In Louisiana, the victim of any auto accident that causes injury or property damage has the right to make an insurance claim and/or file personal injury litigation. Any settlement or judgment is compensation for injuries and damages. The parties responsible for the injuries and damages will be held legally liable. Compensation can be recovered for many types and categories of damages, including:
In addition, where a drunk driver is responsible for the Louisiana auto accident (and the resulting injuries and damages), then victims may ALSO seek punitive damages to punish the at-fault party. This is allowed under Louisiana Civil Code, Art. 2315.4, which states
"In addition to general and special damages, exemplary damages may be awarded upon proof that the injuries on which the action is based were caused by a wanton or reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others by a defendant whose intoxication while operating a motor vehicle was a cause in fact of the resulting injuries."
Note that, according to several Louisiana court decisions, generally, insurance carriers are responsible for paying any punitive damages that can be proven.
How to prove intoxication
In most cases of drunk drivers causing Louisiana car accidents, the proof of intoxication is accomplished by showing the driver's blood alcohol level. Generally, this can be provided because, in most cases, the driver was arrested and tested by the police. However, that is not the only method of proving intoxication. For example, if the drunk driver flees the scene of the accident, then the driver will not be arrested or tested. Courts have allowed other evidence of intoxication to be used. These include testimony and other evidence that the driver
How much punitive damages can I recover?
Louisiana courts have generally approved awards of punitive damages at an amount basically equal to the proven damages. Thus, in the case of Lacoste v. Crochet, 751 So. 2d 998 - La: Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit 2000), the proven damages for all victims was $33,000, and the court approved punitive damages in the amount of $30,000.
Act quickly to contact a Louisiana personal injury attorney
If you have been injured in an auto accident in Louisiana involving a drunk driver, you should consider acting quickly to consult with an experienced Louisiana personal injury attorney. In Louisiana, you generally must file a personal injury lawsuit within one year of the date of the accident.
Contact A Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams. If you have been injured in a Louisiana accident, our Louisiana personal injury lawyers can help you recover the full compensation you are entitled to according to Louisiana law. To contact us, complete our "Contact Us" page here. You may significantly benefit by having an attorney with legal competence and experience assist you with your Louisiana personal injury case. We have offices in Shreveport and handle personal injury cases throughout all of Louisiana. Thank you for reading this blog and visiting our website.