I was rear ended, how much of a settlement can I expect if the driver was arrested for DUI?

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I was rear ended, how much of a settlement can I expect if the driver was arrested for DUI?

I was recently rear-ended and my 2008 Toyota Corolla S was considered a total
loss. The other party’s insurance has valued my car at 5,997.40 and that is all
they are prepared to give me. I did have some injuries, I suffered a strained
neck and shoulder due to the speed and severity of the crash. The other party was
also arrested on the scene for a DUI involving drugs, can this affect my
settlement amount? and if so, an estimated of how much excluding case-specific
circumstances?

Asked on June 21, 2018 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is entirely case-specific: the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled depends on the then-current fair market value of your car; any lost wages due to not being able to work because of your injuries; any out-of-pocket (not paid by insurance) medical costs or bills; any other out-of-pocket expenses (such as if you have to rent a car for a week or two, maybe up to three, while buying or leasing a new one; or if you have to take cabs, ubers or mass transit for a time to get around while getting a new car); and, IF your injuries result in long lasting (months or longer) significant disability  or life impairment, some amount for "pain and suffering" which (very broadly) ranges from around 1/3 your medical bills (a few months of some disability or impairment) to 2-3 times medical bills (significant lifetime impairment). Total up the above (including a best guess at "pain and suffering"): that's the most you might get. Generally, to settle before suing (and without having  the cost, delays, and uncertainty of litigation) you accept around 1/2 - 2/3 that number.
If you don't like what they offer, you can sue.
The DUI doesn't add anything to the amount you'd get: your compensation is based on the costs, losses, injuries, etc. you suffer, not how at-fault the other side was. The DUI makes it more likely you will win if you have to sue, because it increases their fault and your ability to show fault, but does not actually change the amount to which you'd be entitled.


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