If you or a loved one sustained severe injuries after being hit by a drunk driver, you are likely considering legal action.
You might also be wondering what your settlement value could be.
Like most personal injury cases, you may have the right to recover compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages after being hit by a drunk driver. The value of your claim will depend on the injuries you suffered and other details specific to your case. As with any accident and injury case, it’s always best to consult with an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Here’s how you can determine your potential settlement value by consulting with a Florida DUI accident attorney. An attorney can review the facts of your case and advise you about recovering the compensation you deserve for your losses.
AVERAGE DRUNK DRIVER SETTLEMENT FAQ
Is There an Average Settlement for Drunk Driving Accidents in Florida?
According to the drunk driving settlement examples listed on this page, the typical Florida car accident settlement is anywhere from $200,000 to $250,000. Settlements depend greatly on the unique circumstances of each case, which is why there is no accurate average settlement amount for drunk driving accidents in Florida.
Drunk driving accidents have the potential to cause significant injuries and, often, death. These incidents can destroy lives and tear families apart. The damages that result from these accidents tend to be substantial.
Many drunk driving claims do carry a high potential value for settlement or verdict due to the severe nature of the resulting damages.
Because DUI accidents are always preventable—and typically involve negligence or recklessness by the at-fault party—your settlement might also include punitive damages. Punitive damages, which victims can collect under Florida law, are designed to punish the at-fault party for their actions.
AVERAGE SETTLEMENT FOR DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT FAQ
Case Studies: Recent DUI Settlement Example Amounts
Case Study 1: $200,000 Drunk Driving Settlement in 2022
Accident: Our client, a 39-year-old advertising account executive, was out with her husband and some friends on Treasure Island, FL in June of 2021. Everyone was traveling in a road-licensed golf cart headed from one restaurant to another one across the street. Our client was sitting in the rear facing back seat of the cart when the driver made a sudden, hard, and unexpected U-turn throwing our client from her seat and on to the pavement.
Injuries: Our client was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries to her head, face, and left hand. A laceration around her right eye and another on her hand required stitches. She followed up with an orthopedic surgeon who ended up performing a nerve repair operation on our client’s hand. Additionally, she required extensive dental treatment due to two teeth that were fractured in the accident. Finally, our client’s plastic surgeon stated that she would require facial scar revision surgery in the future.
Fighting the Insurance Company: The defendant had a $100,000.00 bodily injury policy, but his insurance company refused to pay the limit arguing that their insured was not negligent in the operation of the golf cart. Their initial offer was only $34,000.00. We repeatedly pointed out how the defendant’s actions directly led to the serious injuries our client sustained. We also provided detailed evidence of our client’s damages and made it clear that we would never accept less than the full policy limit. Eventually, faced with the likelihood of a lawsuit, the insurance company paid the full amount to settle the claim. Fortunately, our client also had $100,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage with her own insurer. We argued that her damaged clearly exceeded the defendant’s policy limits and submitted a comprehensive demand package to our client’s insurer for their limit as well. In the end, our law firm convinced the company to pay an additional $100,000.00 to our client.
Settlement: In total, our law firm secured a settlement of $200,000 for the victim of the drunk driving accident in Florida in 2022.
Case Study 2: $250,000 Drunk Driving Settlement in 2021
Accident: Our client, who had recently retired to Florida, was riding as a passenger in a neighbor’s golf cart. Unfortunately, prior to our client getting into the golf cart, the driver of the golf cart had been steadily drinking alcohol. While under the influence of alcohol, the driver of the golf cart lost control and the golf cart rolled over onto the passenger side.
Injuries: As a result of the crash, our client suffered an open fracture of the leg that required surgery.
Fighting the Insurance Company: After an extensive investigation into available insurance coverages, we determined that only the driver’s homeowner’s insurance policy applied.
Settlement: Based on the clear negligence of the driver and our presentation as to the severity of the client’s injuries, the driver’s homeowner’s insurance company tendered their insurance policy limits of $250,000. The insurance company was clearly concerned that our law firm would bring a lawsuit and possible trial if our demand was not timely met. In 2021, the insurance company decided that it would be in their best interest to pay their entire policy limits to our client instead of defending a lawsuit from our law firm. Our client was pleased with the case result and the relatively rapid progression of the case.
Does the Fact That I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver Make My Case for Compensation Stronger?
For anyone hit by a drunk driver, settlement amounts should compensate the victim for all of their losses and damages. Even though there is no average drunk driver settlement you can use for reference, you deserve to recover fair compensation for what you’ve been through.
Being injured by a drunk driver can make it easier to recover compensation, especially when your lawyer can cite criminal evidence in your case. DUI accident injuries may also entitle you to additional damages that you might not otherwise receive. These damages, known as punitive damages, are intended to punish the drunk driver.
Although Florida statutes bar the recovery of punitive damages without a reasonable foundation for doing so, many DUI accident victims sustain injuries that meet the statutory standards.
