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Average Settlement if Hit by a Drunk Driver in Georgia

May 31, 2024 - DUI Accidents

Average Settlement if Hit by a Drunk Driver in Georgia

The average settlement for being hit by a drunk driver in Georgia typically ranges from $25,000 to $100,000. This range depends on several factors including the severity of injuries, the extent of property damage, and the circumstances of the accident.

Additional factors like the driver’s insurance coverage, any punitive damages awarded, and the victim’s losses also influence the settlement amount.

Drunk driving accidents are particularly serious due to the impaired judgment and slowed reaction times caused by alcohol. Under Georgia law, these incidents are not merely considered acts of negligence.

So, if a drunk driver hits you in Georgia, you are likely to receive a substantial settlement to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other related damages.

 

Examples of drunk driving settlements

Here are a few settlements for drunk driving accidents that Michael and his team have won. Each case reflects the unique circumstances and the resulting compensations awarded to the victims or their families.

  • $610,000: Drunk 18-wheeler fled the scene, caused soft tissue injuries only – 2016, Atlanta GA
  • $600,000: Spine injuries after head-on collision – 2017, Newnan GA
  • $325,000: Hip injury from a drunk driver – 2017, Canton GA

 

I got hit by a drunk driver, what am I entitled to?

If you were hit by a drunk driver, you are entitled to various types of damages to compensate for your losses. These can be broadly categorized into economic and non-economic damages.

  • Economic Damages: Tangible losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and any other out-of-pocket costs related to the accident.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Intangible losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and any long-term impacts on your quality of life.

 

Punitive damages for a DUI

If you were hit by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to punitive damages in addition to economic and non-economic damages.

These are awarded in cases of egregious wrongdoing, such as a DUI. Unlike compensatory damages that aim to make the victim whole, punitive damages are intended to punish the drunk driver for their reckless behavior and to deter similar conduct in the future.

In Georgia, punitive damages can be substantial, reflecting the seriousness of driving under the influence and the potential harm it causes.

For more clarification on what you can claim, get in touch with a Lawrenceville personal injury attorney

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Drunk driver settlement amounts by type

When involved in an accident with a drunk driver, the average car accident settlement in Georgia can vary significantly based on the specific circumstances of the case.

Rear-Ended

The average rear-ended by drunk driver settlement amount is $20,000 to $50,000. Severe cases involving spinal injuries or long-term disabilities can lead to higher settlements, ranging up to $100,000 or more.

Rear-end collisions caused by drunk drivers often result in whiplash, back injuries, and other soft tissue injuries. Settlements cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

Head-On Collision

The average head-on collision settlement amount is $50,000 to $100,000. Settlement amounts can vary based on factors such as the severity of injuries and insurance coverage.

Head-on collisions with drunk drivers are among the most severe accidents, resulting in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Settlements cover extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering. 

Side-Impact Collisions

In our experience, the average settlement amount for this type of accident is $30,000 to $70,000. Side-impact collisions, also known as T-bone accidents, caused by drunk drivers can lead to serious injuries, including fractures, head trauma, and internal injuries.

Settlements typically cover medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering. Factors such as the extent of injuries and liability can influence settlement amounts.

Rollover Accidents

Payouts for DUI rollover accidents can be between $50,000 and $150,000. Settlement amounts can vary based on the severity of injuries, the impact on the victim’s life, and other factors.

Rollover accidents caused by drunk drivers are highly dangerous and often result in severe injuries or fatalities. Settlements cover medical bills, rehabilitation, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering. 

Multi-Vehicle Pileups

Anticipated accident claims for multi-vehicle incidents are between $50,000 and $200,000. Multi-vehicle pileups involving drunk drivers can cause extensive property damage, multiple injuries, and fatalities.

As you might, settlements for this type of car accident case are larger due to there being more cars and people involved, and potentially more at-fault drivers.

If you’ve been in an accident involving a drunk driver, consider reaching out to a Johns Creek personal injury lawyer for guidance on your next steps

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Factors that influence settlement amounts in Georgia

Settlement amounts in Georgia for drunk driving accidents are influenced by various factors that impact the compensation victims receive:

Severity

More severe injuries requiring extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and resulting in long-term disabilities generally lead to higher settlements. Factors such as the type of injury, its permanence, and the impact on the victim’s life are considered.

Liability

If the drunk driver is found fully liable for the accident, the victim is likely to receive a higher settlement.

However, if liability is shared or contested, settlement amounts may be affected. Evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and expert testimony play a vital role in establishing liability.

Comparative Negligence/At-Fault Laws

Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence system, meaning a victim’s compensation may be reduced if they are found partially at fault for the accident. Victims should seek legal guidance to navigate these complex legal principles effectively.

Insurance Coverage

Adequate insurance coverage can ensure that victims receive fair compensation for their losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, if insurance coverage is insufficient, victims may need to pursue additional compensation through other means, such as a personal injury lawsuit.

Location

Factors such as local laws, court precedents, and jury tendencies may vary from one jurisdiction to another.

The key is to hire a local experienced attorney so they can provide valuable insights into how these factors may impact settlement negotiations or litigation outcomes.

Evidence

Comprehensive documentation of the accident scene, medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony can strengthen the victim’s case and increase the likelihood of obtaining a favorable settlement.

Gathering evidence like this can be difficult for drunk driving accident victims, which is why Michael Gumprecht and his team can do this for you. Contact us today to find out how.

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Emotional Distress

Emotional distress resulting from the accident, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can also impact settlement amounts. Compensation for emotional distress is included in non-economic damages and is typically based on the severity and duration of the emotional suffering experienced by the victim.

