Drunk Driving Car Accidents in New Orleans

When someone chooses to drive drunk or under the influence of drugs, they automatically raise the risk of an accident and the risk of hurting the people around them. That choice can turn into legal responsibility for injuring another person.

When you or a loved one involved in a drunk driving accident need legal help, an experienced car accident attorney could provide it. The lawyers at Scott Vicknair could explain everything you need to know about drunk driving car accidents in New Orleans, from general information about drunk driving to specifics on filing a lawsuit.

The Dangers and Criminalization of Drunk Driving

Driving well takes some skill, and driver’s license exams and tests are supposed to weed out drivers without that ability. Driving also requires care and focus, from understanding a car’s speed to paying attention to pedestrians and hazards.

Alcohol impairs a driver’s abilities behind the wheel by changing a driver’s decision-making and slowing their reaction time. This impairment makes a drunk driver dangerous to themselves and others.

Because of these dangers, the state criminalizes drunk driving with fines and jail time. Under Louisiana Revised Statutes § 14:98.1, a first offense can result in a fine of $300 to $1000 and a range of 10 days to six months in jail. Drunk driving car accidents in New Orleans also open a driver to liability for injuries to others in civil court.

Suing a Drunk Driver for Damages

People who are hurt in a car accident in New Orleans can sue a drunk driver for their injuries or the injuries and death of a loved one. The state has a standard for drivers in Revised Statutes § 32:58, which says, “Any person operating a motor vehicle on the public roads of this state shall drive in a careful and prudent manner, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.”

Driving while drunk falls under that standard, giving an injured person the ability to sue based on negligence, in this case, a driver’s unreasonable behavior. Suing based on negligence generally requires proof of the following:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of that duty
  • Causation
  • Damages

Driving drunk is a breach of the duty laid out by the law for drivers to drive carefully and prudently, so an injured party must show a drunk driver caused the accident and their injuries, which must count as damages.

Damages include economic costs from a car accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages also include pain and suffering and the loss of the relationship with a loved one when they are killed or incapacitated.

The state has a few specific rules for bringing this kind of lawsuit. First, the statute of limitations prevents the filing of personal injury suits more than one year after an accident, as detailed in Louisiana Civil Code § 3492. Those who do not file their case soon enough may not be allowed to recover, so acting quickly after an accident can preserve their ability to sue.

The law of “pure comparative fault” allows injured parties to recover even when they are partially responsible for their injuries. In a car accident, one or both drivers could be at fault, but when the person filing the suit is less than 100 percent to blame, they can still recover damages. As provided by Civil Code § 2323, those damages would be reduced by the percentage of their fault rather than blocking recovery entirely.

Discuss Your Drunk Driving Car Accident Case With an Attorney in New Orleans

After a drunk driving accident, you may wonder what you can do to be made whole. A lawsuit against a drunk driver can get you and your family compensation, but you will need legal guidance during the process.

Contact one of our attorneys when you want to learn more about suing based on drunk driving car accidents in New Orleans. Our lawyers will listen to your case to determine whether you can sue, and we will only accept a fee when we win.

Scott Vicknair, LLC

Scott Vicknair, LLC N/a
New Orleans Office 909 Poydras Street,
Suite 1225
New Orleans, LA 70112
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