Getting you the compensation you deserve after a drunk driver's terrible decision left you to pick up the pieces

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Woodridge, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Woodridge, 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 Woodridge, 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 Woodridge and throughout Illinois by fighting on their behalf so they can focus on healing.

You can do everything you are supposed to to keep other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe, but thoughtless drivers can still change your life without warning. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on a Saturday, all of a sudden your entire life was completely disrupted through no fault of your own. The Woodridge, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law have dedicated their careers to helping people in similar circumstances get a sense of healing and the best possible financial recoveries when they may be feeling they have nowhere to turn. We know the medical bills are accumulating, you may not be able to work because of your injuries and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. You do not have to go through this alone. With the dedication, knowledge and aggressive legal counsel 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 more than $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Woodridge, IL clients. Our case reviews are no-risk, no-obligation, and you do not owe us a thing until you receive the settlement check you deserve.

If you were harmed by a selfish drunk driver, find out how much your injuries 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 Woodridge, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

The criminal justice system will likely file charges against the drunk driver who caused the accident. However, you will still need a personal injury lawyer to stand up to the drunk driver in civil court and get you full compensation for your injuries. Talented, experienced and persistent drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get maximum compensation 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 Woodridge, 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 accident. If the driver is taking responsibility for his actions and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, many other circumstances require legal representation for the best results:

  • There is a dispute about liability. 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 a capable 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 obtain key evidence in order to hold the negligent driver accountable.
  • The insurance company does not want to pay for all of your damages. While you would like to think 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 is willing to be held accountable, the insurance company might try to say that your injuries are the result of other trauma or you waited too long to seek medical treatment. Those are all lies, and a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer will fight back and let the insurance adjuster know we mean business.
  • There are multiple parties at fault. While a drunk driver is clearly at fault, other entities may be at fault, such as a friend of the driver who knowingly lent them the vehicle while drunk. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a comprehensive investigation and identify all liable parties. Finding other liable parties is crucial 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 serious your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes calculating the full value of your damages more challenging, and motivates the insurance adjuster to try to minimize your damages as much as possible. Aggressive and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only ensure you receive the entirety of your damages, but we can connect you to trusted physicians to make sure you get the medical treatment you need.

At Burger Law, there is no risk or obligation when talking to us. Reach out to us now at (314) 500-HURT to talk directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer experienced with Illinois laws who will be direct with you about whether you need an attorney to get the best results in your case.

Missouri Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Seeing how many people choose to drink and drive can be incredibly sobering. Every day there are about 28 fatal drunk driving accidents, adding up to roughly one fatality every 52 minutes. While drunk driving accidents and deaths have steadily become less common in the last 40 years, drunk drivers still account for 29 percent of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and harsh punishments for drunk driving have certainly helped, some selfish Woodridge, IL residents still choose to jeopardize others' safety just so they can have a good time and avoid 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 the harm they have caused. The Woodridge, IL drunk driving accident lawyers at Burger Law will use or skills and dedication to see wrongs made right.

The Illinois 2020 Crash Facts found that 19.7 percent of the 1,088 fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol. Of 448 deceased drivers who were tested for alcohol, almost 40 percent tested positive.

Alcohol's Impact on Driving Abilities | Woodridge, 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 only .02 percent is enough to significantly impede someone's driving skills. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in sight, inability to multi-task, an altered mood and inadequate judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three drinks - a driver experiences lowered coordination, inability to track moving objects, difficulty steering and a slower response to unexpected things on the road. It is key to follow proper road safety and have a back up plan if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still be left reeling from the terrible consequences of a dangerous Woodridge, IL driver disregarding your safety, driving while intoxicated and hurting you or someone you love. Just knowing that the person who hurt you will face harsh consequences in a criminal case cannot truly compensate you and your family for all of the ways they have impacted your life. You need the accomplished and proficient Woodridge, 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 find out the best way to proceed and begin on the road to recovery.

Drunk Driving Laws in Woodridge and Illinois

Under 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 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 someone else
  • The driver caused an accident in a school zone that lead to bodily harm

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

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How Do You Prove a Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Woodridge, 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 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 is the reason for the accident.
  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 associated monetary losses.

There are two factors that make drunk driving accident claims different from the majority of personal injury claims. Firstly, 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1 specifically states that motorists 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 theory of negligence per se means that anyone who violates a state statute 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 the first two elements. All your drunk driving accident lawyers will need to show 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 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 crucial to have passionate and skilled Woodridge, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to fight on your behalf and get the compensation you deserve.

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

A driver is not the only one who may be held accountable in your case. Other third parties include:

A Licensed Alcohol Vendor or Social Host

Many states have what is referred to as a dram shop rule, 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 laid out 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 show significant impairment 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 with surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • 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 driver at fault for your injuries was not old enough to drink legally and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller places 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, the maximum is $77,787.30 for each person incurring damages, 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. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, someone may owe you damages 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 suit in Woodridge, 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 had had to much too drink.

The Driver's Employer

If your accident was caused by someone who earns a living as a driver, for example in a truck accident, bus accident or rideshare accident, the driver's employer may also owe you damages. Negligence that could result in liability could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Woodridge, IL drunk driving accident lawyer so they can conduct an exhaustive investigation into your claim. Doing so will not only make sure every liable party is held accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

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

The civil court system in the United States is based on the principle of being made whole. "Being made whole" means that when another party 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 rear-end accident, that might mean paying for lost wages, chiropractic appointments and the physical strain involved with rehabilitating from a neck injury for a relatively short period of time. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a family member, no financial recovery can truly make you whole, but the financial recovery should be great enough to provide a least some sense of restitution.

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 injury. It is an objective dollar figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any treatment the day of the injury, surgeries, medications, physical rehabilitation appointments and in-home care. You will also receive compensation for any medical bills that we expect to arise in the future.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity — You will be reimbursed for full amount of the wages you lost from not being able to work while you recovered. 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 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 chiropractic appointments, or had to hire a nanny to be able to take care of your kids, you need a financial recovery for that too.

    If your injuries result in future medical costs or lost earning capacity, drunk driving accident lawyers will make sure the settlement or verdict amount 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 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 engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability for any permanent physical or cognitive impairments the drunk driver caused.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the companionship and intimate relationships you once had.
    • Loss of society if the injuries your family can no longer share the same advice and care they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are rarely awarded in personal injury recoveries, and are meant to punish the drunk driver 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 maximize your financial recovery, but it also makes the insurance company nervous as punitive damages are not covered under insurance policies According to 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 behavior. At Burger Law, our experience tells us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence knows exactly how reckless they are being.

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

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Woodridge, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We hate bullies, including irresponsible drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies whose prioritize more money than morals. For that reason, each of our Woodridge-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has pledged their education and abilities to fighting on behalf of the injured and vulnerable. We are not on TV 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 abilities to secure the best results for our clients in Woodridge and throughout Illinois. We know you deserve it because we know you did nothing to put yourself in this situation; someone else's dangerous actions did. For expert, passionate and relentless representation, call the Woodridge, 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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