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How much compensation will a drunk driver in Delray Beach owe the person they injure?

Delray Beach, FL – When a drunk driver injures someone, they may owe them monetary compensation in addition to any criminal charges that are filed against them. The specific amount can depend on many different factors, but victims who are more seriously hurt will generally require more compensation. An attorney who focuses on accident cases in the Delray Beach area can provide more specific information about this process and any available compensation. 

Civil cases versus criminal charges

If the government prosecutes the defendant for drunk driving, this will be handled through a separate lawsuit by a prosecutor assigned to the case. The civil case that the victim brings for compensation may possibly have a different outcome, especially considering the different burdens of proof in criminal and civil cases. In other words, it is possible that the person responsible for the accident may owe money to the victims, even if they are not found guilty or the charges are dismissed in criminal court. 

Compensation related to medical losses

A major factor in determining how much the drunk driver will owe their victims is the amount and duration of medical treatment required. Someone who is permanently disabled or experiences a fatal injury will likely receive large amounts of compensation. However, those with minor or moderate injuries that only require a short hospital stay or other forms of short term treatment will usually have much smaller medical costs. As a related matter, if the victim’s medical problems prevent them from working for a certain period of time, their lost income and wages can be factored into economic damages. 

Damages for pain and suffering

Florida law also allows victims of any accident to ask for non-economic compensation related to their pain and suffering. This includes things like trauma, psychological damage, physical pain, and quality of life problems caused by injuries. These kinds of damages also tend to increase as the injury becomes more severe and life changing. 

Punitive damages

Florida law allows victims of drunk drivers to ask for punitive damages as well, which are meant to punish a defendant rather than compensate the victim. The plaintiff and their attorney must show a reckless disregard for the safety of others or malice. Drunk driving is generally considered a reckless activity, so it is possible that punitive damages will be available in some accident lawsuits. 

Meeting with a personal injury attorney in Florida

The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Rosenberg is a firm that helps people after injuries in the Delray Beach area. Their attorneys are able to provide advice that is specific to any client’s needs. 

Firm contact info:

The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Rosenberg

5255 North Federal Highway, 3rd Floor, Boca Raton, Florida 33487

561-508-8800

rosenberginjurylaw.com

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