Drunk driving is a dangerous behavior with the potential to ruin lives. Accident victims can suffer injuries and extensive property damage or worse. Luckily, you have the law on your side. And with the right legal counsel, you can navigate the process for filing a claim or lawsuit.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident caused by a drunk driver, a lawyer from our firm wants to hear from you. Our DUI accident attorneys in Lake Charles can help you hold the drunk driver liable and recover compensation for your lost wages and medical bills.
DUI Accidents in Louisiana
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on drunk driving in Louisiana, drivers in Louisiana reported driving after drinking too much at a rate higher than drivers nationally. Two-and-a-half percent of Louisiana drivers reported driving after drinking too much in the past 30 days versus 1.9% of drivers nationally.
For a free legal consultation with a DUI Accident lawyer serving Lake Charles, call 800-537-8185
Can You Sue Someone for Drunk Driving?
The state of Louisiana allows you to sue a drunk driver who injured you by causing a car wreck. You can file a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party.
If the driver who caused your accident is facing criminal DUI charges, your lawyer may want to wait until that case resolves before initiating your civil litigation. A DUI conviction may increase your personal injury settlement. You may even be awarded punitive damages.
How Much Is Your DUI Accident Case Worth?
Your DUI accident settlement will ultimately depend on the severity of your damages. If you sustained multiple injuries or a long recovery, you may be eligible for a higher amount.
For example, one of our past clients was hurt by a drunk driver and suffered a broken arm and leg, a broken back, fractured ribs, and a broken hip. We successfully won our client $650,000 for that DUI accident case. A Lake Charles DUI accident lawyer from our legal team can review your case for free to determine what kind of settlement you should expect from your case.
How a DUI Accident Lawyer Can Help You
A Lake Charles DUI accident attorney from our law firm can fight for compensation for damages you suffered in an accident caused by a drunk driver. We can:
- Build a solid case on your behalf
- Establish the value of your short- and long-term damages
- Negotiate a fair settlement for your damages
- Fight back against defense team strategies to avoid liability
- Resolve your case in court if necessary
Supporting You with Legal Advice
Your lawyer will explain your rights and help you weigh your legal options. Additionally, they will identify the parties responsible for your injuries and discuss how they intend to protect your interests throughout the insurance and legal process. We can answer your questions and streamline the legal process.
Completing an Accident Investigation
Your DUI accident lawyer in Lake Charles will investigate your case. Our legal team can prove how your accident occurred, establish liability, and gather evidence to hold the defendant liable for your injuries. The investigation can gather evidence such as:
- Eyewitness statements
- Surveillance video of the accident
- Photographs of the accident or your injuries
- Police reports of the accident
- Record of the driver’s DUI arrest and results of any chemical testing
Your attorney can also secure expert testimony from engineers, accident reconstruction specialists, and other parties who can help determine and prove liability.
Helping You Recover Damages for Your Injuries
Drunk driving can have devastating effects. Victims of DUI accidents may sustain serious injuries, including:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head trauma
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Permanent disabilities
Accident victims may experience significant medical bills, lost wages, and reduced future earning capacity as a result of a DUI accident. Victims may experience considerable pain and suffering as well.
You may be eligible to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the liable driver. A DUI accident attorney in Lake Charles can help you pursue compensation for the short- and long-term damages you suffered, such as:
- Medical bills (current and future expenses)
- Physical or vocational therapy related to your injuries
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Your Lawyer Can Identify Liable Parties for a DUI Accident
In most cases, the party liable for a DUI accident is the drunk driver. But in some cases, other parties could be liable too. Speak with your lawyer about who could be liable for your accident and how you can hold them responsible for your damages.
Intoxicated Driver’s Liability for a DUI Accident
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or more under Louisiana Revised Statutes § 14:98. Drivers who operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated are acting negligently. If they cause an accident, they could be liable for other parties’ damages in addition to the criminal penalties they face.
While the criminal and civil cases are separate, records from the criminal case that help establish negligence (chemical test results, police reports, etc.) may be useful in proving the drunk driver’s liability.
Dram Shop Liability for an Accident
Unlike other states, Louisiana does not have a traditional dram shop law. Dram shop laws typically allow those injured by intoxicated drivers to hold bars, restaurants, or social hosts liable for serving a visibly intoxicated person who later injured or killed another party.
Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:2800.1 limits the liability of establishments that serve alcohol to people who injure others. Two exceptions are if the establishment or social host forced the defendant’s intoxication or misrepresented an alcoholic beverage as non-alcoholic.
Statute of Limitations for DUI Accident Cases
You have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in Louisiana, just one year to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. If you fail to meet this deadline, you could be unable to bring your lawsuit.
Reach out to our law firm right away if you or a loved one suffered injuries in a DUI accident in Lake Charles. We can help you file your case and meet all deadlines applicable to your case.
Contact the Morris Bart Law Firm for Help in Lake Charles
If you were injured or lost a loved one in an accident caused by a drunk driver, a Lake Charles DUI accident lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC can help. Our lawyers are ready to help you recover damages for your injuries. Call today to discuss your case with a member of our team.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.