Non-Economic Damages in a Drunk Driving Crash

A drunk driving crash can cause much more than simply physical injuries. In fact, sometimes it is the psychological injuries that take the longest to heal — especially when your crash was particularly traumatic. Sometimes, it’s impossible to forget a major car crash even after many decades. Fortunately, there are options available for those who have suffered these “non-economic injuries” in drunk driving crashes. But what exactly are non-economic damages, and how much money can you get for them?

If you have questions such as these, you might want to ask a qualified attorney during a consultation. But we know what you’re thinking: “Where can I find attorneys near me?” The answer is simple: There are many Santa Ana accident lawyers nearby who can assist you, and these legal professionals can help you receive a fair, adequate settlement. This financial settlement can not only provide you with funds, but also a sense of closure and justice.

California is an At-Fault State

The first thing you need to know is that California is an “at-fault” or “tort” state (1). This means that non-economic damages can be very important to your overall settlement — namely because you are allowed to claim them. Under a “no-fault” system, victims may find it easier to file injury claims — but they are usually prevented from claiming non-economic damages.

However, in order to receive a settlement in an at-fault state like California, you must prove that someone else was to blame for your crash. In other words, you must prove negligence. Fortunately, this is actually quite easy when you have been hit by a drunk driver, as they were obviously to blame. With that said, hiring a qualified, experienced attorney is always important.

Examples of Non-Economic Damages

So what exactly are non-economic damages? Essentially, these are losses that do not involve dollar amounts. While medical expenses and missed wages are easily quantifiable in financial terms, non-economic damages are not. Here are some examples of non-economic damages:

  • Anxiety
  • PTSD (2)
  • Depression
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Disfigurement

The good news is that these non-economic damages can radically increase your settlement amount. Even though they are not associated with specific dollar amounts, they represent a “general damages multiplier” that is then used to multiply your economic damages. For example, if your general damage multiplier is four and your total economic damages are $100,000, you would receive $400,000 as your settlement.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Attorney Near Me?

If you’ve been searching for Santa Ana DUI or DWI attorneys, be sure to book your consultation as soon as possible. Waiting too long can be detrimental, as the statute of limitations may prevent you from suing after a few years. Be proactive, get in touch with a lawyer, and take your first steps towards fair, adequate compensation for economic and non-economic damages.


  1. https://wallethub.com/answers/ci/is-california-a-no-fault-state-2140686455/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967#:~:text=Post%2Dtraumatic%20stress%20disorder%20(PTSD)%20is%20a%20mental%20health,uncontrollable%20thoughts%20about%20the%20event.

Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jayberries

Image License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en


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