Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous. Louisiana has laws against drunk driving that create harsh penalties, even for a first offense charge. If you were in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you have a right to seek compensation for the losses you suffered.
A car accident can leave you injured, disabled, or worse. Our team of DUI accident attorneys in Lafayette can explain your legal rights and help you seek compensation for damages caused by a drunk driver. Let us advocate for your rights so that you can get your life back on track.
Understanding DUI in Louisiana
According to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV), the terms DUI and DWI are frequently used interchangeably in the state of Louisiana. DUI is short for driving under the influence, while DWI is short for driving while intoxicated.
Regardless of the acronym used, they carry the same potential penalties. A person can be charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated when their blood alcohol concentration (or BAC) is 0.08% or more. Those who have a BAC roughly double the legal limit or more will be subject to harsher penalties.
Dangers of Drunk Driving
In 2019, the Highway Safety Research Group with the University of Louisiana reported 260 fatal alcohol-related crashes.
Excessive use of alcohol or drugs can cause a driver to make mistakes while driving because their motor coordination and judgment are compromised. The driver’s reaction times are not normal, and they may not be able to respond to hazards on the road quickly enough to avoid a crash.
For a free legal consultation with a DUI Accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call 800-537-8185
Consequences of Driving While Under the Influence
An adult of legal drinking age, 21 or more, can be convicted of DWI with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Unfortunately, teenage drunk driving is also a big problem. A driver who is under 21 can receive a DWI conviction with a BAC of 0.02% or greater.
Following the Rules
Just because someone was not officially charged with drunk driving does not mean that their alcohol consumption did not contribute to the accident and your injuries. Even if the other driver’s BAC was below the legal limit, they may have made an error in judgment while driving, causing the accident.
This error could be considered negligent driving, which strengthens your case in a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. Your DUI accident lawyer in Lafayette can advise you on how to proceed with your case if you suspect the driver who injured you was drunk at the time of the accident.
What to Do if the Other Driver Is Drunk
If another driver strikes your car, there are things you can do to help protect your rights. Even if you are no longer at the accident scene, the details you remember about how the accident happened and the other driver’s actions immediately following the crash can help your case.
Take Note of the Behaviors
Keep track of any behaviors the other driver exhibited. If the driver was drunk, they may have been slurring words or had difficulty maintaining balance. If you saw open alcohol containers or smelled alcohol on the driver’s breath or clothing, this is also an important detail.
If you told enforcement at the scene that you believed the other driver had been drinking, and if the other driver was cited for drunk driving, you should tell your lawyer about these facts.
Keep Track of the Details
Your DUI accident lawyer in Lafayette will want to know about the details regarding the other driver and their vehicle. The following are also important to build your case:
- License plate number
- Make and model of the vehicle
- Color of the vehicle
- Location of and type of damage to their vehicle
- General description of the driver
Photos and Videos
If you used your smartphone to record photos and videos of the scene, make sure you give these to your lawyer. Visuals of the scene, damage to your vehicle, the other driver’s license, etc., can help to build and strengthen your case.
Seek Medical Attention
It is always a good idea to make an appointment with a doctor or visit a hospital after a car accident. Only a doctor can fully diagnose your injuries and put together a treatment plan. If you haven’t yet seen a doctor after your accident, you should do so immediately to confirm that any injuries you have were the result of the accident.
Damages You Can Seek After a DUI Accident
An accident caused by drunk driving can have devastating results, including injury, disability, or death. If you were hurt by a drunk driver, you may be able to seek damages such as:
- Ambulance transportation
- Emergency treatment
- Hospital bills
- Pain and suffering
Due to the nature of your car crash, you may also be awarded punitive damages. A DUI accident attorney in Lafayette can review your case to determine what compensation you should seek to reclaim.
How a Lafayette DUI Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Case
With everything you have going on right now, your lawyer can prove to be a valuable asset to your case. A Lafayette DUI accident lawyer from our law firm can help you by:
- Investigating the cause of your car wreck
- Identifying the liable party
- Gathering information that will support your claim
- Initiating your lawsuit before the deadline
- Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf
Your lawyer can keep your case moving along while you focus on getting better. If we are unable to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, we will fight for your rights in court.
Fight for Your Rights
As the victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to receive damages for your losses. You have the right to enlist a Lafayette DUI accident attorney to seek compensation from the driver and their insurance company.
At the Morris Bart law firm, our team of DUI accident lawyers in Lafayette is ready to defend your rights. Call us today, and we will be ready to begin working on your behalf immediately. We answer calls 24/7 and your initial consultation is free.
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