Damages in DUI Lawsuits

Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs cause about 30 percent of fatal traffic accidents and a staggering number of serious injuries every year. Civil damages in DUI lawsuits tend to be substantial. In San Diego, CA, DUI damages often bring significant punitive awards as well.

Our San Diego injury law firm has assisted numerous victims of drunk driving to attain significant financial recoveries, including multimillion-dollar awards. If you or your loved one is a DUI accident victim, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.

About DUI accidents

Alcohol and drugs impair judgment and often prompt reckless behavior in a normally cautious driver. Because of their compromised reaction times and tendency to be distracted, many DUI drivers are ticking time bombs on the road. The fallout includes high-speed collisions, rollovers, vehicles leaving the road, and devastating collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists.

Injuries in these cases may involve head and brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, burn injuries, and other life-changing events. For the victim and family, the repercussions can be a nightmare that may never completely resolve. Often, the perpetrator is arrested and charged with a crime, but this does nothing to help innocent victims of his or her wrongdoing.

We have earned a reputation for securing maximum compensation for DUI victims and families.


Legal civil damages are meant to provide compensation for victims of negligent and reckless behavior. In addition to property loss, damages awarded in a DUI case may include:

doctor with clipboard

  • Medical Costs – A catastrophic injury will invariably involve medical expenses, which may continue for years. Most insurance plans have high deductibles and co-pays and don’t always cover every type of treatment needed. In a civil case, the DUI driver may have liability for out-of-pocket medical, prescription, and home care expenses, including bills and anticipated future costs.
  • Loss of Income – Damages often include financial losses caused by the victim’s inability to work after the accident. There may be a loss of future earning capacity caused by permanent injuries. In the case of a severely injured at-home parent, damages may include expenses required to replace household services he or she provided.
  • Pain and Suffering – These damages cover physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident. If the victim is permanently impaired, there may be severe losses to self-esteem, social status, family role, and much more.
  • Wrongful Death – A wrongful death claim is made by surviving family members when a loved one is killed. In addition to covering medical expenses incurred, this claim can include loss of future financial support, loss of spousal consortium, and emotional pain.

Punitive damages are also awarded in many DUI cases as a form of punishment and deterrent to drivers found guilty of driving under the influence. Juries tend to see DUI conduct as grossly negligent, willful, and wanton. In California, there is no legal “cap” on punitive damages, so juries are free to award any amount that bears a reasonable relationship to other damages.


Our attorneys are highly experienced in negotiating and litigating damage recoveries in DUI cases, and have earned a reputation for securing maximum compensation for victims and families. Please contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.