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How Much Should You Expect From a DUI Car Accident Settlement

| February 10, 2021, 06:48 PM

Accidents that happen as a result of driving under the influence are the plague of this era. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, a third of traffic deaths are caused by drunk drivers. Traffic deaths are already exceptionally high, so a third is a pretty huge number. There is no doubt that there has been a decline in the number of drunk driving fatalities in the last few decades, but it’s far from being safe to ignore. If you or a loved one are ever hit by a drunk driver, it’s important to know what to expect and how you can deal with it properly. The first thing that may pop to your mind is the settlement, which is why we’ve created an overview of the settlement you should expect from a DUI car accident claim.

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There Is No Average

It’s important to know from the get-go that there is no average that all DUI claims lean toward. This shouldn’t come as a surprise due to the number of variables that could be involved in a DUI accident; most circumstances can be quite unique and unprecedented in many cases. If you’re looking to assign a dollar value as an average to all car accidents, you’re doing this wrong. Fortunately, there are essential parameters that can be used to provide a detailed car accident settlement, as long as it’s measured on a case-by-case basis.

Understanding Modified Comparative Fault

In a conventional car accident without any drug or alcohol influence, you can recover some money, as long as you are not the one at fault. In a DUI case, the case is much easier to settle since one party is considered more at fault than others. In Dallas, the logic of defining fault is based on Texas’s modified comparative fault laws. In these states, you have to prove that the other party is more at fault than you are to be able to recover the damages. This is why it’s important to consult with a personal injury lawyer to ensure that you are able to build a strong case against the other party. Even though it’s usually easy to prove the fault of a drunk driver, it’s important to prove that you were not at as much fault as well.

Damages Calculations

In most states, the type of damage resulting from a DUI car accident is categorized into economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

  • Property damage repair costs
  • Medical expenses, such as hospital stays, health evaluations, surgery, and similar costs
  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Cost of losing the potential to earn money
  • Loss of employment

Economic damages are easy to calculate because there is a direct monetary value that’s attached to any of the mentioned losses. Naturally, depending on the scale of the accident and the severity of the injury, the settlement claim can amass huge amounts.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Psychological pain and suffering from injury or experience
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of the ability to socialize and move
  • Damage to reputation

Non-economic damages aren’t as straightforward in calculations as their economic counterpart, making it considered the part that’s negotiated the most during settlement claims. Even though these damages might not necessarily cost you money, there is no such thing as a monetary value that’s strictly assigned to the pain you receive.

Putting the Settlement in a Range

If you’d like to follow a rule of thumb to predict the amount of settlement, it’s often about 3 times the cost of the medical bills involved. Keep in mind that you should take this with a grain of salt because there are other factors that can influence the final settlement amount. The insurance industry doesn’t have an exact formula to follow with DUI accidents, and reimbursements are often based on policy limits. If there is pain and suffering resulting from an injury, it’s important to get a report from a doctor immediately after the accident, as it’s considered the prime evidence in this case.

For example, let’s say you injured your leg or back in a DUI accident and had to pay $5,000 in medical bills, in addition to losing around $2,000 in income due to not being able to work for a week. This is enough to calculate an average settlement that is between $14,000 and $28,000. Naturally, severe injuries that may result in permanent damage or disabilities receive higher payments, determined by the judge.

Getting into a DUI car accident can be a very intimidating life-changing event, but it’s important to remember that you can claim what you’re owed. Getting a personal injury lawyer to guide you through this process is essential, especially if it’s a serious accident. The settlement you should expect should be properly calculated by your lawyer once they have all the information needed.

Severn Bank

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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