Securing justice after a drunk driver's reckless decision left you injured

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Woodstock, IL

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers in Woodstock, 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 Woodstock, IL drunk driving accident lawyers immediately at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We serve the injured and vulnerable in Woodstock 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 change your life in a heartbeat. Whether you were coming back to town after a long weekend or lazily driving around on the weekend, your life was unexpectedly turned upside down through no fault of your own. The Woodstock, 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 are losing time off work and your life is not the same as it just a short while ago. We will be by your side until things are made right again. With the commitment, skill and forceful legal counsel of our drunk driving accident lawyers, this too shall pass.

In our over 30 years of litigating and trying cases, we have recovered over $175 million in verdicts and settlements for our Woodstock, 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 thoughtless drunk driver, find out how much your damages 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 Woodstock, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers Do for My Claim?

Law enforcement will likely do everything they can to convict a drunk driver criminally. Still, a personal injury lawyer is still necessary to get you the monetary reimbursement you are owed. Skilled, veteran and relentless drunk driving accident lawyers can ensure you get the best possible financial recovery 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 Woodstock, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers for My Claim?

That depends on the specifics of your case, and if you have never been injured in an accident before it may be difficult to determine when to hire a personal injury lawyer. If the driver accepts blame and your injuries are minor and do not require much medical treatment, it may not be worth it to hire an attorney. However, there are often many good reasons you will want a drunk driving accident lawyer on your side:

  • The drunk driver refuses to be held accountable for their actions. Drunk drivers who cause injuries will go in front of a judge in criminal court, and may not want to admit liability in order to not be sentenced in criminal court. 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 utilize their investigative and litigation skills in order to prove that the defendant were drunk and injured you.
  • The insurance adjuster is not being fair. In a perfect world insurance companies would fulfill their obligation when one of their policyholders decides to make a selfish decision that ends up injuring you, far too often that does not happen. Even in the event that the driver admits liability, 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 deceptions aimed at devaluing your claim, and an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer will not let them get away with them.
  • There are other parties you can make a claim against. While a drunk driver is clearly liable, other parties may bear partial responsibility, such as a bar that overserved the driver. Drunk driving accident lawyers will carry out a thorough investigation and identify everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries. Finding other liable parties is vital when the policy limits are not sufficient to fairly compensate you.
  • Your injuries require ongoing care. The more severe your injuries the more medical treatment you will need, which makes valuing your damages more difficult, and will cause the insurance company to fight back against giving you a fair settlement. Persistent and knowledgeable drunk driving accident lawyers will not only be able to calculate and demand full compensation, but we will ensure you receive all of the medical you need to recover.

At Burger Law, our consultations and initial investigations are free. Contact us now at (314) 500-HURT to speak directly to a drunk driving accident lawyer familiar with Illinois laws who will be honest with you about whether we can add to your claim.

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 fatalities have steadily become less common in the last four decades, drunk drivers still account for almost a third of total traffic deaths as of 2018. While safe driving campaigns and stiff punishments for drunk driving have definitely done wonders for reducing drunk driving, some reckless Woodstock, IL individuals still make the irresponsible decision to put others at risk because of a misplaced self-centeredness. When that happens and you or a loved one are injured, you deserve to be fairly reimbursed with a full recovery and the reckless driver needs to be held accountable for the harm they have caused. The Woodstock, 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 almost one-fifth of the 1,088 accidents that caused fatalities in the state involved a drunk driver. Alcohol was found in the symptoms of almost 40 percent of 448 deceased drivers who were tested.

How Alcohol Affects Driving | Woodstock, 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 enough to greatly hinder someone's abilities behind the wheel. At .02 percent blood alcohol concentration the body undergoes a decline in visual functions, inability to multi-task, exaggerated confidence and loss of judgment. At .05 percent - reached after roughly three alcohol beverages - someone suffers from reduced coordination, inability to trace moving objects, challenges maneuvering and not being able to respond quickly to emergency situations. It is vital to follow proper road safety and let someone else take the wheel if you have been drinking. Unfortunately, sometimes you can follow all the rules ourselves and still experience the devastating consequences of a thoughtless Woodstock, IL driver making a selfish decision, getting behind the wheel drunk and harming you or someone you care about. Just knowing the harsh penalties that come with a DWI conviction does not make you whole again. Trust in the knowledgeable and skilled Woodstock, 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 go over your case and begin on the path to healing.

