If you or a loved one was hit by a drunk driver, then you already know what is at stake. From lost wages and medical expenses to property damage and prolonged pain and suffering, this type of car accident can change your life forever. A Baton Rouge drunk driving accident lawyer from Bianca | Matkins will fight for the compensation to which you are legally entitled.
As a top-rated personal injury law firm in Louisiana, our experienced personal injury lawyers advocate for car accident victims in East Baton Rouge Parish who have been injured through no fault of their own.
The clock is already ticking on your right to a fair settlement—contact us to schedule a free consultation today.
Louisiana Drunk Driving Statistics & Laws
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) shows that between 2003 and 2012, 3,046 people were killed by drunk drivers on Louisiana roads. Nationwide, 1.9% of drivers admit to driving after having too much to drink. In Louisiana, that percentage jumps to 2.5%. The number of drunk driving deaths per 100,000 people is higher in Louisiana, too, with 4.7 deaths for every 100,000 residents compared with the national average of only 3.1
Louisiana drunk driving laws are clear—it is never acceptable to drink and drive. A blood-alcohol content of .08% or higher for adults may result in an arrest and resulting criminal charges. For drivers under the age of 21, driving with any measurable level of alcohol is a criminal offense.
Who Is Responsible for My Drunk Driving Accident?
If you suffered injuries in a traffic accident caused by a drunk driver, there is a clear at-fault party—the other driver. However, the typical insurance claim for drunk driving accidents requires victims to take on the difficult task of proving liability.
In order to recover maximum compensation for your injuries, you and your personal injury lawyer will need to prove that the other driver was responsible for your collision and subsequent injuries. Evidence that may be used to support your claim includes:
- Dash cam footage of the crash
- Arrest records
- Documents showing the other driver’s blood-alcohol concentration
A small number of personal injury cases involving drunk driving have more than one at-fault party. An experienced Baton Rouge attorney from Bianca | Matkins will investigate your case to determine whether you can pursue compensation from any other parties, including another driver or a vehicle parts manufacturer.
Keep in mind that Louisiana state law does not protect accident victims from properly licensed alcohol vendors who overserve their patrons. This means that you cannot sue a bar or restaurant for overserving the intoxicated driver who hit and injured you.
Life After Being Hit by a Drunk Driver
Life after a serious motor vehicle accident is not easy, and an accident caused by a driver who was intoxicated can lead to even greater distress. Common injuries that we typically associate with car crashes tend to be much more severe in collisions involving drunk drivers.
Slowed reaction times, poor judgment, and altered thinking means that drunk drivers often fail to take corrective action when behind the wheel. This means that even when faced with the bright red of another vehicle’s brake lights, a driver who is under the influence of alcohol might fail to apply their own brakes and cause a collision at full speed.
If you’ve been involved in a drunk driving accident and have suffered any of the following injuries, you may be entitled to recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Chest injuries
- Internal injuries (including organ damage)
- Broken bones
- Crushed limbs
Medical treatment for the above injuries can be extensive, time-consuming, and expensive. Damages recoverable in a personal injury case will help you address both your financial losses as well as the pain and suffering associated with your injuries.
A car accident attorney will stand up against the insurance company when they try to trick or bully you into accepting a lower settlement offer than you deserve.
When Should I File a Drunk Driving Accident Case?
An arrest for drunk driving can lead to criminal penalties, such as jail time, fines, or the loss of driving privileges. It will not, however, provide any type of fair compensation to the victim of a drunk driving accident.
A drunk driving lawsuit is a separate form of legal action that may be appropriate when an accident causes:
- Severe or catastrophic injuries
- Significant financial losses
- Prolonged pain and suffering or emotional trauma
At Bianca | Matkins, a Baton Rouge personal injury lawyer will have the requisite knowledge and experience to hold the at-fault driver civilly liable for their actions. This type of legal action can even be made in the absence of a criminal case and offers an opportunity for you or a family member to right the wrongs of a serious injury or preventable death.
The Role of a Baton Rouge Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Car accident cases involving allegations of drunk driving can be incredibly difficult to navigate. At Bianca | Matkins, we pride ourselves on making things easier for our clients.
As car accident lawyers, we have a deep understanding of Baton Rouge traffic laws. We are intimately familiar with the most effective ways to fight for our clients, including:
- Investigating the accident and assigning fault
- Valuing the worth of the claim
- Negotiating a settlement with the insurance company
- Taking the case to court if necessary
Compensation for Drunk Driving Accidents
If you were injured by the negligent and reckless choices made by a drunk driver, there are three potential types of compensation to which you might be entitled. These are:
- Economic damages – These compensate you for your financial losses, such as lost wages, vehicle repairs, hospital bills, medication, and physical therapy.
- Non-economic damages – These compensate you for your non-monetary losses, including emotional distress and physical pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages – These do not compensate you for a specific loss but are used to punish the drunk driver who hit you.
Our Baton Rouge accident lawyers can only provide an estimate of what your case might be worth after meeting and reviewing relevant evidence.
Bianca | Matkins Is a Powerful Advocate for Drunk Driving Accident Victims
The accident lawyers of Bianca | Matkins are proud to take most cases on a contingency fee basis. This allows us to provide personalized representation without any type of upfront payment, breaking down any financial barriers to seeking legal counsel. We are also actively involved in the Deaf community of Louisiana and can provide services in ASL.
For an opportunity to talk one-on-one with a Baton Rouge drunk driving accident lawyer, contact us by phone or online to claim your free consultation. We’ll schedule this confidential meeting at your earliest convenience.