When you are hit by a drunk driver, you may likely deal with the aftermath for several months. In addition to recovering from your injuries, you will probably have to pursue compensation from the person who caused it. However, many people don’t realize how much compensation they can receive.
Navigating a DUI settlement case can also be difficult without a qualified injury lawyer. Here’s everything you need to know about filing your claim and how a personal injury lawyer can help.
What Is the Average Settlement for Drunk Driving Accidents?
A drunk driving accident can be complicated, so there’s no set minimum or maximum settlement amount. The circumstances of the accident will have to be examined, as well as the severity of your injuries.
Even for minor injuries, you can expect to receive at least $50,000-$70,000. This is not only to cover actual medical bills, but also the emotional trauma caused by the incident. If you suffer extensive injuries, you could receive $120,000 or more with a good personal injury lawyer at your side.
What Is Considered “Drunk Driving” in Nevada?
Drivers can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol level is:
- .02% (drivers below 21 years of age)
- .04% (commercial drivers)
- .08% (civilian drivers)
The State of Nevada takes DUI cases very seriously, especially if they result in personal injury. Under NRS 484C.430, any driver found guilty of DUI could face 2-20 years in prison. They may also have to pay fines up to $5,000 and have their driver’s license suspended for three years.
According to Las Vegas 8 News Now, an average of 15 drivers are arrested for DUIs each day. Deadly crashes are also up by 30%, and many of those are hit-and-run accidents. In the event that you become involved in a DUI accident, it’s important to know your rights.
Also, remember that you don’t have to be the affected driver to file a personal injury claim! Passengers can also file personal injury lawsuits, as well as pedestrians that were injured due to the accident.
Who Is Held Liable in a DUI Accident?
Determining who is at fault is one of the first steps a personal injury lawyer will take on your behalf. Oftentimes it’s the drunk driver’s fault, but sometimes exceptions can be made. For example, if someone was forcing the driver to operate a vehicle under the influence, that party may be charged instead.
In other cases, such as commercial driving accidents, the driver’s employer may be held at fault. This is especially likely if the employer knew that the driver was drinking while on the clock. Sometimes it’s not clear who is at fault, but a personal injury lawyer can clear away any doubts.
Common Injuries Caused By Drunk Driving Accidents that You Can Sue For
Physical injuries you may experience as a result of a DUI include:
- Broken limbs
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
After the accident, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Even if you feel fine, you could have internal injuries that could quickly become life-threatening. Survivors of DUI accidents may also experience some emotional distress, leading to:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety about driving or riding in a vehicle
- Panic attacks when driving (which can also trigger a variety of upsetting physical symptoms)
Even worse, some people believe that they are not entitled to emotional damage compensation because they have no physical symptoms. A qualified personal injury lawyer can help you receive justice for any type of injury.
When Will I Get Compensation?
To get your compensation quickly, you should file your claim as soon as you can. In Nevada, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is two years after the accident. After you’ve filed your claim, you’ll have to wait for the at-fault party and the insurance company to respond.
It’s typically faster to receive your settlement if you choose to settle out of court. However, be warned that insurance companies often want to pay you as little as possible to save themselves some money. Before you accept any settlement offer, make sure that a trusted personal injury lawyer reviews it first.
When you hire a lawyer, they can help you renegotiate the offer as needed. Once you’ve agreed on the amount, you’ll receive that settlement in a month or two. However, depending on the caseload of your local court, you could be waiting longer.
Things can get even more complicated if you can’t reach an agreement with the at-fault party. Your case will have to go to trial, dragging out the process even more.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer to Settle My Drunk Driving Accident Case?
Due to the complicated and overwhelming aspects of DUI cases, a personal injury lawyer’s expertise is absolutely necessary! They are trained to help you receive compensation for:
- Medical bills (including psychological therapy and medication for emotional trauma)
- Lost wages due to time off work
- Pain and suffering
- Long-term care coverage
While a DUI is obviously a crime, not all DUIs directly result in personal injury cases. For that to happen, you need to prove that the driver was at fault by breaching their duty of care. This is when someone makes a negligent decision while doing something that could potentially harm others (drinking while driving).
When you don’t have a personal injury lawyer, you have to gather all the evidence on your own. That includes medical records, photos of your injuries, police reports, and any eyewitness accounts. Personal injury lawyers can help you find as much proof as possible to prove your case.
No One Is More Qualified than Pacific West Injury Law
When you’re still recovering emotionally and physically from a DUI accident, filing legal action can seem like an additional headache. Our team at Pacific West Injury Law can easily guide you through the process and get the justice that you deserve. What’s more, we won’t charge you a cent until we’ve successfully won your case. For a free consultation, head to our website or give us a call.