If a drunk driver caused your accident, you may be able to file a claim to recover damages. But to explore what your claim is worth, you need to know what kinds of damages you can recover. Work with a lawyer at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., LPA to:
- Review your case
- Identify the damages you may recover
- Estimate the value of your damages
- Gather evidence to prove the value of your damages
Call us at 419-843-6663 to set up a consultation with a drunk driving accident attorney at our firm to get started.
What kinds of damages are recoverable in drunk driving accident cases?
The damages recoverable in drunk driving accident cases fall into two categories: economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are those which have an attached dollar amount. Noneconomic damages are those without an attached dollar amount, but that nonetheless have value.
What economic damages are recoverable in a drunk driving accident case?
Economic damages have a price associated with them, which is reasonably calculable. While current economic damages may have invoices and bills to determine their value, future economic damages require considering the prognosis and expected expenses in the months and years to come.
Medical expenses can encompass many things. Your emergency medical treatment, ambulance bills, and hospitalization are examples of initial medical bills you might face. Then you may have medical bills for:
- Your treating physician
- Therapy and treatment bills
- Home health care
- Wheelchair or other equipment
We will use medical bills, expert medical testimony, and other evidence to establish your prognosis and the value of these current and future damages to the insurance company or in court.
If you missed worked while recuperating from your injuries, you may not have collected regular wages. Any wages lost during treatment and therapies are also included in lost earnings. Even if you used your sick leave, vacation days, or personal time to avoid losing wages while you recover, compensation for these days may still be recoverable.
You may also be able to recover compensation for lost earning potential if your injuries will keep you from working, or reduce your earning capacity. You do not have to be completely unable to work to recover compensation for lost earning potential. If your condition after the accident prevents you from working as much as you did before, or prevents you from advancing as reasonably expected, these may be recoverable damages too.
In order to prove the amount of your lost earnings, your drunk driving accident lawyer will obtain records to establish the amount of your previous earnings. These may be payroll records from your employer and your tax returns. It may be necessary to use the services of an expert, such as a vocational specialist, to determine the financial impact of the injury on your future earning potential and career potential.
Damage to your vehicle may be recoverable when filing a drunk driving accident claim. We can help secure estimates from repair shops to establish the value of your vehicle’s damage. Damage to contents in the vehicle may also be recoverable. This may include damage to smart phones, laptops, and more.
What noneconomic damages are recoverable in a drunk driving accident case?
There are no invoices or bills or price tags on noneconomic damages. To estimate their value, talk to a lawyer at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., LPA, as these damages may value from case to case.
Pain and Suffering
Every major injury involves a certain degree of pain and suffering, whether it is physical pain, mental anguish, or both. The mere payment of your medical bills does not address the pain and emotional or psychological effects of the injuries. Pain and suffering damages are meant to help compensate you for this harm.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is the loss of the companionship of another person. When a loved one is killed in a drunk driving accident, the deceased’s spouse and other family members lose the companionship of that person. That is an irreplaceable loss that cannot be quantified by adding up bills.
What are punitive damages
If the person who caused the accident acted egregiously and was grossly negligent, then punitive damages may be recoverable. Punitive damages intend to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior.
In many cases, a drunk driver may be grossly negligent and reckless, and thus punitive damages may be recoverable by those injured in drunk driving accidents.
Who is responsible for my damages?
If a drunk driver injured you, you can pursue a civil claim against him or her. The fact that the drunk driver may face criminal liability and incarceration does not prevent you from making a claim for damages.
If a bar or other establishment served an intoxicated or underage person, and that person later caused your accident, it may be possible to pursue a claim against the establishment, in addition to the drunk driver. This is called a dram shop case.
Get Help with a Drunk Driving Accident Claim
The drunk driving accident attorneys at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., LPA, can help victims of drunk driver accident claims get the compensation they deserve. We will evaluate your claim and answer your questions. We will treat you with respect and compassion. We will fight tirelessly to get you everything you deserve.
We will collect the evidence needed to prove your claim, and guide you through every step of the process. We will battle the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus on getting better.
We do not charge you any attorney fees unless you recover damages. Call us today at 419-843-6663 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.