| Read Time: 2 minutes
Featured Image Articles

When you get hit by a drunk driver, the aftermath and overall injuries can be devastating.

Many victims after the accident want to know the average drunk driver settlement and if it covers their losses.

Since every accident has unique factors, it’s difficult to determine a reasonable drunk driving lawsuit settlement without the help of an experienced Birmingham car accident attorney.

Here is everything you need to know about the factors that go into settlement calculations.

Do Average Drunk Driver Settlement Calculators Give an Accurate Estimate?

Unfortunately, no. Online calculators cannot take the circumstances of your case into account when determining a potential settlement.

At most, online settlement calculators may help calculate economic damages, but they cannot accurately represent non-economic factors.

For example, if your injury makes it impossible to participate in your favorite hobby, an online calculator won’t be able to include it.

Types of Damages Used to Calculate Drunk Driving Lawsuit Settlements

In personal injury cases involving a drunk driver, there are three types of damages used to determine a potential settlement: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. 

Economic Damages 

Economic damages are any tangible losses you sustain as a result of the accident.

This typically includes any medical bills you receive for treatment of your injuries, lost wages from missing work during recovery, and the cost to repair/replace your vehicle.

In claims involving serious injuries, it may also cover lost earning potential if your injury prevents you from returning to the same job.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to any intangible losses you have after the accident. This covers anything from loss of quality of life to pain and suffering.

These damages are the most subjective and aren’t calculated the same exact way by every attorney. However, many attorneys use some form of either the multiplier or per diem method.

The multiplier method calculates non-economic damages by assigning a multiplier to the total economic damages, usually between one and five.

In contrast, the per diem method assigns a dollar amount owed per day of recovery.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are very rare and only apply to cases where the defendant acted with wanton, reckless disregard for the safety of others.

The court or jury usually determines the amount of punitive damages rather than the attorney for the plaintiff.

Examples of Drunk Driving Settlements

To demonstrate the calculations that go into an average drunk driver settlement, here is an example of how a potential settlement might be determined.

John sues a drunk driver for crashing into him and severely fracturing his arm. He has $80,000 in economic damages. John’s attorney decides to use a multiplier of five to calculate non-economic damages since John’s injury prevents him from playing with his minor league baseball team. This makes John’s non-economic damages $400,000. In total, John’s potential settlement is $480,000.

In this case, John’s non-economic damages significantly increased his potential settlement because it ended his minor league baseball career.

While this may not represent every case, it should give you a good idea of how attorneys calculate the average drunk driving settlement.

Hit By a Drunk Driver? The Fob James Law Firm Can Help

If you’ve been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you don’t have to face it alone.

At the Fob James Law Firm, our Birmingham, AL car accident attorneys fight tirelessly for the compensation you need to recover while providing a compassionate, individualized approach.

To schedule a free consultation, give us a call or contact us online.

Author Photo

Fob H. James, IV

Fob James obtained a B.S., in software engineering from Auburn University and then continued his education by getting his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law. After working for a large regional firm for several years where he obtained awards for both individual and corporate clients, Fob found that his passion was fighting for individuals who have been seriously injured or wronged by others. Fob believes that the jury is the great equalizer to the power and influence that large corporations have in society.