5 Damages You Can Receive For Drunk Driving Car Accident
Drunk driving accidents can happen, no matter how careful you are on the road. Nonetheless, anti-drunk driving laws are in place in different areas across the country.
Yet no matter how effective those rules are, there are still drivers out there who couldn’t care less. Once the fun and the booze kick in their system, they may not be aware of their senses anymore and still resort to driving anyways. The potential risk of a drunk driving car accident then ensues.
Whether it’s for information purposes only or you or someone dear to you has been injured in a drunk driving accident, it’s worth knowing the different kinds of damages that you may receive.
With that said, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll come across five different damages you can be entitled to after a drunk driving car accident, as discussed by legal advocate Joe Stephens and others like them.
- Nominal Damages
If the drunk driver happens to figure in the accident while they were chauffeuring a passenger, then a breach of contract ensues. This refers to the contract of carriage, whereby the driver has the responsibility to deliver the passenger safely and unscathed to their destination.
When there’s a purported breach of contract, nominal damages are one of those that the victim may receive after a car accident. Nominal damages can be claimed, even when no actual damage is yet proven for as long as there was an infringement of a legal right during the vehicular collision.
- Property Damages
It’s said that one of the most obvious types of damages you can claim from a drunk driving accident is property damages. This amount will depend on the extent of the damage to your car. Typically, this is an amount determined by the car repair company or the car insurance company.
Generally, a claim for property damages is made separate from all the other damages you’re entitled to after the car accident. It means you can start settling damage on your car, even when you’re still ongoing hospital treatment for any physical injuries sustained.
- Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages are given, with the end in mind of putting the victim in a position they’d be in, had they not suffered the injuries because of the drunk driving accident.
For instance, because of the accident, now the victim has to spend four weeks at the hospital. Had this not happened, they may have still continued to earn employment. Henceforth, that victim is entitled to financial compensation, as a sub-type of compensatory damages.
Compensatory damages are generally classified into two: monetary damages or special damages and non-monetary losses, or general damages. To wit:
- Monetary losses or special damages include:
- Funeral expenses to be recovered by the victim’s family in the unfortunate scenario where death occurs;
- Medical expenses which include the cost both of present and future medical rehabilitation for the physical injuries;
- Costs of living with a disability, in case a temporary or permanent disability is now in place as a direct result of the accident; and
- Loss of wages that’s meant to recover the amount of salaries lost during the time the victim was recovering from the physical injuries.
- Non-monetary losses or general damages may be difficult to compute, hence the need for an experienced lawyer to determine. These include:
- Loss of consortium whereby spouses of personal injury victims can receive damages for the loss of the intangible elements of marriage like affection, sexual relations, emotional support, and companionship; and
- Pain and suffering which is meant to compensate for any emotional pain and distress the victim suffers after the accident.
- Exemplary Damages
Fourth on this list is what’s referred to as exemplary damages. This is charged by the court, with the intention of giving punishment to the defendant so that they can serve as an example to the rest of the population not to follow.
Exemplary damages aren’t meant to compensate the defendant for the loss and injury suffered because of the accident. Rather, it’s punitive in nature. It’s meant as a punishment for the defendant themself for the negligence they’ve done knowing that they purchased and been drinking booze. They could’ve at least left the driving to someone else.
- Wrongful Death Damages
The catch-all term wrongful death damages can only be received, if death is proven as the most unfortunate consequence of the drunk driving accident. Wrongful death damages are brought forth by the victim’s surviving family and loved ones.
Wrongful death damages can include payment covering the following:
- Loss of companionship and consortium, now with the passing on of the spouse;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Loss of services and support;
- Cost covering all the pre-death medical expenses; and
- Loss of financial contribution.
If you prevail in your personal injury or car accident claim, then you’re certainly entitled to receive compensation for the damages above. However, it matters how you present your case in court to prove your innocence, and the fact of you being the victim in the case.
Thus, it’s very important for you to be selective of your personal injury or car accident lawyer. Be sure to hire the best so that fighting for just compensation will be an entirely stress-free process.