive difficulties because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if the accident result in permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your significant other from the love and intimate relationships you once shared.
    • Loss of society if the injuries impede 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 claims, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from making the same mistakes. When we make a claim against drunk drivers, we always pursue punitive damages. Not only does that help get you the money you are owed, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels because 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 may be awarded punitive damagers in personal injury claims for especially appalling behavior. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is demonstrating a flagrant disregard your safety.

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

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Westmont, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. For that reason, each of our Westmont-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their careers to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working relentlessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are regularly fine-tuning our negotiation and trial skills to deliver great recoveries for our clients in Westmont and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's dangerous behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Westmont, 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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