What Is the Average Settlement for a Drunk Driving Accident?

December 15, 2023 Posted In Car Accidents

How much a drunk driving accident claim is worth will vary case to case based on unique factors, but on average, settlements range from $80,000 to $125,000. 

average settlement in a drunk driving accident

Average Payout for Severe Injuries

Drunk driving accident claims involving severe injuries are worth much more due to the impact on the victim’s quality of life. For example, a mild traumatic brain injury such as a concussion may result in a settlement or award between $70,000 to $100,000, depending on the injury’s prognosis. Whereas a moderately severe injury, such as a herniated disc or similar type of spinal injury, may pay between $100,000 to $350,000. Lastly, a life-changing injury, such as paralysis or loss of limb, can lead to a settlement or award from $185,000 up to millions of dollars. 

Average Payout for Mild Injuries

Mild trauma, such as soft tissue injuries that heal within weeks to months, do not have as extensive of an impact. As a result, these drunk driving accident claims typically have lower average payouts. For example: 

  • Whiplash Injuries—$2,500 to $10,000 
  • Ankle Sprains—$15,000 
  • Shoulder Injuries— $20,000

Of course, these figures are only estimates. The only way to estimate the true value of your claim is to consult an experienced Riverside Car Accident Attorney. They can assess your losses and the impact your injury has had and will have on your future to give you an accurate idea of how much you deserve. 

What To Do After a Drunk Driving Accident to Increase Your Claim’s Value

Here are the steps to take after a drunk driving accident that are critical to helping you recover fair compensation. 

Call 911

Notify the police immediately after to request medical assistance for anyone who is injured and notify them a drunk driver hit you. If the drunk driver does not need to be transported to the hospital, the responding officer will likely conduct field sobriety tests and an arrest. They will also create an accident report that will be vital to your claim. It will detail the collision, including which party the officer believes was at fault, how the crash occurred, and whether a driver was intoxicated, which weighs heavily in an insurance company’s settlement offer. 

Document the Scene

If you are not taken to the hospital by emergency services, photograph or take videos of the accident scene. Try to document the following:

  • The positions of the vehicles after the crash and their damage. 
  • Any property damage to the surrounding area 
  • A far away photo of the entire area
  • Skid marks and any other markings on the road 
  • Nearby street signs and traffic signals
  • Any significant road conditions or hazards, such as potholes, uneven lanes, or debris. 
  • Your injuries

Speak to Witnesses

If anyone witnessed the accident, ask for their name and contact information. Their statements can be crucial to confirm your side of the story.

Seek Medical Treatment

See a doctor as soon as possible after leaving the scene. Even if your injuries seem minor, you may experience delayed symptoms due to a severe injury. In addition, medical records will provide a critical link between your injuries and the collision. 

Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company

Notify your insurer of the accident. They can advise you on your coverage options if you choose to file under your own policy instead of the drunk driver’s. 

Speak To a Lawyer

A trusted and skilled Riverside Car Accident Attorney can assist you with every aspect of your claim, drastically increasing your chances of recovering maximum compensation. 

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