What Is the Average Settlement in a Drunk Driving Accident?

A woman holding her face with one hand, the other is on the steering wheel after drunk driving.

Drunk driving accidents cause untold damage to victims and their families, both physically and emotionally. While it can be difficult for those affected to put a dollar amount on the damages caused by such an event, certain compensation amounts are associated with drunk driving-related incidents.

Understandably, you will want to know how much compensation you can recover, how to file a drunk driving injury claim, and whether you need assistance from a car accident lawyer.  

Injured in a drunk driving accident? Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys now.

What is the average settlement for a drunk driving accident?

The amount of a settlement for a drunk driving accident can vary widely depending on the individual circumstances and factors such as jurisdiction, the severity of injuries, and whether punitive damages are awarded. Generally, settlements in personal injury cases stemming from drunk driving accidents have ranged anywhere from several thousand dollars to millions of dollars.

Who can you sue in a drunk driving accident?

In a drunk driving accident, potential defendants for a lawsuit may include the driver who was intoxicated, the owner of the vehicle, and the person or business that provided alcohol to the driver. In some cases, additional third-party claims may be considered depending on circumstances and specific facts related to the case.

Who is liable for a drunk driving accident?

The question of liability can arise in some cases. While it would seem the driver would be liable due to their negligent actions, there are cases where they may not be the only liable party. For example, if the driver was at a bar before getting behind the wheel, and the bartender continued to serve them well past the point where they knew they were legally intoxicated, the bartender and business owner may also be liable. 

Who pays the settlements in drunk driving cases? 

In most cases, the party found liable in a drunk driving case will be responsible for paying any settlement amount. This may include the intoxicated driver as well as any other parties specified by the court or through civil action. Depending on the specific circumstances of a given case, an insurance policy may cover some or all of a settlement award.

Can insurance companies dispute settlements?

Yes, insurance companies can dispute settlements in drunk driving cases. They may attempt to argue that the driver was not negligent or that other parties are liable and should shoulder some of the costs for a settlement award associated with a particular case. Having proper legal representation and assistance from an experienced car accident attorney is crucial. 

How much do people usually get in a drunk driving settlement?

The amount of an average settlement is difficult to determine as every drunk driving case varies and depends on the specifics of the case, the extent of injuries, state laws that impose damage caps, and other factors. In addition, settlements can be based on the amount of insurance coverage the drunk driver has and whether you have uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist bodily injury (UMIB) coverage. 

Keeping this in mind, settlements can range from several thousand dollars upwards to millions. Average settlement amounts can often fall between $10,000 and $50,000. However, the only way to determine how much your settlement could be is by consulting with a car accident injury attorney. 

What types of damages can you sue for in a drunk driving accident?

Victims may seek compensation for their injuries and related losses in a drunk driving accident. These damages can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages due to missed work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Property damage
  • Other financial losses related to the accident 

Additionally, in cases that go to trial, the judge or jury may award punitive damages when they believe the actions of the drunk driver were grossly negligent. 

What are the minimum insurance coverage requirements in Florida?

The minimum automobile liability insurance coverage requirements in Florida are $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL). However, drivers may elect to have higher amounts of liability coverage. In addition, drivers may elect to purchase UM and UMBI coverage. 

What is the process for filing a drunk driving injury claim?

The process for filing a drunk driving injury claim involves the following:

  • Gathering information about the accident
  • Documenting any injuries sustained and related losses
  • Calculating damages
  • Submitting a demand letter to the liable party or their insurance company
  • Negotiating a settlement agreement
  • Going to trial if a settlement cannot be reached

It is advisable to consult with an attorney before pursuing an injury claim due to the complexity of the various processes and to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

How can having an attorney help me get a higher settlement amount?

The most vital thing you need to remember is insurance companies are in business to make money, not pay it out in injury claims. If you attempt to reach a settlement without an attorney, the insurance company’s objective is to offer you as little compensation as possible and have you accept it quickly. When they can accomplish this, it limits your ability to seek future damages, like when you have ongoing medical issues related to your injuries. 

An experienced drunk driving attorney is familiar with the complexities and laws related to these personal injury claims. They will know how to negotiate with insurance companies and ensure their clients get the compensation they deserve. If you want the highest settlement possible, you need assistance from a drunk driver injury lawyer.

How much does a DUI/DWI injury attorney cost?

The cost for a DUI/DWI injury attorney varies depending on the individual circumstances and complexity of a case. Attorneys specializing in this field typically provide representation based on a contingency fee, a percentage of the settlement or amount awarded at trial. 

If the attorney is unable to reach a settlement or win the case at trial, then the client owes nothing. Most personal injury law firms offer free consultations, legal advice, and an estimated amount of compensation someone could receive. It costs nothing out-of-pocket upfront to hire a DUI/DWI injury attorney. 

What are the benefits of hiring a drunk driving injury lawyer?

A drunk driving injury lawyer working at his desk with an open book. He also has a gavel and a Lady Justice statue next to him.

The benefits of hiring a drunk driving injury attorney from Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, include:

  • Expertise in the field
  • Access to experienced investigators and legal experts as needed
  • Strong negotiation skills when dealing with insurance companies
  • An understanding of complex legal issues involved in such cases
  • Effective strategies for getting the fullest compensation possible

Our law firm will also provide emotional support during this difficult time while you are recovering physically and emotionally from your injuries. So you can focus on healing and recovery instead of dealing with insurance companies.

Schedule your free consultation with one of our Tampa car accident attorneys today.


Florida Insurance Requirements.

I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver: Who Is Liable? (2022).

2022 Florida Road Safety Report: Crash, DUIs, and More. (2022).