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 for a drunk driving accident should be.
Compensation may be available for:
- Vehicle repairs or replacement;
- Medical bills;
- Physical therapy;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of life enjoyment; and
- Wrongful death damages.
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 Legal Information Institute, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from committing similar actions.
Still, these damages are awarded to the victim. If you were hit by a drunk driver, your DUI injury attorney can help you explore recovery for punitive damages as part of your DUI accident 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 Attorneys
At Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., our DUI accident attorneys have the skills and experience needed to handle DUI accident claims. If you were hurt in a crash caused by a drunk driver, we will get you justice and full financial compensation.
We handle DUI accident claims in New Mexico, Texas, and North Dakota.