If you were involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, we understand that you may be feeling frustrated if not angry. Feelings of anger are completely normal in such a situation, as a drunk driving accident IS one that could have been avoided. However, stewing in your anger will get you no closer to justice. If you want to ensure that the drunk driver is held financially responsible for the damages caused by his or her actions, channel that anger and reach out to our drunk driving accident lawyers at the Olson Law Firm today. We can help you use your frustration in a constructive manner—to build a solid defense and fight for the financial recovery you need to pick up the pieces of your life and move forward.
What is the Average Drunk Driver Settlement?
Before pursuing a personal injury claim of any kind, most people want to know if doing so is “worth it.” What they mean is, will the size of the settlement far outweigh the legal costs of pursuing one? The truth is, it all depends. Every car accident case, no matter if the crash was caused by a drunk driver or a sober one, is unique and contains unique factors that ultimately affect the overall outcome of the case.
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident and want to know what size settlement to expect, we likely cannot provide you with an exact answer. We can, however, tell you that drunk driving cases typically yield higher settlements than in cases in which the at-fault driver was not impaired.
That said, there is no average settlement for a drunk driving accident. In Colorado, some drunk driving accidents settle for millions, while others result in drunk driving lawsuit settlements of less than $10,000. The discrepancy occurs for a number of reasons. Some factors that may affect the outcome of a settlement include the following:
● The severity and permanence of an injury;
● The degree of comparative fault; and
● The amount of economic loss suffered.
Another factor that plays a role in the outcome of a drunk driving case is legal representation. Those who try to represent themselves typically settle for far less than what they deserve, while those who retain experienced and aggressive counsel are cautioned to not settle until a fair amount can be negotiated and agreed upon. It is no secret that accident victims who retain the help of an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer are awarded significantly more than those who choose to go the DIY approach, or who hire an attorney who lacks the appropriate experience.
Calculating Damages in a Drunk Driving Settlement
One of the first things we do when meeting with accident victims and their families is evaluate the case and provide a fair and honest assessment of its value. Though we do not provide promises to clients about what to expect from their drunk driving lawsuit settlements, we do provide as accurate an estimate as possible. To come up with said estimate, we consider the following:
● Possible Compensatory Damages: Compensatory damages are those intended to compensate the victim for his or her economic and non-economic losses. Such losses include special damages (past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, etc.) and general damages (mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, etc.).
● Possible Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are damages that are not meant to compensate the victim, but rather, to punish the defendant. In many drunk driving cases, Colorado does award punitive damages, as drunk driving is an act of gross negligence and one that demonstrates wanton disregard for the safety of others. While punitive damages are never a guarantee in drunk driving lawsuit settlements, they are common.
Unfortunately, there is no average drunk driver lawsuit settlement to which drunk driving accident victims can refer to decide if pursuing a lawsuit is wise or not. However, know that if a reputable lawyer does agree to take on your case, chances are it is because he or she anticipates your particular case to yield a sizeable award.
Let Our Aggressive Drunk Driving Lawyers Go to Battle for You
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, take the first step to physical, emotional, and financial recovery. Contact the Olson Law Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation, and to learn what you need to do to maximize your recovery. We serve accident victims and their families in Denver, CO, and Cheyenne, WY, and surrounding areas. Contact our team today to get started.