The fact that the driver was drunk does not necessarily impact the amount of money that you will receive in a settlement. Your damages are still your damages, and it only matters that someone did something wrong and caused your injury.
Every personal injury settlement aims to restore you to the position that you were in right before the accident happened. Your settlement must cover both the economic and non-economic costs of your injuries.
Economic costs cover the actual money that came out of your pocket, including:
- Your medical bills
- Property damage to your car
- Lost wages if your injuries keep you from working
Then, every car accident has its accompanying costs that are not directly economic, but they can be measured in terms of dollars. For example, the physical pain of your injuries can be intense. Being injured in a sudden accident that was not your fault and had a major impact on your life can cause you depression and anxiety. You may be unable to engage in hobbies or other things that you previously enjoyed. Whatever damages you suffered, the responsible driver must pay you in full for them, even if their car insurance policy does not cover all of them.
The type of settlement that you receive also depends on how resolute you are when it comes to negotiating the agreement. The drunk driver’s insurance company will likely want to settle the case. They do not want to face a jury when their policyholder has broken the law and caused bodily injury. However, the insurance company may stand in the way of you getting a reasonable settlement by being difficult in the negotiations.
If the insurance company is trying to pay you less than you deserve, you do not have to accept it. You can hold firm in settlement negotiations, threatening to file a lawsuit if their settlement offer does not come closer to meeting the reality of your damages. You can reject a low settlement offer and make your own counteroffer.
The important thing to do after you have been involved in a drunk driving accident is contact an experienced attorney who can help you value your claim. Securing legal representation means you will know going into settlement negotiations how much you deserve. Your lawyer will handle the negotiations with the insurance company for you.
Your attorney will also investigate contextual factors behind the drunk driver’s actions and search for strong evidence that suggests your settlement can be increased as punishment for the other driver’s recklessness. These circumstances can include a BAC well above the legal limit, a history of DUI, and if the drunk driver was aware of the risk of driving impaired.
Call a Greenville Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. Call the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm at (864) 280-7660 or message us online to schedule your free initial consultation.
No. There is a different standard of proof in a civil case. An arrest may increase your settlement amount. You still have your right to a trial in a civil case. Yes. It is possible to receive punitive damages from the other insurance company if you can prove the drunk driver was grossly negligent or reckless.
Drunk Driving Settlement FAQs
Does the drunk driver need to be convicted for me to get money?
What if the driver was acquitted?
Can I get punitive damages?
No. There is a different standard of proof in a civil case. An arrest may increase your settlement amount.
You still have your right to a trial in a civil case.
Yes. It is possible to receive punitive damages from the other insurance company if you can prove the drunk driver was grossly negligent or reckless.