Drunk driving is an inexcusable offense that can cause severe injuries and damage to property. A Lake Charles drunk driving accident lawyer may be able to help you acquire compensation. In a perfect world, we would be able to hop on the road at any time and expect other drivers to drive responsibly, but sadly that is not the case. Drunk drivers are liable for causing a great deal of harm because they decided to get behind the wheel while intoxicated, and their victims should not have to pay for their actions. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is here to fight for your compensation.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in an accident involving a drunk driver, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers at (337) 777-7777 today to get started.
The Prevalence of Drunk Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk driving killed 3,046 people in Louisiana from 2003 to 2012. About 2.5% of Louisiana residents reported that they drove after consuming a considerable amount of alcohol sometime in the last 30 days, which is higher than the national average of self-reported drivers, which in 2012 was 1.9%.
Drivers are considered alcohol-impaired if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. According to the CDC, approximately one in three car accident deaths involve a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is extremely dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) lists several ways in which alcohol can affect someone’s ability to drive. Driving while under the influence can cause the following:
- Impaired judgment
- Blurred vision
- Poor reaction time
- Lack of muscle coordination
These impairments can cause a driver to speed, run red lights or traffic signs, drift into other lanes, or go the wrong way down a street or even a highway. Drunk drivers are liable to injure other motorists, pedestrians, or the passengers in their vehicle. The consequences of their actions can cause debilitating injuries that may have a massive impact on your quality of life, and in some cases, cause injuries that are ultimately fatal.
For a free legal consultation with a drunk driving accident lawyer serving Lake Charles, call (337) 777-7777
Drunk Driving Can Ruin Lives
Drunk driving accidents can cause debilitating injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage. These injuries can result in severe brain damage, full or partial paralysis, and other medical complications. Injuries that are this severe can impair a victim’s ability to work and lead a fulfilling life.
If you or a loved one has become partially or fully disabled due to injuries from a drunk driving accident, our lawyers may be able to help you request compensation for medical expenses related to treating and coping with a disability. The compensation for medical expenses may extend to physical therapy, life-long care from an accredited healthcare provider, and medical equipment used for support at home.
In the case of wrongful death, the driver may be responsible for covering expenses such as funeral costs, lost wages, and additional medical expenses for the decedent, paid to either their family or someone of legal equivalence.
Call (337) 777-7777 today for your free consultation with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers.
Potential Drunk Driving Evidence
One of the most valuable types of evidence that can be used against the defendant to prove that they were driving while under the influence of alcohol is the record of their breathalyzer results. Anyone with a blood alcohol content over the limit of 0.08% is considered legally impaired.
Other types of supporting evidence include:
- Recorded surveillance footage of the driver driving under the influence of alcohol
- Medical records from an emergency room, urgent care center, hospital, or physician
- Dashcam footage from your vehicle, the defendant’s vehicle, surrounding motorists, or police
- Police records or any other records from first responders to the accident
Penalties for Drunk Driving
Because of the serious risk that drunk drivers pose to themselves and the public, Louisiana Revised Statute (RS) § 14:98 imposes harsh penalties, especially for those who commit repeat offenses. The penalties for driving under the influence in the state of Louisiana include, but are not limited to:
- First conviction: the offender can receive a fine of $300 to $1,000 and be confined in prison for anywhere from 10 days to six months. The offender may be placed on probation if they agree to spend two days in jail or perform 32 hours of community service and attend a substance abuse program that has been approved by the court. They may also be required to put an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle during probation.
- Second conviction: the offender can be fined $750 to $1,000 and be confined in jail for 30 days to six months. The offender may be placed on probation if they serve fifteen days in jail, or if they spend 48 hours in jail and perform 240 hours of community service. They must typically also attend a substance abuse program and may be required to put an IID in their vehicle for at least six months.
- Third conviction: the offender may spend one to five years in jail and be fined $2,000. If granted probation, they must spend one year in jail or a drug probation program, perform 240 hours of community service, and complete a driver improvement program and treatment. The court may also require them to install an IID in their vehicle during probation and treatment.
Potential Compensation in Drunk Driving Cases
If proven guilty of causing bodily harm or wrongful death, a drunk driver can be legally obligated to provide financial compensation for the plaintiff. A Lake Charles drunk driving accident lawyer may be able to assist you in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant owes you compensation for your injuries and damage to your vehicle.
Types of compensation that may be made available to you include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Bills for property repairs
Lake Charles Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Statute of Limitations in Louisiana
Louisiana Civil Code (CC) § 3492 imposes a one-year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit if you intend to seek compensation for your injuries and/or damage to your property. Investigating a case and performing all necessary procedures to prove negligence can take a considerable amount of time, so you may wish to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
How Our Lawyers May Be Able to Help
If a drunk driver caused an accident that led to your injuries, you should not have to pay for the actions of someone who chose to drive under the influence. We are prepared to represent you, even if you are in the hospital and cannot appear in court. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we are proud of our reputation for helping others in their time of need and advocating on their behalf for fair compensation.
If a drunk driver injured you or a loved one, do not hesitate to call the law offices of Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers. Call (337) 777-7777 today to find out how a Lake Charles drunk driving accident lawyer may be able to help you.