Drunk Driving Accidents
The Law Firm of Eddie Clark & Associates represents and protects people in Louisiana who have suffered a loss as a result of a drunk driving accident. While many people are aware of DUI/DWI criminal charges, there are also civil remedies available to compensate the victim of an accident involving a drunk driver. If you have been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, the Louisiana personal injury attorneys of The Law Firm of Eddie Clark & Associates can help you pursue a civil claim against those responsible for your injuries.Understanding a Civil Suit in the Aftermath of an Accident With a Drunk Driver
In addition to criminal charges, a drunk driver that has caused harm or damage may be civilly liable to anyone who suffered injuries or dies as a result of this conduct. An action brought on behalf of someone killed in an accident is called a wrongful death suit. Generally, a suit for any car accident must be brought within one year of the event, although there may be some exceptions. The Law Firm of Eddie Clark & Associates can help you file a timely suit and explain applicable statute of limitations and certain tolls that may apply.
Even if the drunk driver is only partially at fault, Louisiana will still allow some degree of recovery under comparative negligence. Louisiana's comparative negligence standard governs most automobile accidents and allows for a reward to be reduced by the percent of responsibility of the opposing party. For example, if the court discovers that the drunken driver is only 80% responsible, the injured party will have their award reduced by 20%. It should be noted, however, that a court generally presumes more negligence on the part of the drinking party. Furthermore, Louisiana law allows a victim injured by an intoxicated driver to recover punitive damages in some circumstances.
Considering Louisiana's low minimum insurance limit, a negligent driver's insurance policy may be severely inadequate to cover the medical costs necessary to treat the injuries. In Louisiana a driver may operate a vehicle with as little as $15,000 in coverage. It is easily imaginable that even mild accidents may require additional compensation. The attorneys at The Law Firm of Eddie Clark & Associates will explore all avenues of compensation for your injuries.Punitive Damages to Punish Reckless Drunk Drivers
Punitive damages are meant to punish excessive recklessness and are awarded when there was a sufficient impairment and the impairment led to cause the accident.
Punitive damages may be awarded if the plaintiff can prove the following 3 elements:
- The driver was intoxicated or had consumed a sufficient quantity of intoxicants to make him lose normal control of his mental and physical faculties (Meaning in the absence of proof of intoxication, a plaintiff may be able to show evidence the driver had been drinking);
- The injury was caused by the driver's intoxication; and
- The intoxicated driver displayed a general state of mind of wanton or reckless disregard for the safety of others.
You may also be entitled to special damages as a result of a spinal injury, brain injury, or other long-term pain or costs. The injury attorneys at The Law Firm of Eddie Clark & Associates are experienced in the practice of seeking and showing punitive damages or special damages related to specific injuries, when appropriate.Contact a Louisiana Drunk Driving Accident Attorney at the Law Firm of Eddie Clark & Associates Today
If you have suffered injuries or a loved one has suffered injury or death as a result of drunk driving in Louisiana, The Law Firm of Eddie Clark & Associates can help you get the justice you deserve. Accommodations or home visits are possible depending on your situation; just ask. Contact us online, or by calling (318) 361-9697, to schedule a free confidential consultation.