What's the Average Settlement After Getting Hit By a Drunk Driver?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 10,000 people are killed in DUI accidents every year. Tens of thousands more suffer severe, sometimes catastrophic injuries.

If you were hit by a drunk driver, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit to seek financial compensation for your damages.

You may be wondering: How much can I expect to recover in a drunk driving accident settlement? The answer is that it depends —  these settlements can range from a few thousand dollars to more than a million dollars.

In this article, our DUI accident attorneys explain the key factors that will affect the value of your DUI accident settlement.

An Overview of the Four Factors that Will
Affect Your DUI Accident Settlement

Proof of Liability

To hold a drunk driver liable for an accident, you must prove fault. In most DUI accident cases, proving full liability is not especially challenging — though, there are some exceptions.

Still, it is a necessary step in the process of obtaining a full and fair settlement offer. Make sure you get the police report, criminal trial records, photographs, and any other evidence that can be used to establish liability. 

The Value of Your Damages

Similar to other personal injury cases, the value of a drunk driving accident case is ultimately based on the extent of the victim’s losses. Put another way, your DUI accident settlement should compensate you for your specific economic and non-economic damages.

The more serious your injuries, the larger the settlement should be. Compensation may be available for:

  • Vehicle repairs
    or replacement;
  • Medical bills;
  • Physical therapy;
  • Lost wages;
  • Pain and
  • Disfigurement;
  • Loss of life
    enjoyment; and
  • Wrongful death

Award of Punitive Damages

One of the key things that makes a DUI accident claim unique is that an injured victim may be eligible to recover punitive damages. As described by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant and to deter others from committing similar actions.

Still, these damages are awarded to the victim. If you were hit by a drunk driver, your attorney can help you explore recovery for punitive damages as part of your settlement.

Insurance Coverage and Policy Limits

Most DUI accident lawsuits are brought against insurance companies. Insurers will only pay out the extent of the policy limit. This means these policy limits could have a significant impact on the value of your settlement.

If you suffered damages well in excess of the policy limit, your personal injury lawyer can help you explore every potential avenue to financial recovery.

Contact our Drunk Driving Accident Injury

At Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., our car accident lawyers have the skills and experience needed to handle DUI accident claims. If you were hurt in a crash with a drunk driver, we will get you justice and full financial compensation.

To set up a free, no strings attached review of your case, please contact our legal team now. We handle DUI accidents claims in New Mexico, West Texas, and North Dakota.


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