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

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Wicker Park, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Wicker Park, IL. If an irresponsible drunk driver harmed you or a family member, call the Wicker Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a complimentary case review. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Wicker Park and throughout Illinois by defending their rights.

You can follow all the rules of the road, but reckless drivers can still put you in harm's way and unfairly injure you. Whether you were driving home from dinner or lazily driving around on a Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted when you did nothing wrong. The Wicker Park, 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 keep coming in, you you cannot earn a living right now and your life is not the same as it in the not-too-distance past. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, expertise and forceful legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of experience, we have won over $175 million in verdicts and settlements that the vulnerable in Wicker Park and throughout Illinois and Missouri were owed. Our initial consultation and investigation is free, and we do not charge any fees until you get the maximum financial recovery you deserve.

If you were hurt by a careless drunk driver, see how much your claim 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 Wicker Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

A prosecutor will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. But, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Knowledgeable, veteran and persistent 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 Wicker Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

Every accident is different, and you can only truly know when to hire a personal injury lawyer by seeking the advise of one. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, 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:

  • There is a dispute about liability. Drunk drivers who cause accidents will go in front of a judge in criminal court, 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 in their criminal case. Experienced drunk driving accident lawyers will know how to utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance adjuster does not want to pay for all of your damages. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their duty when one of their policyholders drives drunk and injures you, that is not always the case. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, the insurance company might try to persuade you that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you only have a limited amount of time to accept their low offer. None of that is true, and a talented drunk driving accident lawyer will be able to combat those deceitful tactics and get you the compensation you are owed.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is obviously at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly let them use the car while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to appropriately compensate you.
  • Your injuries will require medical care in the future. The more significant your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more difficult, and makes it more likely the insurance company will try to claim they do not have to pay for all of your medical expenses. Persistent 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, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced 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.

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

Understanding just how bad the problem of drinking and driving 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 deaths have steadily been on the decline in the last four decades, drunk drivers are still responsible for three-tenths of all auto related fatalities. While awareness campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have definitely helped, some selfish Wicker Park, IL individuals still make the terrible decision to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. If you are hurt as a result, you deserve to be justly compensated with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to pay for the harm they have caused. The Wicker Park, 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 20 percent of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, 37.1 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Wicker Park, 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 even .02 percent is sufficient to considerably impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to do two things at once, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - reached after approximately three alcohol beverages - a person suffers from reduced coordination, inability to trace moving objects, difficulty maneuvering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is crucial to do you part in protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians and have a back up plan if you have been drinking. Regrettably, sometimes you can commit to protecting others on the road and still be left to pick up the pieces after the terrible consequences of a reckless Wicker Park, IL driver not caring about the rules, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or a family member. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction is not enough. Trust in the knowledgeable and proficient Wicker Park, 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 find out the best way to proceed and begin on the road to being made whole again.

Drunk Driving Laws in Wicker Park 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 DUI becomes "aggravated driving under the influence" and a Class 4 Felony if:

  • It is a third or subsequent violation
  • An accident occurred that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else
  • 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 Wicker Park, IL?

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

  1. Duty of Care That the defendant had a responsibility to avoid harming you.
  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 accident would not have happened but for the driver's failure to act in a way that avoided hurting you.
  5. Damages That the negligence was the reason you sustained a loss, such as monetary damages like damage to your car as well as mental anguish. It is important to note that in personal injury claims you cannot make a claim for for noneconomic damages if you have not sustained economic damages.

There are two aspects that make drunk driving accident lawsuits different from most other personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 stipulates that motorists are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with other cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Meaning you do not have to prove the driver owed you a duty of care, as it is already stipulated under the law. Secondly, the legal theory of negligence per se means that anyone who breaks the law 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 at that point is that the accident caused your injuries and that you incurred losses as a result.

None of that means you should take the success of your case for granted; drunk drivers often do not want to be held accountable and their insurance companies do what they can to help their bottom line. That is why it is key to have tenacious and accomplished Wicker Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and fight until you get the financial recovery you are owed.

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

The driver is clearly liable for their reckless decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers familiar with Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Dram shop laws 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 the drunk driver did not have to be visibly drunk when they were sold alcohol in order for the vendor to be at fault. You just have to demonstrate:

  • That a vendor-patron relationship existed, which you can show through security footage, receipts or eyewitness depositions
  • That the patron they supplied alcohol to caused the drunk driving accident
  • That the vendor is responsible for the patron being drunk

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the person who caused your accident was not of legal age to drink and became drunk at the party.

Each year 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 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, it is negligent to permit someone else to engage in an activity which is under the control of the actor if if permitting the activity creates an inherent risk. In a drunk driving accident case in Wicker Park, 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 your accident was caused by a commercial driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may be partially to blame. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

Experienced Wicker Park, IL drunk driving accident lawyers like those at Burger Law have seen all of these types of claims and know how to get results in them. When you hire us, we start investigating your claim right away to determine as many liable parties as possible.

What Damages Are Available for My Wicker Park, 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 to blame for your damages, 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 rear-end accident, being made whole means recovering compensation for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a few months. In the most destructive cases, for example if you or a loved one becomes paralyzed, no financial recovery can genuinely compensate you, 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 the totaling of all the bills and lost income related to your injury. It is an objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and assistive devices such as wheelchairs. 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 on the job as you were healing. If your injury caused a disability that no longer allows you to perform the tasks required of your job, 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 gas to and from chiropractic appointments, or had to send your child to daycare because you could not look after them, you deserve to be repaid 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 refers to noneconomic damages as "intangible" damages, "including but not limited to":
    • Pain and suffering refers to the physical and emotional burdens you have been put through, which can be anything anything from difficulty sleeping in certain positions to having PTSD anymore.
    • Disability if you have life-long physical or cognitive difficulties after the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries impede you and your partner from the affection and intimate relationships you grew accustomed to.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your loved ones can no longer share the same counsel and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury compensation, 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 seek punitive damages. Not only does that help secure you the money you are owed, but it also helps secure a fair settlement from the insurance company because their policyholders do not pay for punitive damages in their policies According 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 conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who sits in the drivers seat while intoxicated is demonstrating a flagrant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Wicker Park, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including selfish drivers do not value other people's safety and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more think it is acceptable to withhold the money you are owed. That is why each of our Wicker Park-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their lives to standing up for the injured and vulnerable. You will not see us on TV commercials or billboards. When we are not working tirelessly on one of our client's claims, our drunk driving accident lawyers are consistently honing our negotiation and trial skills to secure great recoveries for our clients in Wicker Park and throughout Illinois. We know you did nothing to become injured; someone else's selfish decisions did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Wicker Park, 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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