There is no standard or average settlement for a car accident with a drunk driver because each injury claim is unique. The facts of your situation will determine the amount of recovery you might get. As such, other people in the same collision as you could have injury claims with a higher or lower settlement value than yours.
Several factors can impact the monetary value of your case. In general, the courts explore how badly you got hurt, how much time you missed from work, any lingering problems you face, and other things that happened to you because of the accident. Let’s take a look at some of these factors.
How the Severity of Your Injuries Can Affect Your Settlement
It is only fair that a person who breaks both legs in a collision with a drunk driver gets more compensation than a person whose only injuries were a few small bruises. This logical approach determines the value of an injury claim by how much the defendant hurt the plaintiff.
The law measures the dollar value of physical harm by the medical bills from the services used to treat the injuries. For example, a person with $20,000 in medical bills will be able to go after more compensation for that loss than a person with $500 in medical bills.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Lost Wages as a Factor in Your Settlement
People who get hurt in car crashes with drunk drivers often miss some work as a result, beginning from the day of the accident. They will be unlikely to keep their regular hours when:
- Receiving initial medical intervention and follow-up procedures
- Going through physical therapy
- Recuperating from their injuries and treatment
Some employers generously pay workers their full wages in these situations, but this is not always the case. If you missed any of your wages, salary, self-employment, or other kinds of regular income because of the accident or your injuries, these losses could be a part of your injury claim.
You can Seek Damages for Reduced Work Hours
In addition, if you have ongoing health problems from the accident, like a bad back, loss of strength, or other issues after you complete your medical treatment, you might have to reduce your work hours or switch to a lower-paying job. You have a financial loss if that happens, and you can add that loss to your claim.
How Non-Economic losses Can Increase Your Car Accident Injury Settlement
Harm is in the “non-economic” category of damages usually does not involve financial loss as much as things like medical bills and lost wages. Still, these losses are real and legitimate. Often, we can include them in your injury claim.
Here are some examples of non-economic damages, also called intangible losses:
- Pain and suffering: This type of monetary damages acknowledges the physical discomfort and emotional distress you experienced because of the drunk driver collision. Merely paying your medical bills and lost wages does not compensate you for the pain and other anguish you suffered.
- Disfigurement: If you have significant, permanent scars—particularly in a highly visible location like the face, throat, chest, or arms—as a result of the accident, you might qualify for additional compensation for this loss.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Many people develop PTSD after a crash that involves catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Drunk driving collisions tend to cause severe injuries and deaths. PTSD can devastate a person’s ability to work, have relationships, and function on a daily basis.
These are just a few examples of the monetary damages you might be able to pursue after a drunk driving accident.
Why the Statute of Limitations is Critical to Your Settlement
Every state limits the time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your losses. If you miss the deadline, you likely will never be able to get money damages for the harm you suffered.
In Louisiana, the deadlines for filing these lawsuits are unusually short. You have only one year to file a personal injury lawsuit (CC Art. 3492) and one year to file a wrongful death lawsuit (CC Art. 2315.2). The clock starts to run on the date of the accident.
A Stalled Claims Process Could Make You Miss the Filing Deadline
People who try to handle their injury claims on their own without an attorney often fall victim to the statute of limitations. The insurance company’s claims adjuster may drag out the process of administering the claim and negotiating a settlement until the year passes.
After that point, th drunk driver and his insurance company have no legal obligation to pay you a cent, even if your loved one was killed in the crash. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we can protect you from this heartbreaking result as long as you come to us in time to file a lawsuit and prevent the deadline from passing.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Call Us Today for a Free Consultation
It costs nothing to talk to us. We are happy to offer a free initial consultation so that you can find out how we can help you. Call us today at (337) 777-7777 for a no-cost consultation. There is no obligation.