What Kind of Compensation Can I Get After a Drunk Driving Accident?

What Kind of Compensation Can I Get After a Drunk Driving Accident?
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When you’ve been injured or suffered losses due to a drunk driver’s reckless actions, you deserve full and fair compensation. However, navigating the claims process and fighting with insurance companies is the last thing you want to deal with during your recovery.

Welcome to a sobering exploration of the aftermath of drunk driving accidents. Beyond the immediate impact on physical well-being, these incidents leave emotional scars and financial burdens that can last a lifetime. In this article, we delve into the intricate web of compensation available to victims, shedding light on their rights and avenues for recourse.

That’s why it’s crucial to understand the different types of damages you can pursue so you get every penny you’re owed. From staggering medical bills to long-term impacts on your life and livelihood, drunk driving accidents can devastate victims financially.

Here’s what kind of compensation you may be able to recover after a drunk driving crash:

Compensation for Medical Expenses – Present and Future

When faced with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident, the immediate concern naturally revolves around the extent of injuries and ensuing medical expenses. These figures underscore the financial burden victims often face in the wake of such traumatic events. Drunk driving accident lawyer Myrtle Beach is crucial in navigating the insights of medical bills and advocating for rightful compensation, ensuring that victims focus on their recovery rather than the financial strain caused by the accident. 

When a drunk driver causes a crash, the physical and financial tolls can be catastrophic. 

However, medical expenses are just the start.

Don’t let outrageous medical bills and long-term care costs from a drunk driver’s actions cripple you financially. Seasoned personal injury attorneys ensure you get properly compensated.

Lost Income and Diminished Earning Potential

In addition to immense medical costs, the impacts of a drunk driver’s reckless behavior also extend to your income and earning ability. Across America, drunk driving crashes cost $44 billion annually in workplace productivity losses. 

Whether you require time off work during recovery or can no longer perform the same job due to injuries, you deserve compensation for:

  • Lost wages from time away from work
  • Diminished future earnings if injuries prevent returning to your previous role
  • Lost earning capacity and career opportunities

You shouldn’t bear the financial burden of a drunk driver’s choices impacting your ability to make a living. Make sure the at-fault party compensates you for every penny lost.

Property Damage Repair or Replacement

Even after treating your injuries and accounting for lost wages, the aftermath of a drunk driving crash remains costly. Their dangerous repeat behavior puts everyone at risk.

When it comes to property damage caused by an impaired driver, no deductible or expense should be spared to make you whole again. This includes:

  • Repair costs or replacement of your vehicle
  • Damage to any personal property inside your vehicle (electronics, jewelry, etc.)

Don’t let the drunk driver or their insurer nickel and dime you. Demand they pay for all property damage to restore you to your pre-accident state.

Compensation for Pain, Suffering, and Diminished Quality of Life

While medical bills, lost income, and property repairs represent the economic damages, the emotional scars of a drunk driving crash also require accountability. 

This immense physical pain and suffering, as well as impacts like:

  • Emotional trauma and mental anguish 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life activities
  • Permanent disfigurement or disabilities

All factors into your non-economic damages. An experienced attorney investigates and calculates a fair amount to compensate for these profound effects on your life.

Comparison Table: Common Multipliers for Pain & Suffering Damages

What Kind of Compensation Can I Get After a Drunk Driving Accident?
Photo Courtesy: Kenneth E. Berger

As you can see, the more disabling and life-altering your injuries, the higher the multiplier for pain and suffering—often into the millions for catastrophic cases.

Pursue Punitive Damages Against the Drunk Driver

When drunk drivers shatter lives through their outrageously reckless decisions, the justice system allows for punitive damages beyond standard compensatory awards. These punish the at-fault party while serving as a deterrent against such egregious conduct.

If the drunk driver’s actions were particularly egregious, wanton, or showed a conscious indifference to your safety, make sure to pursue punitive damages on top of compensatory payments. Don’t let them get off easy; make them feel the full legal consequences.


As we draw the curtains on this exploration of compensation for drunk driving accidents, one truth remains abundantly clear: the road to recovery is a long and arduous one. But amidst the challenges lie glimmers of hope and avenues for recourse.

While financial compensation can never fully erase the pain or undo the trauma, it can provide a semblance of justice and support for those navigating the aftermath. From medical expenses to lost income and intangible suffering, every aspect of the victim’s ordeal deserves acknowledgment and redress.

Yet, beyond the realm of monetary recompense, there is a profound need for societal change. It is incumbent upon us as a community to stand united against the scourge of drunk driving, to advocate for stricter laws, and to promote responsible behavior behind the wheel.

As we bid farewell, let us carry forward the lessons learned and the empathy gained. Let us honor the resilience of survivors and the memory of those lost by fostering a culture of accountability, compassion, and safety on our roads. Together, we can strive for a future where drunk driving accidents are but a distant memory and where every journey ends safely at its destination.

FAQs on Drunk Driving Accident Compensation

What if the drunk driver didn’t have insurance?

If the at-fault driver lacks adequate insurance to cover your damages, you may need to pursue compensation through:

  • Your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage 
  • Filing a personal lawsuit against the drunk driver’s assets
  • Checking if they were employed or driving for a company that shares liability

In hit-and-run scenarios with an unidentified driver, options become more limited. However, skilled legal counsel explores all possible avenues.

Can I get compensation if I was partially at fault?

Most states follow comparative fault laws, which reduce your compensation proportionally to your percentage of fault in the accident. For example, if you were 20% at fault, your total damages would be reduced by 20%.

Even if you share some blame, you can still recover compensation from the drunk driver who was primarily liable.

How is pain and suffering calculated after a drunk driving accident?

There are two main methods for quantifying non-economic damages like pain and suffering:

  1. Multiplier Method: Your economic damages are multiplied by a number (typically 1.5-5) based on the injury severity.
  2. Per Diem Method: You receive a set daily rate (e.g., $200/day) for each day your pain and suffering lasts or is expected to continue.

Factors like the injury type, permanence, impact on daily life, and degree of negligence all influence the pain and suffering calculation.

Published by: Martin De Juan


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