Additional reading: average settlement for a traumatic brain injury in Georgia

 

Who you can sue

Drunk driving remains one of the most perilous and prevalent mistakes on the roads, claiming around 32 lives per day in the United States. With over 10,000 alcohol-related traffic fatalities annually since 2016, those responsible need to be held accountable.

The different parties you can sue following a drunk driving accident are:

  • The Driver: Drunk driving constitutes negligent behavior, endangering not only themselves but also other road users. To pursue a successful wrongful death claim, you must establish the driver’s negligence as the cause of the injuries or fatalities.
  • Bars/Restaurants: If a bar or restaurant knowingly serves alcohol to an intoxicated individual who later causes an accident, they could be held responsible. However, liability hinges on factors such as the establishment’s awareness of the patron’s intoxication and their subsequent decision to drive. Legal consultation is invaluable in navigating the complexities of such cases.
  • Multiple Parties: If a bar serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated individual who then causes an accident, both the establishment and the driver could be held accountable. In such cases, you would file claims against both parties to seek compensation for your damages.

 

Minimum GA insurance coverage

Georgia mandates the following insurance coverage for motorists:

Liability Insurance:

Georgia requires drivers to have liability insurance meeting minimum limits for public road use. This coverage compensates others for injuries or property damage in accidents where the policyholder is at fault. Minimum limits are:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident.
  • Property Damage Liability: $25,000 per incident.

Physical Damage Insurance covers the policyholder’s vehicle. It includes:

  • Comprehensive: Theft, vandalism, fire-related losses.
  • Collision: Collision-related losses. While not mandated by Georgia law, lenders typically require it for financed or leased vehicles.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance: In Georgia, some drivers may be uninsured. Uninsured motorist insurance protects against such drivers, covering vehicle damage and personal injuries in accidents they cause.

drunk man in a drivers seat holding a bottle of alcohol

 

Should you accept the settlement offer?

Michael Gumprecht and his team will always recommend that you DO NOT accept the first insurance offer

The initial offer will be a deliberate lowball offer to keep you happy while maximizing the insurance company’s profit.

Remember that they are not on your side, whereas an experienced personal injury attorney IS on your side.

You should evaluate all offers carefully, taking into account not only immediate medical expenses and lost wages but also future medical needs, ongoing care costs, and the long-term impact on your quality of life.

A lawyer from our firm can assess the full extent of your damages, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and advise on whether the settlement offer adequately compensates you for your losses. Ultimately, accepting a settlement offer should only be done after careful consideration and with the guidance of legal counsel to protect your rights and interests.

 

Steps to take after being hit by a drunk driver

Experiencing a collision with a drunk driver can be a distressing event, carrying repercussions that extend well beyond the moment of impact. Below are some things to remember to do following an auto accident: 

  1. Ensure Safety: Move to safety and assess injuries promptly to prevent further harm and strengthen your case.
  2. Contact Law Enforcement: Report the accident to the police to establish official documentation, crucial for proving fault.
  3. Gather Evidence: Collect comprehensive evidence including photos, witness contacts, and any visible injuries to support your claim effectively.
  4. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Prompt medical attention not only ensures your well-being but also provides documentation of injuries essential for your settlement.
  5. Be Cautious with Statements: Refrain from making statements that could jeopardize your claim’s strength, preserving your rights for maximum compensation.
  6. Inform Your Insurance Company: Notify your insurance company promptly to initiate the claims process while avoiding premature or detailed statements.
  7. Consult a Skilled Accident Attorney: Seek guidance from a personal injury lawyer experienced in drunk driving cases to navigate legal complexities and optimize your settlement.
  8. Document All Expenses: Keep meticulous records of all accident-related expenses, from medical bills to vehicle repairs, to ensure they’re factored into your settlement.
  9. Follow Medical Advice Diligently: Adhere to medical treatments and recommendations to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and ongoing care needs.
  10. Stay Informed and Involved: As accident victims, staying informed about case progress and remaining actively involved in discussions and negotiations can help you secure the maximum settlement amount possible.

 

Need legal help to pursue a DUI settlement in The Peach State?

If you’ve been affected by a drunk driving accident in Georgia, seeking expert legal advice is necessary. The Gumprecht Law Firm stands ready to assist victims and their families in navigating the complexities of pursuing a DUI settlement. 

Don’t delay in securing the support you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case, schedule your free consultation, and take the first step toward justice and compensation.

FAQs

Who pays drunk driver damages?

In a drunk driving accident, the drunk driver’s insurance is typically responsible for paying damages. This can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The driver’s insurance may cover some costs, but if insufficient, the driver may be personally liable.

The injured party may pursue additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit if the damages exceed the drunk driver’s insurance coverage. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the drunk driver for their reckless behavior.

How much do lawyers take from a settlement in Georgia?

In Georgia, lawyers typically take between 33.3% to 40% of the settlement amount in a personal injury case. This percentage may vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether it goes to trial. The fee is usually contingent, meaning it’s only paid if the case is won.

Clients should discuss the fee structure with their attorney upfront to understand any additional costs or expenses that may be deducted from the settlement. This ensures transparency and helps clients make informed decisions about their legal representation.

How is pain and suffering calculated in a car accident in Georgia?

Pain and suffering in a car accident in Georgia are calculated based on the severity of the injury, the impact on the victim’s life, and the duration of recovery. Courts may use a multiplier method, multiplying actual damages (medical bills, lost wages) by a number typically between 1.5 and 5.

The specific multiplier used depends on factors such as the permanence of the injury, the level of pain endured, and any psychological effects. Each case is unique, and the final amount awarded can vary significantly based on these considerations.