Palm Beach Gardens Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

Getting into a drunk driving accident is inherently traumatic. Not only is the crash itself scary, but the emotional aftermath can be devastating.

Injured parties may find it hard to get behind the wheel again because there is virtually nothing they can do to avoid getting into another wreck with an impaired motorist. At the end of the day, such collisions can involve anyone at any time, and even the most safety-conscious drivers are at risk of getting struck by a drunk motorist.

Sustaining severe or disabling injuries only intensifies the emotional impact of such an ordeal. Fortunately, accident victims can include non-economic damages such as mental anguish, emotional distress, and pain and suffering in their personal injury claim.

Because these kinds of losses are intangible, calculating an equitable compensation amount can be challenging. With the help of a seasoned attorney, though, you should be able to arrive at a figure that is both reasonable and fair.

If you were hurt in a wreck with an impaired motorist, contact Donaldson & Weston to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our Palm Beach Gardens drunk driving accident lawyers will not charge you for our services unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Call 561-299-3999 to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate injury attorneys.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages After a Drunk Driving Accident

Because every case is different, there is no set formula for calculating pain and suffering damages; however, there are two methods that have become widely accepted approaches for doing so.

The first is called the multiplier method. This approach takes the claimant’s total economic damages, like medical bills and lost wages, and multiplies them by a factor that typically ranges from 1.5 to 5. More severe injuries warrant a higher multiplier. The resulting figure may then be considered a fair amount for pain and suffering damages.

The second approach is called the per diem method. Using this formula, attorneys will determine a reasonable figure to represent their client’s daily struggles with any injuries. They then multiply this figure by the number of days the client spends recovering.

The daily figure can vary immensely from case to case and, much like the factor used in the multiplier method, depends on the severity of the injuries. Typically, though, it is at least one day’s worth of wages for the claimant.

Why Time is of the Essence After a Drunk Driving Accident

After a serious injury, your top priority should be your health. But once you’ve received a diagnosis and your condition is stable, it’s important that you call a DUI accident lawyer in Palm Beach Gardens as soon as possible.

You might be tempted to put off your claim until your injuries have healed, but doing so could prove to be a costly mistake. Insurance companies impose strict deadlines for filing claims, so waiting too long might lead to a dispute. Also, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit if settlement negotiations are unsuccessful.

Most drunk driving accident victims have four years from the date of their injury to file suit, but there are exceptions that could shorten this deadline. For instance, the statute of limitations for most wrongful death claims is two years.

These deadlines might seem far away, but it could take several months to investigate your crash, talk to eyewitnesses, consult with medical and financial experts, and and negotiate for a fair payout. Many lawyers won’t even accept cases unless they have enough time to gather evidence and negotiate for a settlement. Also, it’s not uncommon for injury victims to make critical mistakes early in the proceedings that lead to disputes down the road.

The drunk driving accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston are ready to perform an immediate investigation and gather all available evidence to support your claim. We can also help you avoid errors and oversights that might harm your case. For instance, we’ll handle all dialogue with the claims adjuster so you don’t provide any recorded statements that can be misrepresented to dispute liability or challenge the severity of your injuries. We can also explain the steps you can take that may increase your claim’s chances of success, such as staying off social media websites, following the instructions of your healthcare providers, and keeping a personal injury journal to track how your injuries are affecting your life and the lives of your loved ones.

Types of Damages That Might be Available in a Drunk Driving Accident Claim

All successful personal injury claims result in compensatory damages. These may include both economic damages (medical bills, lost income, etc.) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.).

Unlike most other types of personal injury cases, DUI accident lawsuits may also yield exemplary damages, or “punitive damages.” This is because the dangers of drunk driving are well known, so deciding to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol typically constitutes gross negligence.

Below is a breakdown of the types of damages that may be recoverable in a Florida DUI accident case:

  • Healthcare costs;

  • Lost wages and benefits;

  • Loss of future earning capacity;

  • Vehicle repairs or replacement;

  • Home modifications, domestic help, and other objectively calculable losses;

  • Pain and suffering;

  • Emotional distress;

  • Loss of enjoyment in life;

  • Loss of comfort, companionship, solace, fellowship, affection, and society; and

  • Punitive damages.

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