What Damages You Can Get in an Impaired Driving Crash

Every case is different, and we cannot state an amount you can expect to receive for your losses without evaluating the individual facts of your claim. There are, however, ways to get justice for drunk driving by collecting damages, which may include:

  • Medical expenses: This category can encompass all reasonable costs for medical care you had to undergo because of the wreck. Some examples are bills from the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgeon, specialists, your regular doctor, prescription medications, and physical therapy. We will use the medical records and invoices to prove this aspect of your claim.
  • Lost wages: You can recover income you lost because of the crash, your medical treatment, and recuperation time away from work. We will establish this item by using your employer’s records.
  • Long-term care: If you need long-term care because of catastrophic injuries from the collision, we can include the anticipated costs in your claim. We use medical and vocational experts to show the court what you will need.
  • Decreased earning capacity: Some people need to cut back their hours or take a lower-paying job after severe injuries from a motor vehicle accident. If this happens to you, we can pursue your losses.
  • Disability: If you are unable to work due to your injuries, we can include this in your claim. We use medical and vocational experts to prove these claims.
  • Pain and suffering: Anyone who has suffered significant injuries in a car crash knows that merely getting the out-of-pocket losses from the wreck paid by the at-fault driver is grossly inadequate to compensate you for the experience. We will use your medical bills and lost wages to calculate a reasonable amount you should get for your pain and suffering.
  • Other non-economic losses: Depending on the facts of your case, it may be appropriate to seek compensation for things like disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

What Happens if You Were Partly at Fault

Georgia law will allow you to recover part of your losses even if you were also to blame for the accident, as long as your negligence was less than 50 percent of the cause of the wreck. This legal concept is comparative fault (or comparative negligence), and the 50 percent cutoff makes Georgia’s rule of law on this issue modified comparative fault.

Here is how Georgia’s modified comparative fault works:

  • If the drunk driver was, by way of example, 90 percent at fault and you were only ten percent at fault, you will get 90 percent of your damages. So, if you had $100,000 in losses, the law would reduce your compensation in proportion to the amount of your fault. After the ten percent reduction for your negligence, you would recover $90,000 of your $100,000 claim.
  • If, on the other hand, both you and the other driver were driving while impaired, the judge might find you each equally at fault, that is, each of you are 50 percent negligent. The 50 percent bar to recovery would preclude you both from getting damages from each other.
Jason R. Schultz
Helping Georgia area residents with car accident, medical malpractice, and personal injury claims since 1991.