To recover punitive damages, your case must go to court. If you win your case in court, the jury will determine whether to award punitive damages and, if so, the amount of the damages.
A car accident attorney can explain more about the damages you may be entitled to and help you determine the best way to recover the compensation you deserve.
DRUNK DRIVING LAWSUIT SETTLEMENTS FAQ
What Factors Are Considered When Calculating the Potential Amount of a Florida DUI Settlement?
When calculating the value of a DUI accident claim, attorneys identify and include all potential damages the victim suffered.
Typically, drunk driving accident victims have the right to pursue compensation for all economic and non-economic damages they incurred. In your case, this might include:
- Medical treatment,
- Lost wages,
- Emotional distress, and
- Pain and suffering.
If you sustained disabling or permanent injuries, you may have the right to recover additional compensation for damages such as diminished earning capacity and diminished quality of life. You might also be entitled to compensation for any future medical treatment or care you require as well as estimated future lost income and benefits.
Finally, as discussed above, you may be entitled to recover punitive damages in a Florida DUI injury accident claim if your case goes to court.
DRUNK DRIVER SETTLEMENT AMOUNTS FAQ
What Evidence Is Most Critical in a Drunk Driving Injury Case?
Attorneys leverage a variety of evidence to prove their client’s claim. For your case, this might include:
- Police and accident reports,
- Witness statements and testimony,
- Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing,
- Expert witness opinions,
- Surveillance video,
- Accident scene photographs,
- 911 call recordings, and
- Hospital records.
When you work with a drunk driving injury attorney, your legal team will investigate the circumstances of your accident. Your lawyer will obtain the necessary evidence to build a persuasive case based on the facts and details of your claim.
DRUNK DRIVER ACCIDENT SETTLEMENTS FAQ
Can I Sue a Drunk Driver If I Was Hit as a Pedestrian?
In most cases, you can sue a drunk driver if you sustained injuries as:
- A driver in another vehicle,
- A passenger in another vehicle,
- A passenger in the drunk driver’s vehicle,
- A pedestrian,
- A bicyclist, or
- A motorcyclist.
Typically, you can sue a drunk driver any time their actions cause you to sustain injuries, no matter what the circumstances might have been. Talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer will help you determine whether you have a viable DUI accident injury claim.
DUI ACCIDENT SETTLEMENTS FAQ
Will the Crime Victim Compensation Fund Pay Me If I’m Hit by a Drunk Driver?
You may be wondering, “I got hit by a drunk driver, what am I entitled to?” Florida’s Victim Compensation program, overseen by the state’s Attorney General, provides compensation for victims of various types of crimes, including drunk driving. To qualify for compensation, you must complete the necessary paperwork and meet the program’s requirements.
Unfortunately, the Victim Compensation program has limited resources. The program’s benefits will pay up to two-thirds of your medical bills up to a maximum of $10,000. You can recover up to two-thirds of your lost income up to a maximum of $15,000.
This program is invaluable if you have no other way to recover damages. However, many victims prefer to pursue a drunk driving accident claim or lawsuit if their damages exceed these benefit amounts.
HIT BY A DRUNK DRIVER SETTLEMENT FAQ
What’s the Difference Between Criminal and Civil Drunk Driving Cases?
In a Florida DUI case, the drunk driver faces criminal charges. Upon conviction, drunk drivers face the potential for jail or prison sentences, substantial monetary fines, and other penalties. A criminal DUI case holds the defendant accountable for breaking the law. However, it does not typically benefit the accident victims.
Whether the defendant is ultimately convicted or not, DUI accident victims retain the right to pursue legal action against the defendant. Victims can pursue compensation through a civil lawsuit.
Fortunately, most drunk driving cases never have to go as far as the courtroom. Drunk driving accident victims can pursue compensation through the defendant’s auto liability policy.
In most cases, insurance companies are motivated to settle with victims if the at-fault party was arrested for DUI. They are even more motivated if the defendant pled guilty or was found guilty in court.
If You Have Been Hit By A Drunk Driver Consult a Florida DUI Accident Lawyer Today
You can pursue a settlement through the insurance company as well as through Florida’s Victim Compensation program on your own. Unfortunately, both processes involve extensive time and documentation. This prevents you from focusing on your recovery and well-being and might not get you the results you are hoping for.
In Florida, the personal injury lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk offer a free consultation. We can explain your options and help you make the best decisions for you and your future. We never collect any legal fees unless we recover compensation for your injuries and damages.
Over the last 30+ years, we have assisted more than 20,000 clients, recovering more than $800 million. Let us put our experience to work for you. To discuss your drunk driving injury case, contact us today.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, and we never collect any legal fees until we recover a settlement in your case. If you would like to learn more about what you should expect from the car accident settlement process with GEICO, contact us now. We’ve helped clients throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota and Hernando County.
Cities We Commonly Serve
- St Petersburg
- Spring Hill
- New Port Richey
- Pinellas Park