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What Is the Average Settlement For Drunk Driving Accidents?

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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DUI settlement cases can be difficult to navigate without a lawyer. Based on my experience with several personal injury cases, a handful of factors can impact how much money you get from the insurance company.

The court looks at how much the accident hurt you, how much time you missed from work, any lasting problems, and other things that happened to you because of the accident. 

Here is everything you need to know about drunk driving accident settlements.

Quick Summary

  • If you incurred any missed pay, salary, or other regular income due to the accident or your injuries, you may be able to include these expenses in your claim.
  • You will almost always receive around the same average settlement for a drunk driving accident. 
  • Unfortunately, some people do not think they can get emotional compensation.

What Is Considered “Drunk Driving”?

A driver drinking inside the carIt is considered drunk driving when the driver’s blood alcohol level is from .02% to .08% [1]

If you get into a DUI accident, you should understand your rights. It’s also critical to remember that you don’t have to be the driver affected by the collision to file a personal injury claim. 

If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver or impacted by a drunk driving accident, you may wonder if there is an average settlement for a drunk driving accident. Unfortunately, there is no set answer as it will depend on various factors specific to your situation.

Related Article: How are Bail Amounts Determined in DUI Cases?

Who Is Held Liable in a DUI Accident?

The person who is held liable in a DUI accident is the drunk driver. However, there are some exceptions. For example, that party may not be charged if someone was forcing the driver to drive a car under the influence.

In other scenarios, such as car accidents caused by commercial drivers, the driver’s employer, instead of the driver, may be held responsible. This is more likely if the employer 

knows the driver was intoxicated while working.

Related Article: DUI (Drunk Driving Accident) Lawsuit

What Factors Influence Drunk Driving Settlements?

A person holding a bottle of alcohol beside a car

Factors influencing drunk driving settlements are similar to those of other car accident cases. Some of these include the severity of your injuries, whether you missed work because of your injuries, and the cost of any medical treatment you needed due to the accident.

  • The Severity Of Your Injuries: If someone gets injured in a car accident with a drunk driver, they should get more money than someone with a few small bruises. 
  • Lost Wages: People who get hurt in car crashes with drunk drivers tend to miss some work. 
  • Seek Damages for Reduced Work Hours: If you have health problems because of the accident, like a broken back, impairment, or other issues after you complete your medical treatment, you might have to work fewer hours or switch to a part-time job. This can cause you to lose money, and you can add that loss to your drunk driving accident case.

“Aside from the economic damages resulting from a drunk driving accident, it is also possible to increase your drunk driver settlement by claiming non-economic damages.”
David A. Haenel, Personal Injury Attorney

Common Injuries Caused by Drunk Driving Accidents That You Can Sue For

A car accident outside on the street

The following are physical injuries that drunk driving accident victims experience as a result of being hit by a drunk driver:

  • Broken limbs
  • Concussions
  • Contusions
  • Organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Unfortunately, some people do not think they can get compensated for emotional damage such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if they have no physical symptoms.

A good personal injury lawyer will assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve for any type of harm, whether physical or mental.

Related Article: Aiding and Abetting a DUI

What Is the Average Settlement for Drunk Driving Accidents?

A woman looking at the phone inside a car with a dent on the sideThe average settlement for drunk driving accidents is around $25,000. In most cases, your drunk driving lawsuit settlements will generally be the same regardless of the accident’s severity.

However, if the other driver was at fault, your damages, including medical bills, car repairs, pain, suffering, etc., might be a lot more.

Most of the time, you can get up to $80,000 in compensation after a moderate accident with a drunk driver. If your case is more severe, you could get up to $125,000.

Every accident is different. Each person will have different injuries and damage from the accident. This means that each person’s settlement from the accident will be different.

There is no one-size-fits-all estimate, but generally, you can expect to get a good amount of money if a drunk driver causes your crash.

Related Articles:

See the other car accident lawsuits our lawyers have taken on.


Why Is the Statute of Limitations Critical to My Settlement?

The statute of limitations is critical to your settlement because it controls the time limit for which the parties must execute specific actions. By definition, the statute of limitations refers to the time an injured party has to file a personal injury lawsuit following their injury.

How Can Non-economic Losses Increase Your Car Accident Injury Settlement?

Non-economic losses can increase your car accident injury settlement by considering the impacts that an accident has had on your quality of life. This includes pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other factors that are more difficult to quantify with a financial figure.

Can Punitive Damages Affect the Value of Your Settlement?

Yes, punitive damages affect the value of your settlement by often increasing the total settlement amount for the plaintiff. Not every personal injury case allows for punitive damages. 

What Are the Minimum Insurance Requirements?

The minimum insurance requirements differ from one state to another. The Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire (OCI) states that minimum coverage must include bodily injury coverage of $25,000 or more per person and $50,000 or more per incident and property damage coverage of $25,000 or more [2].

Filing an Insurance Claim and Getting a Fair Settlement

The minute you file an insurance claim, the insurance company will do anything to protect themselves instead of getting you paid. Don’t waste your time or money on a long, frustrating battle. Let Schmidt & Clark, LLP take care of it. 

Contact us for a free consultation with our experienced personal injury attorney, and we’ll quickly and easily get you the settlement amount you’re due. Our attorneys will protect everything you say under our attorney-client relationship privilege. 



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