Trusted Boulder Drunk Driver Accident Attorneys Ready To Assist You
Injury or death caused by a drunk driver is perhaps the most anger-provoking of all kinds of personal injury cases. The thought of an innocent victim suffering a serious or fatal injury at the hands of an irresponsible individual can evoke outrage among members of the community. In addition to seeking compensation from the drunk driver, many states allow victims to pursue recovery against the person or business that provided the alcoholic beverage to the drunk driver.
At Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C., we aggressively pursue claims against irresponsible drinkers and the bars, nightclubs, and restaurants that improperly serve them. Although the law can never replace a loved one, it does provide means of recovery for victims.
No matter the circumstances, car accidents are traumatic. Whether you get into an accident as a driver or passenger, a pedestrian, or even a cyclist, a car accident can have severe consequences.
But drunk driving accidents are among the most upsetting because they should never happen in the first place. Even worse, drunk driving accidents are more likely to result in serious injury or death than other types of car accidents. According to Forbes, between 2010 and 2019, US roads averaged 28 fatalities per day in accidents involving alcohol impairment. Additionally, nationwide, drunk driving deaths represent more than 25% of all traffic fatalities in a given year. However, in Colorado, the situation is even more serious. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, alcohol-impaired drivers caused 30% of all fatal traffic accidents in 2019.
Regardless of whether you were on your bike or in your car, if a drunk driver hits you, you have the right to seek compensation. If you suffered injuries in a drunk driving crash, it is important you contact a drunk driver accident lawyer as soon as possible. The DUI accident lawyers at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. are here to help. If you have questions, our experienced team of Boulder drunk driver accident lawyers can help you find answers. We offer free consultations to all accident victims, so there is no risk in contacting us.
Damages in Drunk Driving Accidents
One of the common questions accident victims ask DUI accident attorneys is, How much is my drunk driving case worth? While every case is different, there are three main types of damages available through a drunk driving crash lawsuit: economic, noneconomic, and punitive.
Economic damages are those damages you suffer that are both tangible and have an identifiable dollar value. Lost wages, medical bills, and rehabilitation costs are all examples of economic damage. Economic damages are objective because the court can easily determine their dollar value. For example, to determine the appropriate amount of damages for your medical expenses, your Boulder drunk driver accident lawyer will gather all your medical bills and add them up.
Noneconomic damages are just as important as economic damages, but they are less tangible. There is no objective, identifiable dollar value. For example, the law allows you to seek compensation for things like emotional pain, physical pain, and the loss of the use of a bodily function. You can also seek recovery for loss of enjoyment of life, which is how your injuries have limited your ability to participate in social and recreational activities. All these are real, identifiable life impacts, but without an easily identifiable dollar value, they are more subjective.
Most of the time, lawyers and juries calculate noneconomic damages as a function of total economic damages. If noneconomic damages are significant compared to economic damages, a jury might award a large multiple of the economic damages for noneconomic damages. If the jury finds noneconomic damages to be relatively insignificant compared to economic damages, the jury’s award would likely be smaller. There is no hard and fast rule for calculating non-economic damages. As always, it all depends on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. The more compelling a story an attorney can tell about an accident’s impact on your life, the greater your non-economic damages award will likely be.
While economic and non-economic damages are both forms of compensatory damages, punitive damages are different. Punitive damages, sometimes referred to as “exemplary damages,” are a form of non-compensatory damages. Instead of focusing on compensating an accident victim, punitive damages focus on punishing the at-fault party. In other words, the function of punitive damages is to make an example of the at-fault party and dissuade others from acting badly in the future.
In drunk driving car accident claims, punitive damages apply only in specific circumstances. You and your Boulder drunk driver accident attorney have to demonstrate that the offending party acted with:
- Malice, or
- Willful and wanton conduct.
If the defendant is facing a criminal DUI charge, proving willful and wanton conduct is easier. The statute states specifically that willful and wanton conduct is conduct that is purposefully committed with the knowledge that doing so is dangerous and reckless and without regard to the rights of others. Essentially, in the eyes of the law, if someone drives while they are intoxicated, they are acting with willful and wanton conduct. Punitive damages must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Importantly, state law places a cap on the amount of non-economic damages and punitive damages you can claim. However, the rules surrounding these damage caps contain several exceptions. Furthermore, the caps are subject to change every two years. For this reason, it is essential you work with a DUI accident attorney who diligently reviews your case to identify all of your potential damages.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Boulder DUI Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Injuries
If you’ve suffered an injury caused by a drunk driver, the DUI car accident attorneys at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. are here to help. We know how difficult it is to recover from a serious accident because we’ve helped countless clients who found themselves in a similar situation. Many people find the psychological trauma of a DUI accident alone debilitating. Add to that the myriad other possible damages, and an already difficult situation becomes even worse.
We have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you move forward with your life. We can help you identify the full extent of your damages, connect you with the appropriate medical professionals, and negotiate aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve. And because our team of seasoned litigators is equally comfortable in the courtroom, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial if the other side isn’t willing to offer a fair settlement. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a free consultation with one of the Boulder drunk driver accident attorneys at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. You can also reach us through our online contact form.
Our experienced lawyers also handle clients with other types of cases, including auto vehicle accidents, bike accidents, brain injuries, dog injuries, motorbike accidents, pedestrian injuries, ski accidents, trip and fall, spinal cord injuries, trucking accidents, and wrongful death claim.