Monroe Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Drunk Driving Accidents in Louisiana
The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are well known. But, every year, thousands of people choose to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Sadly, this leads to more than 1,000 fatalities every year in the U.S., or about one death every 50 minutes.
In Louisiana, specifically, drunk driving is a huge problem. In 2020, the state saw 264 fatal alcohol-related crashes, accounting for just under 40% of all fatal traffic accidents. Furthermore, there were as many as 293 additional traffic fatalities estimated to be alcohol-related in Louisiana that same year.
At Parker Alexander, we believe that there is simply no excuse for driving drunk, and our Monroe drunk driving accident attorneys fight to hold individuals who make this dangerous choice accountable. If you were injured or if someone you love was killed by a drunk driver, we can help.
Can You Sue If You Get Hit by a Drunk Driver?
The short answer is yes, you can bring a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a drunk driver in Louisiana. Driving while intoxicated is a crime in the state, and those who drive drunk face both criminal and civil consequences.
Because Louisiana is an at-fault state, you must prove that the other driver (in this case, the drunk driver) was to blame in any car accident. Typically, drunk driving alone is evidence that the other driver was negligent. However, even if the drunk driver’s insurance provider argues that you share some of the blame, you can still seek compensation under Louisiana’s pure comparative negligence rule. If you are found partially liable for the accident, your overall recovery will be reduced in direct proportion to your at-fault percentage.
How Are Drunk Driving Accident Claims Different from Criminal DWI Cases?
Driving while intoxicated is against the law in Louisiana. Anyone who operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% (or 0.04% for commercial drivers and 0.02% for minors) can be arrested for DWI and will face certain criminal penalties. These penalties include possible jail time, driver’s license suspension, fines, and more.
A drunk driving accident claim is completely separate from criminal DWI proceedings. Rather than imposing criminal penalties on the defendant, a civil lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for the plaintiff, or the injured party. In some cases, victims of drunk driving accidents can also seek punitive damages, which are meant to punish the drunk driver for egregious negligence.
Common damages in drunk driving accident cases include:
- Medical costs
- Future medical expenses
- Lost income/wages
- Lost future earnings
- Lost/reduced earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Counseling and rehabilitative services
- Emotional trauma
- Property damage
In a successful drunk driving accident case, the defendant is responsible for providing monetary compensation to victims and/or their surviving family members. The purpose of this is not only to compensate those affected for their losses but also to hold the drunk driver accountable and help ensure similar accidents do not occur in the future.
Can You Sue a Restaurant or Bar for Overserving a Drunk Driver in Louisiana?
While many other states have enacted legislation that allows victims of drunk driving accidents to sue restaurants, bars, and even social hosts liable when they overserve individuals who then go on to cause drunk driving accidents, Louisiana has not.
Generally speaking, you cannot sue an establishment or individual who provided alcohol to a drunk driver, even when the intoxicated individual was clearly drunk or a minor.
There are only two exceptions to this:
- When a vendor/social host misrepresents an alcoholic beverage as non-alcoholic
- When a vendor/social host causes intoxication through force
In most cases, your only option for recovering compensation after a drunk driving accident in Louisiana is to bring a lawsuit against the drunk driver. Our Monroe drunk driving accident attorneys can go over the specifics of your situation with you during a free initial case evaluation.
What to Do If You Get Hit by a Drunk Driver
If you were involved in an accident with a drunk driver, you may have required emergency medical care at the scene. If you have not yet been treated, the first thing you should do is see a doctor. Even if you believe you were not seriously injured, you may have underlying trauma or aggravated pre-existing conditions that could lead to serious pain and other complications.
The next thing you should do is report the accident to the police if you have not done so already. If you (or someone else) called 911 at the scene and police arrived, they have likely already taken an official police report. If not, contact local law enforcement and report the accident right away.
Lastly, as soon as possible after the accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney will be able to walk you through your options and help you determine if you have grounds for a claim. If so, your attorney can guide you through this process and protect your rights every step of the way.
Contact Parker Alexander Today
With decades of legal experience and millions of dollars recovered for our clients, we at Parker Alexander have the knowledge, resources, and skills to aggressively advocate for you and your recovery. Our firm has been a fixture in the community for decades, and we are proud of our hard-earned reputation for client-focused representation.
Whether you suffered a serious brain injury, were paralyzed, or lost a loved one due to a drunk driving accident, our firm is here to fight for you. We can come to your home or visit you in the hospital to discuss your case, if necessary, and we are available for weekend and evening appointments by request.