There are few things scarier than being hit by a drunk driver.
While countless “what if’s” run through your mind, it’s important to remember that New Mexico provides you the right to recover compensation from the driver who caused your injuries.
You may be curious about the average settlement for a drunk driving accident.
Although any offer of compensation sounds appealing as you recover from your injuries, it’s vital to first speak to a personal injury attorney to determine the actual value of your case.
What Is an Average Settlement for a Drunk Driving Accident?
If you were hit by a drunk driver, obtaining a settlement may quickly become a priority.
Your injuries may prevent you from working, and you may be facing mounting medical expenses.
You may search online for information about an average drunk driver settlement and read about formulas and other methods to determine case values.
However, the fact is, when you’re hit by a drunk driver, settlement values vary. Each case presents unique details and circumstances impacting compensation amounts.
Common Factors Impacting Settlement Values
Multiple factors impact settlement values in a drunk driving case.
Whether these common factors apply to your particular case requires an analysis of your case by your personal injury attorney.
It may seem obvious that a drunk driver is at fault for any accident resulting from their behavior.
In most cases, this may be true. However, there may be circumstances that reduce your potential compensatory award.
For example, perhaps you were looking at your phone while driving during the collision, and that distraction contributed to the accident.
New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state which means you are entitled to damages even if you are found to be partially at fault for an accident.
However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault as determined by the court.
For example, if you were 60% at fault for the accident, you are still entitled to 40% of your damages because the other driver was 40% at fault for the accident.
Severity of Injuries
When you’re rear-ended by a drunk driver, settlement values are also impacted by the severity of your injuries.
For example, if an accident victim suffers permanent injuries, like paralysis, they will likely receive more compensation than a person who suffers a broken arm that fully recovers with no complications or long-term impacts.
The damages suffered in your drunk driving accident are also an important factor impacting the potential value of your case.
Compensatory damages in personal injury cases, like car accidents, are divided into economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages compensate you for tangible losses related to your accident and include medical expenses, loss of wages, loss of future earnings, and property damage.
Economic damages are generally easy to calculate because invoices, receipts, bills, and pay stubs provide strong supporting evidence for the total amount.
Noneconomic damages include subjective losses related to your accident. Due to their subjective nature, noneconomic damages are more difficult to prove.
Noneconomic damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and permanent disfigurement or disability.
Putting a value on these losses requires the assistance of a personal injury attorney.
New Mexico law requires all drivers to obtain minimum coverage insurance.
The mandatory limits for insurance include the following:
- $25,000 for the bodily injury or death of one person,
- $50,000 for the bodily injury or death of two or more people, and
- $10,000 in property damage per accident.
Your drunk driving accident may involve an insured driver who only purchased the minimum coverage limits.
As you develop a more accurate picture of your damages, you may find these minimum insurance coverage limits fail to adequately cover your losses.
If this happens, you may wish to pursue a lawsuit against the driver.
At Flores, Tawney, & Acosta, P.C., we are proud to serve clients throughout Texas and New Mexico.
Our legal team understands the difficulties you are facing after enduring the trauma and stress of a drunk driving accident.
As you recover from your injuries, you may feel overwhelmed by your growing financial burdens or inability to work.
Our legal team consists of skilled negotiators and aggressive litigators who can help you at the negotiating table and in the courtroom.
We aren’t afraid to fight for what you deserve so you can focus on moving forward with your life.
Contact us today by phone or online for a free consultation.