DUI Accident Settlements: How are they different from other auto accident settlements?
If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident in Tallahassee or North Florida, you need a Tallahassee personal injury attorney to represent your interests. Regardless of what happens to the impaired driver in the criminal justice system, there are civil remedies you can pursue to recover damages. Remember: the insurance company is NOT on your side; it is only going to be interested in settling the case for the least amount of money. The personal injury attorneys at Barrett, Fasig & Brooks stand up to insurance companies and fight for justice for our clients. We are dedicated to helping victims of drunk driving accidents recover damages in Tallahassee and Gadsden, Wakulla, Franklin counties, and the surrounding North Florida area.
While there are many similarities between DUI accident cases and regular accident cases in Tallahassee, there are some differences that affect the value of a DUI accident case. Our personal injury attorneys will fight each case on its own merits, and are experienced in assisting you through the process. We know that being injured in a DUI accident can be overwhelming, and we are here to help.
Is my DUI accident case worth more than a regular car accident case?
If you are injured in a car accident, regardless of whether or not the defendant was impaired, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are intended to reimburse you for loss, including:
- Medical Expenses- Any medical expenses related to your injury.
- Pain and Suffering– If you suffer from physical or mental aftereffects from the accident, such as depression or anxiety, you may be able to receive damages.
- Lost Wages- If you are prevented from working due to injury received in the accident.
- Loss of Earning Capacity- If you are prevented from working the same as you did before the accident, you may recover damages for the difference in potential income.
However, if you have been injured in a car accident where the driver was impaired, you may also be able to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as both a punishment for the drunk driver and as a deterrent to other drivers.
In fact, the state of Florida, both legislatively and judicially, has said that plaintiffs in DUI accident cases are entitled to seek punitive damages because the act of driving while drunk shows a “sufficiently reckless attitude for a jury to be asked to provide an award of punitive damages if it determines liability exists for compensatory damages.” Not only does the simple act of driving impaired mean that a plaintiff can seek punitive damages, laws that limit damages for other negligence cases do not apply to drunk driving accident cases.
Only the defendant is liable for punitive damages, and if the defendant has limited resources then he or she may be unable to pay them. However, the insurance company has a duty to the insured to settle for the policy limits whenever possible and could be found liable for the punitive damages if they act in bad faith to their insured.
Sound complicated? It can be. That’s why you need an experienced Tallahassee personal injury attorney if you have been injured in a DUI car accident.
The personal injury attorneys at the Tallahassee law firm of Barrett, Fasig & Brooks have been recognized by the community (“Tally Award” for 5 years in a row; “Best of Tallahassee 2015”) and by their peers. We have the resources to take your case to trial if it becomes necessary; we won’t take less from the insurance company than YOU deserve. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, call the attorneys at Barrett, Fasig & Brooks today. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.