Average Drunk Driving Settlement for a Crash in Colorado
When a car accident occurs because of one driver’s negligence, that driver is liable for all injured victims’ damages. Damages are the expenses a victim faces because of the injury he or she sustained. They include medical bills, lost wages, and more. A drunk driving settlement can compensate you for your loses and a good car accident lawyer can help.
Any reckless behavior or unsafe maneuvers when driving can be negligence. This is especially true if the behavior causes an accident. Driving drunk falls into this category. In nearly all drunk driving injury accidents, the drunk driver is the at-fault party. Their insurance provider must compensate the victims for their damages if they file personal injury claims.
If you are facing an injury from a collision with a drunk driver, one of your first questions might be “how much money can I receive if I file a personal injury claim?” This is not an easy question to answer. In fact, a search for the average drunk driver settlement for Colorado will likely leave you without useful answers. In other words, this is not the type of question you can find a concrete, “one size fits all” answer for. That’s because every car accident case is unique. The drunk driver is only one of the factors that affects the size of the settlement you recover. A more effective way to find an answer to this question is to discuss your case with a car accident lawyer. Then you can gain an understanding of how personal injury settlements proceed. Some car accident settlements are a few thousand dollars. Others are more than a million dollars. Your settlement could be a six-figure number, but keep in mind that there is no guarantee you will recover anything.
Factors that Affect a Drunk Driving Accident Settlement
A victim injured in a car accident can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages and other career compensation; and
- Pain and suffering damages.
The most obvious factor in the size of your settlement is the value of your damages. If you suffered a spinal cord injury that causes paralysis for life, your compensation package will likely be much larger than one for a victim who only suffered a sprained wrist. But this is not the only factor that can affect your settlement. Others include:
- Whether you were partially at fault for the collision. In Colorado, the compensation a claimant can recover may drop according to the percentage of his or her fault for the accident. This rule is the modified comparative fault law. If you hold 50 percent or more of the fault for your accident, you cannot recover any compensation for your damages; and
- The quality and quantity of the evidence you can provide to demonstrate your losses. If all you have is a document showing you had to take a few days off work due to pain, your claim is not as strong as one that has official police documents detailing the crash, testimony about treatment and prognosis, and documentation of your current wage and projected future earnings.
Minimum Automobile Insurance Coverage Levels for Colorado Drivers
- $25,000 for bodily injuries suffered by one victim;
- $50,000 for bodily injuries in collisions that injure two or more victims; and
- $15,000 for personal property damage.
Motorists in Colorado are also required to carry at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage compensates injured drivers who get hurt in collisions with other uninsured drivers. It also helps when the other driver has insurance, but their coverage for bodily injuries is less than the amount provided by the injured party’s underinsured motorist coverage.
Colorado state law does not require drivers to carry collision or comprehensive automobile insurance, but many lenders require one or both for individuals financing their vehicles.
How is a Drunk Driving Settlement Determined?
Your car accident damages fall into two categories: general and special damages.
Special damages are easy to quantify. These are the damages that have a dollar value on paper, such as your medical bills and lost wages. Certain damages that fall into the pain and suffering category. For example, the cost of psychological counseling to overcome emotional trauma or the cost of hiring transportation and domestic help while you are recovering. These also fall into the “special damages” category.
General damages, on the other hand, are the damages that you cannot quantify with bills and receipts. These include your reduced enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and chronic pain. How much compensation you receive for these damages depends on the evidence you provide. Therefore, they are more variable than your special damages.
Many insurance providers calculate general damages by applying a multiplier to the claimant’s special damages value. More evidence to show the extent of the injury’s negative impact on your life can raise this multiplier. This means a larger settlement package for you. Working with a lawyer is also a way to increase your chance of securing a larger settlement. Often, insurance providers will only negotiate with lawyers. Your lawyer can also help you obtain and use evidence that you might not have been able to get on your own, like a digital reconstruction of the accident scene.
Work with an Experienced Denver Car Accident Lawyer
After a collision with a drunk driver, work with an experienced car accident lawyer to pursue compensation for your damages. To learn more, contact The Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC to set up your free case review in our office. During your case review, we can look over all the available facts about your case to give an estimate about what you can seek in compensation, but remember – we cannot guarantee any specific outcome for your case. All we can guarantee is that we will work hard on your behalf to seek the compensation you deserve.