Imagine driving down a quiet road on a tranquil evening, your mind focused on the simple pleasure of heading home after a long day. Suddenly, your world is shattered by the deafening crash of metal, glass shattering, and the sensation of an impact that sends shockwaves through your body. You’ve been hit by a drunk driver, and the question that inevitably follows is, “What will my settlement be?” In that moment, the world as you know it changes forever, and you’re left grappling with not only the physical injuries but also the uncertainty of what your future holds.
I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver. What Will My Settlement Be?
In the United States, settlements resulting from accidents caused by intoxicated drivers generally fall within $50,000 to $100,000. Nevertheless, it is vital to underscore that these settlements can encompass a broad spectrum, stretching from a few thousand to several million dollars. This variance hinges significantly on the gravity of the accident and the extent of the injuries sustained by the victim.
Most of the time, individuals who are injured in accidents caused by drunk drivers can seek compensation for various damages, including:
- Medical Bills: This covers the costs associated with your medical treatment, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries have prevented you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost income during your recovery.
- Property Damage: Any damage to your vehicle or personal property as a result of the accident can be included in the settlement.
- Pain and Suffering: This category encompasses the physical and emotional distress you’ve endured due to the accident, which can vary widely based on the circumstances.
- Punitive Damages: In particularly severe cases, where the accident was exceptionally egregious or has caused long-term harm, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the responsible party further.
Factors Affecting the Amount of the Settlement
Determining the settlement amount in a drunk driving accident case isn’t straightforward. It hinges on numerous variables, including:
- Severity of Injuries: The extent of your injuries plays a central role. More severe injuries typically lead to higher settlements due to the increased medical expenses and long-term impact on your life.
- Property Damage: The value of property damaged in the accident, such as your vehicle, is factored into the settlement calculation.
- Number of People Involved: If multiple parties were injured or affected by the accident, the total compensation may be divided among them.
- Insurance Coverage: The insurance policies of both the at-fault driver and yourself are vital. The limits of their coverage can significantly impact the potential settlement.
An experienced personal injury attorney will thoroughly investigate all aspects of your case, aiming to secure the maximum compensation you deserve. Their expertise in navigating the complexities of legal proceedings and negotiations can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your case.
How Can You Get the Most Money from a Drunk Driving Accident Settlement?
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being a victim in a drunk driving accident, it’s essential to take the right steps to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Here’s how you can maximize your potential recovery:
Contact an Experienced Attorney
The first and most crucial step is contacting an experienced personal injury attorney. They will guide you through the legal process, assess the strength of your case, and provide expert advice on the best course of action.
Keep meticulous records of your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and any pain and suffering you’ve experienced. These records are vital evidence in building a strong case.
If the drunk driver was charged with DUI, it can significantly bolster your case and potentially lead to a more substantial settlement.
Explore All Avenues
Your attorney will explore all possible sources of compensation, including insurance policies, to maximize your recovery. They will also pursue all available legal options to secure the compensation you deserve.
An experienced attorney is skilled in negotiation tactics and will work diligently to obtain the highest possible settlement on your behalf.
What Are Some Other Options Besides Settling?
While settling may be the most common resolution in drunk driving accident cases, it’s essential to be aware of alternative options:
- Personal Injury Lawsuit: If a settlement cannot be reached or is inadequate, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This legal action allows you to present your case in court and seek compensation through a judge’s decision.
- Dram Shop Claim: In some cases, you can pursue a dram shop claim against the establishment that served alcohol to the drunk driver. If it can be proven that the establishment overserved the individual, they may be held partially liable for the accident.
- Wrongful Death Action: Tragically, some drunk driving accidents result in fatalities. In such cases, surviving family members can file a wrongful death action to seek compensation for their loss.
- Criminal Complaint: In certain states, you may have the option to file a criminal complaint against the drunk driver. While this won’t result in direct financial compensation for you, it can hold the driver accountable for their actions.
Get The Legal Support You Need at Pacin Levine, P.A.
When it comes to your drunk driver settlement, remember that the amount you receive hinges on several factors and an experienced attorney can significantly impact the outcome in your favor.At Pacin Levine, P.A., we are dedicated to helping victims of drunk driving accidents in the Greater Coral Gables Area, including Miami, Coconut Grove, South Miami, Pinecrest, and beyond. Contact us at (305) 760-9085 or 1-800-24-7-CRASH (2727) to discuss your case and begin your journey towards the justice and compensation you deserve. In these challenging times, let the law be your ally on the road to recovery.