Making you whole again after someone else's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Wheeling, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Wheeling, IL. If a reckless drunk driver injured you or someone you love, call the Wheeling, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary consultation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Wheeling 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 thoughtless drivers can still cause unfathomable destruction. 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 turned upside down when you did nothing wrong. The Wheeling, 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 are losing time off work and it is hard to get the same enjoyment out of life that you did just a short while ago. This burden is not yours to bear alone. With the commitment, knowledge and forceful legal advocacy of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our more than 30 years of defending the rights of the injured, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Wheeling and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and we do not charge any fees until you get the great compensation you deserve.

If you were harmed by a reckless drunk driver, discover how much your injuries 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

View Location

What Can Wheeling, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. However, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you a financial recovery for all of your damages. Talented, veteran 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 Wheeling, 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 decide when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts blame 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, there are many situations in which a drunk driving accident lawyer is the only way to get fair compensation:

  • 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 face fines, a suspended license and possibly jail time. While drunk driving charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced, 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 refuses to offer a full settlement. In a perfect world insurance companies would realize their responsibility when one of their policyholders decides to make a reckless decision that winds up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even if the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries were not actually caused by the accident or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all lies, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • The drunk driver is not the only one responsible. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other parties may be at fault, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial when the policy limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you.
  • Your injuries are severe. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes putting a dollar amount on your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance company to try to devalue your damages as much as possible. Persistent and compassionate drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we will help you receive all of the appropriate medical care.

At Burger Law, we answer all of your questions for free. Reach out to 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 the insurance company is offering a fair settlement.

How Often Do Drunk Driving Accidents Happen in Missouri and the U.S.?

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be incredibly sobering. Every day 28 people die in accidents caused by drunk drivers, adding up to roughly one fatality in just under an hour. While drunk driving accidents and fatalities have steadily declined since 1982, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some reckless Wheeling, IL residents still choose to jeopardize others' safety just so they enjoy themselves and skip on paying for a rideshare. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you are owed a full financial recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for breaking the rules. The Wheeling, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will make sure both of those things come true.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts reported that almost 20 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, over a third tested positive.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Wheeling, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

While the legal limit for alcohol consumption before driving is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration, a level of only .02 percent is enough to substantially reduce someone's ability to drive. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration you experience a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and poor judgment. At .05 percent - the product of about three drinks - a driver experiences reduced coordination, inability to trace moving objects, difficulty steering and not being able to respond quickly to unexpected things on the road. It is imperative to follow proper road safety and always have someone else drive if you have had too much to drink. Regrettably, sometimes you can do everything possible to stay safe and still be left reeling from the devastating consequences of a reckless Wheeling, IL driver not caring about the rules, driving drunk and injuring you or a loved one. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. Trust in the knowledgeable and talented Wheeling, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger law to to secure the financial settlement you and your family need and are owed. Call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT to find out the best way to proceed and begin on the path to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Wheeling 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 DUI 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 lead to great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to personal injury

Other instances in which the class of felony increases are:

View More FAQs

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

Generally, 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 needed to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not do what they should have in order to avoid hurting you.
  3. Cause in Fact That your injuries are a direct result of the accident.
  4. Proximate Cause That the defendant's breach of duty caused the accident that caused your injuries.
  5. Damages That you have sustained losses, such as economic damages like lost wages as well as emotional distress. In personal injury claims you can only recover noneconomic damages if there were also monetary losses.

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 have an obligation 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 principle of negligence per se states 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 duty of care and breach of duty. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to prove is that the driver caused the accident and your injuries.

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 key to have dedicated and experienced Wheeling, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the financial recovery you are owed.

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

The driver is clearly at fault 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 Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop law, under which you may be able 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 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 establishment sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through recordings, receipts or eyewitness or employee testimony
  • That the customer they served was responsible for the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who holds a private party — if the driver responsible for your injuries was under the age of 21 and became inebriated at the party.

Annually, the Illinois Comptroller sets 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 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 the driver of the vehicle was not the owner of the vehicle, you may be able to make a claim against the owner. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, it is negligent to 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 suit in Wheeling, 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 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, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Reasons they are liable could include:

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

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the doctrine of being made whole. The idea behind the doctrine is that when someone injures you, 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 neck injury for a little while. In the worst cases, for example if you or a loved one loses a limb, no financial recovery can genuinely make you whole, but the amount should be great enough to provide a least some sense of comfort.

You can typically recover three types 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 an unbiased dollar amount. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the accident, operations, prescription or over-the-counter meds, chiropractic appointments and in-home care. 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 physically able to work. If your injury caused a disability that no longer permits you to work, you will also be compensated for the money 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 invest in childcare while you were recovering, you deserve to be repaid for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical bills or lost earning potential, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure 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 emotional effects on your well-being, which can be anything anything from pain when carrying groceries in to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive challenges the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries result in lasting scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your spouse from the love and intimate relationships you are used to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries prevent you from giving or your loved ones from receiving the same guidance and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are typically not included in personal injury claims, and are meant to punish the defendant and discourage 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 deserve, but it also motivates the insurance company to be fair 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 dangerous conduct. At Burger Law, we have learned that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

Call Burger Law Now

Wheeling, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including reckless drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more their profits than doing the right thing. For that reason, each of our Wheeling-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to defending the rights of 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 consistently honing our negotiation and trial skills to get the best results for our clients in Wheeling and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's dangerous decisions did. For skillful, passionate and tenacious representation, call the Wheeling, IL drunk driving accident lawyers of Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form.

Request a Free Consultation


“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

Hurt? Hire Us Today or call (314) 500-HURT

Other Locations

Schema