After being the victim of a traumatizing drunk driving accident, obtaining your highest settlement amount can feel impossible. Insurance adjustors solicit your phone while you recover from physical injuries and collect accident scene evidence, making it easier to give in to their proposed amount. They understand the legalities behind car accidents cases and have advantages of experience and expertise over you when it comes to maximizing your settlement.
Albert Einstein once said that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” and we believe you are a step ahead when you understand how to combat insurance adjustors. To better help you understand what is in store when seeking your maximum settlement, we have outlined some information about drunk driving settlements and the factors that can affect your awarded amount.
Is there an average drunk driving settlement amount?
Every drunk driving accident case is unique, and therefore each settlement amount is unique, meaning there is no average compensation. Many different factors affect the specific dollar result in your particular accident, and it is not wise to rely on an average to determine the amount you receive.
There is a wide range of accident settlement amounts throughout the country, with less severe case awards starting around $25,000 and severe cases reaching millions of dollars. You cannot predict what your situation might be worth without a personal injury lawyer who can analyze your unique crash details.
What are the types of damages in a drunk driving accident case?
There are two types of loss damages that you may have experienced when suffering a hit by a drunk driver: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that a dollar amount can enumerate. In most cases, this will include all property or vehicle damage totals, the cost of medical bills, lost wages due to the accident, and an estimate of future wages or medical expenses that may arise in the future due to further complications.
In contrast, you cannot easily assign a dollar amount to non-economic damages. These typically include non-material consequences, such as pain and suffering or lost companionship with an injured or killed family member.
The third type of damage common to drunk driving cases is known as punitive damages. They are awarded not to compensate for a loss but to punish the defendant and deter them from reckless and hazardous behavior in the future. If your personal injury attorney can prove that the driver acted maliciously or hazardously, you may receive additional compensation.
What are the factors that affect settlement amounts in drunk driving accident cases?
Severity of Injuries
First, the severity of injuries sustained affect settlement amounts significantly. Accidents with only minor injuries, such as whiplash, scrapes, and bruises, typically settle for less than accidents with conditions that require surgeries and hospital stays. Medical costs are less significant in minor cases, so a court will, in turn, not award you as much.
Permanence of Injuries
If you have been the victim of a drunk driving case that left you with a permanent injury or disfigurement, you may qualify for a large settlement. Your compensation will increase according to how your physical conditions from the crash decrease your quality of life moving forward.
A typical settlement will compensate damage to your property, such as your vehicle and its contents, and is another key factor that affects your settlement. The driver’s insurance company and policy limits will determine how much you will receive.
Finally, the drunk driver’s insurance coverage plays a prominent role in your settlement amount. For instance, obtaining a large settlement will be more challenging if the driver has minimum coverage and lacks significant assets. Their company might be liable for damage payment if the driver was a professional, such as a truck or rideshare driver.
Finding Legal Representation
These essential factors that affect your final settlement are crucial to know as insurance adjustors try to take advantage of your drunk driving accident. However, if they challenge you in the courtroom and continue the battle for your lowest settlement, you will not have the necessary probate experience to defend yourself.
Many people just like you have found tremendous success maximizing their settlement offer by hiring an experienced car accident lawyer to handle their case. Our team would be pleased to answer any questions you have about drunk driving accidents and tell you more about factors that affect your settlement.
Call our law firm today at (520) 638-6496 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your personal injury case. We would love to begin an attorney-client relationship with you and answer anything you would like to know from our litigation expertise.