Being involved in an accident with a drunk driver is an incredibly traumatic experience. After the accident, you may be wondering, What is the average drunk driving settlement for situations like mine?
At the Fob James Law Firm, our Alabama car accident attorneys know that you have questions like this and more.
Here is what you need to know about drunk driving settlements in Alabama and how our lawyers calculate them.
Is There an Average Drunk Driving Settlement in Alabama?
Since many drunk driving settlements are confidential, it’s impossible to determine an accurate average. There are also many factors that go into calculating a settlement for a personal injury case, so damages vary greatly.
For this reason, it’s best to work with an experienced car accident attorney that knows how to estimate the value of your claim.
Damages Used to Calculate a Settlement
There are three types of damages that may affect the total amount of your settlement: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Each of these damage types has a different calculation depending on the situation.
Economic damages are any losses you incur in the accident with a specific dollar value. In other words, the losses must be tangible.
This typically includes medical bills related to your treatment, vehicle repairs/replacements, lost wages, and more. Calculating economic damages is relatively straightforward compared to other types of losses.
All you need to do is add up any bills or receipts you have related to your injury.
For example, if you have $80,000 in hospital bills, $15,000 in lost wages, and $5,000 in vehicle repairs, you have $100,000 in economic damages.
Non-economic damages are more subjective than any economic loss. Instead of having a specific dollar amount, these damages are intangible.
These losses include things like loss of future earning capacity, loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. To determine these losses, personal injury attorneys use various methods.
However, one of the most popular methods is the multiplier method.
For the multiplier method, your attorney uses a whole number, usually between one and five, to multiply the total economic damages. Typically, accidents involving serious injuries have a higher multiplier.
For example, if you have $200,000 in economic damages and have paralysis as a result of your injury, your attorney may use a multiplier of five. This makes your non-economic damages $1,000,000.
Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are rare in most personal injury cases.
However, it’s possible to receive punitive damages in drunk driving cases, since they are meant to punish the defendant.
Courts and juries typically award punitive damages in cases of reckless or intentional misconduct that lead to injury.
Injured by a Drunk Driver? We’re Here to Help
Although the average settlement for a drunk driving accident may be difficult to calculate, you don’t have to pursue your claim alone.
The attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm have over 40 years of experience helping clients seek justice after being injured in an accident.
Our goal is to handle every aspect of your case on your behalf so you can focus on recovery.
To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 205-407-6009. We serve clients throughout the state of Alabama from our practice in Birmingham.