Drunk driving is a serious offense that can result in severe consequences, both legally and financially. In addition to facing criminal charges, individuals who are found guilty of drunk driving may also be held liable for any damages or injuries caused by their actions. This often leads to civil lawsuits and drunk driving accident settlements.
Baumgartner Law Firm explores real-life examples of drunk driving settlements and the factors that may affect the compensation awarded.
Factors That Affect Drunk Driving Settlements
Before diving into specific examples, it’s important to understand the factors that can impact the outcome of a drunk-driving settlement. These may include:
Severity of Injuries
The severity of injuries sustained by the victim is a significant factor in determining the amount of compensation awarded in a drunk-driving settlement. Injuries that require extensive medical treatment, result in permanent disability, or cause long-term pain and suffering will typically result in a higher settlement amount.
In addition to personal injuries, drunk driving accidents can also cause significant property damage. This may include damage to vehicles, buildings, or other structures. The cost of repairing or replacing damaged property will also be factored into the settlement amount.
The drunk drivers and the victim’s insurance coverage can also impact the settlement amount. If the drunk driver has minimal insurance coverage, the victim may not receive the full amount of compensation they are entitled to. In some cases, the victim’s own insurance coverage may also come into play. Likewise, in some cases, a bar may be liable for overserving a customer who hit another vehicle while drunk. Bar liability in Texas is known as a “dram shop” case.
The laws and regulations of Texas can also affect the outcome of a drunk driving settlement. Texas has specific laws limiting the amount of compensation awarded for punitive or exemplary damages.
Also, if the driver is convicted of driving under the influence, the plea or guilty verdict can impact the proof necessary in a DWI injury case.
The Lawyer You Hire
Who you hire as your attorney to get compensation for you after an accident with a drunk driver matters. Choose a Houston DWI / DUI accident attorney with a record of success in DWI injury accident lawsuits.
Examples of Drunk Driving Settlements
Now, let’s look at some real-life examples of drunk driving settlements to understand better how these factors can impact the outcome.
Example 1: $2 Million Settlement in Houston
A driver ran into the rear of a stalled car partly in the lane of travel on a highway in Houston. The impact killed a woman who left a mother behind. The defense blamed the woman for not getting off the highway and claimed another vehicle moved suddenly to another lane when the defendant hit the stalled vehicle. While the driver was not charged with driving under the influence or other criminal charges, evidence was developed the driver may have been under the influence. After filing a lawsuit, the case was resolved shortly before trial. Expenses were under $50,000, and the fee was 33%.
Example 2: $5 Million Settlement in Houston
A drunk driver who was more than twice the legal limit for blood alcohol content in Texas ran into the back of a car going through a pay toll. The drunk driver continued for some distance after the impact and eventually was pulled over and arrested. The victim sustained a head injury. A lawsuit was filed, and the case headed to trial and was settled before the final verdict. Expenses were under $74,000, and the fee was 40%.
Example 3: $ 6 Million Settlement in Texas
A driver who was arrested for driving while intoxicated left the scene of an accident in which he hit another car and killed the occupant. The driver left two minor children and a mother. After much discovery and just before trial, the case was settled. Compensation to the children was structured in a settlement. Expenses were just over $100,000, and the fee was 40%.
How to Seek Compensation for a Drunk Driving Accident
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Here are the steps you should take to seek compensation:
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first and most important step is to seek medical attention for your injuries. Even if you do not believe you have been seriously injured, getting checked out by a medical professional is important. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent and could worsen if left untreated.
2. Gather Evidence
Gather as much evidence as possible from the accident scene. This may include photos of the damage, witness statements, and police reports. This evidence will be crucial in proving the drunk driver’s liability and the extent of your injuries.
3. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
It’s important to seek the advice of a Texas personal injury lawyer with experience handling drunk driving cases. They can help you navigate the legal process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
4. File a Lawsuit
If the drunk driver’s insurance company cannot reach a settlement, your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit. This will allow you to present your case in court and receive more compensation.
Get Help with an Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Texas
Drunk driving settlements can vary greatly depending on the lawyer you choose, the accident’s circumstances, and the injuries’ severity. By understanding the factors that can impact the outcome of a settlement, you can better prepare yourself for seeking compensation in the event of a drunk driving accident.
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, it’s important to seek the advice of a top-rated personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact Baumgartner Law Firm for a free case assessment and learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069
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