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Written by: Steven R. Clawson
| Read Time: 4 minutes

A big concern for someone hit by a drunk driver is the settlement.

There really isn’t an average settlement for a drunk driving accident – Each person’s situation is unique and their settlement depends on the individual facts of their case. 

The average settlement for a drunk driving accident can vary widely depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. Each state has its own laws regarding potential damages. 

The extent of injuries or property damage will play a large role in determining the level of compensation you may be entitled to.

In fact, damages can vary so much that multiple individuals involved in the same drunk driving accident may recover different amounts depending on the seriousness of their respective injuries. 

Ultimately, the compensation for being hit by a drunk driver is not clear-cut. It is imperative to speak with an attorney. Wells Call Injury Lawyers are just a phone call away.

Did the Driver Have Insurance?

The biggest factor in a hit by drunk driver settlement is the driver’s insurance policy. If they have insurance, the accident victim will first try to settle with their automobile insurance company.

However, the victim can only recover compensation up to the limits of the drunk driver’s policy. If the driver did not have car insurance, the victim can file a claim against their own insurance company under their uninsured motorist policy.

If the victim cannot recover the full amount of their expenses this way, the next option is to file a personal injury claim.

How Do You Estimate Your Damages?

Your personal injury attorney will know best how to estimate the damages you can recover. In California, you can recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are related to actual expenses, such as: 

  • Past and future medical bills;
  • Past and future lost wages; and
  • Costs to repair the vehicle or property damages.

On the other hand, non-economic damages are more difficult to figure out. They are compensation for intangible harm such as:

Economic damages are tangible and can be determined by simply adding up receipts and invoices. However, an expert might be necessary to determine the amount of future costs.

Non-economic damages are less tangible and have no receipts or invoices from which to extract a dollar amount. The judge or jury generally determines non-economic damages.

In California, punitive damages are also possible in a settlement for a drunk driving accident. Punitive damages are appropriate in cases of especially egregious or willfully negligent conduct.

In California, if the defendant is guilty of malice, oppression, or fraud and the injuries or damage are severe enough, the Plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damage award amounts are determined by a judge or jury.

Depending on the severity of your case, you may be entitled to one or multiple forms of recovery. The best way to ensure you receive the most recovery possible is to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.

With extensive knowledge of personal injury law in California, Wells Call Injury Lawyers can review your case and ensure that nothing is overlooked. Contact the office today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

What If I Am Partially at Fault for the Accident?

California follows the law of pure comparative negligence. Under this rule, an injured party’s damages are offset by the percentage of their fault. What does that mean?

The jury determines each party’s percentage of fault for the accident depending on the facts of the matter. The total amount of the plaintiff’s damages are then reduced by that percentage.

For example, in a case where the plaintiff’s total damages are $100,000 and the jury finds that the plaintiff was 20% responsible for the accident, the plaintiff could only recover $80,000.

DUI accident settlements can be complex. It is best to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss in more detail the average settlement if hit by a drunk driver.

Call the Wells Call Injury Lawyers for Help with Your Accident Case

Wells Call Injury Lawyers are committed to helping accident victims protect their rights. We are here to help you figure out the next steps, and will take on the burden of dealing with the legal matters so you can focus on recovering.

We litigate all types of personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents, dog bites, truck accidents, and wrongful death. We have obtained over $500 million for our clients in past cases.

You can view some of our past case results on our website, as well as testimonials that are written in our clients’ own words. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert personal injury attorneys.    


1. Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Drunk Driving Accident?

Most obviously, the drunk driver themselves can be held responsible for causing a drunk driving accident.

However, under California law, a business that serves alcohol to a person who has a known history of intoxication or who is obviously intoxicated can be held liable for a drunk driving accident as a result of serving them. 

2. Is It Worth Suing a Drunk Driver?

The short answer is yes, it can absolutely be worth suing a drunk driver for damages as a result of injuries or property damage.

Drunk driver settlement amounts can vary, and the only way to know the potential value of your case is to speak with an attorney. At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we are here to help.

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