Drunk Driving Laws in Woodstock and Illinois

Pursuant 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
  • An accident occurred 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

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 Woodstock, 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 keep you safe.
  2. Breach of Duty That the driver did not use reasonable care.
  3. Cause in Fact That the accident led to your injuries.
  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 you have sustained losses, such as monetary damages like medical bills 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 dictates that motorists are required to to "exercise due care to avoid colliding" with anyone else on the road. 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 principle of negligence per se stipulates 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 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; 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 dedicated and skilled Woodstock, IL drunk driving accident lawyers to stand up to bullies and get the financial recovery you deserve.

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

The driver is clearly at fault for their horrible decision making, but drunk driving accident lawyers well-versed in Illinois law will be able to conduct a full investigation and determine if any of the other following parties share liability:

A Bar, Restaurant or Social Host

Dram shop laws allow you to sue a bar or restaurant after a drunk driving accident if you were harmed. Illinois' dram shop laws are specified in 235 ILCS 5/6-15 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Illinois' dram shop law is different from 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 show:

  • That the bar or restaurant sold the driver alcohol, which you can show through surveillance video, receipts or eyewitness testimony
  • That the patron they sold to was responsible for your injuries
  • That the the patron became inebriated because of the alcohol that was sold to him

You can only sue a social host — meaning someone who furnishes liquor to a guest in a private residence — if the driver responsible for your injuries was not of legal age to drink and became intoxicated at the private residence.

Each year the Illinois Comptroller stipulates dram shop liability limits on the maximum amount of money a person or organization can be required to pay in a dram shop claim. 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 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, the owner may also owe you compensation. According to the doctrine of negligent entrustment, a person may be liable if they permit a third person to use something which is under the control of the actor if it would not be safe to do so. In a drunk driving accident claim in Woodstock, 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 you were injured 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. Reasons they are liable could include:

While drunk driving accident claims can seem pretty cut-and-dry, it is imperative to hire an experienced Woodstock, 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 accountable, but will also increase your compensation and secure you the full financial recovery you are owed.

What Damages Are Available for My Woodstock, 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 injures you, 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, physical therapy appointments and the physical strain that comes with rehabilitating from a lower back injury for a little while. In the most tragic cases, for example if you lose a family member, no amount of money can genuinely make you whole, but the financial recovery should be high enough to encapsulate the terrible loss you have sustained.

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 figure. Examples include:
    • Medical expenses — That includes any urgent care, operations, medications, physical therapy appointments and assistive devices such as crutches. 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 physically able to work. If your injury resulted in a long-term or permanent injury that no longer allows you to earn a living as you once did, 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 deserve a financial recovery for that too.

    In the case of future medical expenses 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 emotional burdens you have been put through, which can include anything from difficulty sleeping in certain positions to the emotional impact of not being able to engage in the same activities anymore.
    • Disability if you have permanent physical or cognitive difficulties because of the accident.
    • Disfigurement if your injuries caused permanent scarring or loss of limb.
    • Loss of consortium if you or a loved one's injuries prevent you and your partner from the companionship 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 advice and camaraderie they once did.
  3. Punitive damages These are not common in personal injury compensation, and are meant to punish the defendant and deter future misbehavior. When we file a lawsuit against drunk drivers, we always seek punitive damages. Not only does that maximize your financial recovery, but it also puts the insurance company on their heels as punitive damages are not covered under insurance 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 dangerous conduct. It is clear to us that anyone who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is demonstrating a flagrant lack of respect for your safety.

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

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Woodstock, IL Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers | Burger Law

We cannot stand bullies, including selfish drivers who do not want to take responsibility for their actions and resistant insurance companies focus more on money than morals. For that reason, each of our Woodstock-based drunk driving accident lawyers in Illinois has dedicated their careers 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 sharpening our negotiation and trial skills to secure maximum compensation for our clients in Woodstock and throughout Illinois. We know your actions did not cause this trying time; someone else's selfish behavior did. For the highest standard of legal advocacy, call the Woodstock, 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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