While it is difficult to secure statistics regarding the single most common cause of fatal motor vehicle collisions on Interstate 10 (I-10), statistics indicate that driver error is the likely factor in most fatal accidents on I-10 and other interstates. According to a 2015 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the cause of as much as 94 percent of accidents is related to driver error.
Therefore, it seems safe to conclude that most accidents on I-10 – including the fatal ones – are somehow related to driver error.
Drunk Driving and Other Driver Errors
You cannot think about the dangers of driving on the roads of Louisiana, I-10 included, without thinking about drunk driving. The state of Louisiana has a reputation for having fun, and a dark side of that reputation is the propensity by some to drive after consuming an amount of alcohol that means they are legally intoxicated.
Drunk Driving Statistics
According to data from the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development, in 2021:
- Nearly 40 percent of all fatal crashes in the state involved alcohol.
- In 320 alcohol-related fatal accidents, there were 349 fatalities.
- Alcohol also accounted for 6.4 percent of injury crashes and 3.7 percent of property damage crashes – meaning alcohol-related accidents are more likely to cause a fatality than only an injury or property damage.
These figures seem to show that driving on a stretch of I-10 within Louisiana may come with a relatively high risk of being on the road with a drunk driver, though this is not necessarily the case. Some of the impacts of alcohol on a person while drunk driving include:
- Poor judgment
- Poor muscle control/coordination
- Slower reaction times
- A diminished ability to process information
- Impaired vision
Other Driver Errors
Drunk driving is not the only risk you may face while navigating I-10. Other forms of driver error that could lead to accidents on I-10 and other roads throughout the state include:
- Failing to use signals when merging, or changing lanes in a way that is abrupt or otherwise unsafe
- Vehicles being driven excessively close to the vehicle in front of them
- Driving a vehicle that is not roadworthy
- Engaging in distracted driving, such as cell phone use, which is against Louisiana safety laws and is extremely dangerous
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Failing to stay in one’s lane
Any of these behaviors may increase the risk of an accident occurring, and considering the speed at which vehicles generally travel on I-10, such an accident could prove fatal.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
I-10 Sees Many Accidents Every Year
I-10 is an undeniably important route for car, truck, SUV, and motorcycle drivers, as it spans the country from Florida to California. Its pathway through much of the country means that it becomes densely populated with frequency, and it is one of the highways with the highest death tolls during heavy travel seasons.
One particular stretch of I-10 in Louisiana is particularly dangerous, referred to by some as “The Devil’s Triangle.” According to the Louisiana Department of Transportation, there were 44 fatal accidents on I-10 in Louisiana in 2019, which is a down year, considering that there were 57 fatal crashes the year before.
The Devil’s Triangle stretch of I-10 includes a bridge across the Mississippi River, which causes traffic to slow down and sometimes even stop, presenting an abnormal risk of accidents on a road where regular interstate speeds generally apply. The high level of risk to drivers and passengers on this stretch of I-10 only increases the importance of cautious driving.
You May Be Eligible for a Lawsuit After an I-10 Accident
If you or a loved one were injured as you traveled on I-10 or another road, you could have grounds to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Alternately, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit if the accident proved to be fatal for a loved one.
You are free to speak with a legal professional about:
- The circumstances of your accident and whether they believe you were the victim of negligence or malicious wrongdoing
- The process for bringing any lawsuit you may be eligible for
- How much money you may be entitled to collect in compensation
If you choose, you may bring a lawsuit with help from a lawyer or on your own. If you choose to accept assistance from a lawyer, they may:
- Handle all of your legal paperwork
- Handle all of your legal correspondence
- Collect evidence and conduct an independent investigation
- Consult relevant experts
- Represent you in settlement negotiations or at trial
- Protect your rights
A personal injury lawyer may remain by your side throughout the entirety of your lawsuit, providing guidance and legal services along the way.
Winning Compensation for Your Fatal Accident Losses
Losing a loved one is never easy, but the shock and grief may be enhanced if the loss came suddenly due to an unexpected yet preventable fatal accident. To help you rebuild your life after such a loss, a fatal accident lawyer can help you determine which of the following damages you qualify to recover in a wrongful death case.
“Non-economic” in this case simply means “non-monetary,” or the physical and emotional toll that the crash has had on your loved one and their survivors. You could be eligible for:
- Pain and suffering, if your loved one experienced physical and/or emotional distress before their passing
- Disability, if your loved one lost the use of any part of their body or suffered brain damage
- Reduced quality of life, if your loved one experienced debilitating pain or could not live independently from the time of the crash until their death
- Loss of companionship, if your loved one’s survivors (including you) have been deprived of the benefits of their affection, advice, and company
Did you or your loved one lose any money because of the accident? You could be reimbursed for lost paychecks or accident-related expenses such as:
- End-of-life expenses, if you were fiscally responsible for ensuring that your loved one’s last wishes regarding burial and estate settlement were carried out
- Medical expenses, if your loved one survived long enough to get treatment, including emergency care or home nursing
- Loss of financial support, if you depended on your loved one to pay the bills and are now having trouble supporting yourself or your family
- Loss of earning capacity, if your loved one was incapable of making the same salary as they did (or of working at all) between the accident and their death
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Is a Lawyer Worth the Money?
After losing a loved one and dealing with all of the expenses a sudden death entails, you may not see the value in spending more money to hire a car accident lawyer and fight a lawsuit. This is a reasonable concern that many law firms do their best to alleviate by:
- Offering free case evaluations over the phone that place callers under no obligation
- Delaying payment of attorney’s fees until they win a settlement for the client
- Not billing for attorney’s fees at all if they cannot get a settlement for the client
- Including attorney’s fees as part of the economic damages sought from the liable party
- Coming to visit you at a location of your choice if you are unable to travel to their office
No matter what caused your loved one’s fatal I-10 accident, you and your family deserve justice. There is no charge and no risk involved in finding out if you have a viable case.
Call Our Team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you were injured or your loved one died because of a motor vehicle collision, we may be able to represent you. Call our team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 777-7777 for a free consultation.