New Orleans Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Drunk Driving Accidents in Louisiana
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 30 people are killed every day in the United States due to drunk driving accidents. Unfortunately, Louisiana consistently ranks among the most dangerous states when it comes to drunk driving accident rates. In 2020, there were 270 alcohol-related crashes in Louisiana, leading to 299 fatalities—an increase of nearly 1.5% from the previous year. Of the total number of traffic accidents in Louisiana in 2020, almost 40% were alcohol-related.
If you or someone you love was hit by a drunk driver, you don’t need these numbers to know that driving while intoxicated has a huge impact on the lives of victims and their loved ones. Sadly, drunk driving accidents lead to devastating injuries and losses, leaving individuals and families unsure of where to turn or what they can do to obtain justice and fair compensation for their damages.
At The Womac Law Firm, we fight for victims of serious car accidents, including drunk driving accidents, in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Since 1983, we have committed ourselves to representing the rights and best interests of accident victims; we never defend negligent parties or large insurance companies. When you reach out to our team, we will take the time to get to know you, listen to your story, and share how we can help. We know that no amount of financial compensation can negate the pain and suffering you and your family have been through, but a successful claim can allow you to heal.
Louisiana Drunk Driving Laws
Although it is technically referred to as “operating under the influence,” or OWI, in Louisiana, many people refer to drunk driving as “driving while intoxicated/driving under the influence,” or DWI/DUI. The state imposes harsh penalties for those who drive while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
In Louisiana, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Typically, a person is considered “intoxicated” when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or above 0.08%. Minors are considered “intoxicated” when their BAC is at or above 0.02%, and commercial vehicle operators are not permitted to drive with a BAC of 0.04% or higher. A person can also be considered intoxicated when they are impaired by alcohol or drugs, including both legally obtained and illicit substances.
Despite strict laws and harsh criminal penalties, countless people continue to choose to get behind the wheel of a car or motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. Tragically, this has serious and even deadly consequences.
Is Driving while Intoxicated Considered Negligence?
In most cases, proof that another driver was intoxicated when they hit you can be used as evidence of negligence. In other words, if the driver who hit you is arrested for or charged with driving while intoxicated, you can generally use this as evidence to support your personal injury claim. This is important, as you have the burden of proving that the other driver (or another party) was at fault for the accident that caused your injuries and damages.
In some cases, it may be possible to hold a vendor or social host liable for a drunk driving accident. However, unlike many other states, Louisiana does not have specific legislation allowing injured parties to take action against those who provide alcohol to minors or clearly intoxicated individuals. Known as “dram shop” and “social host” laws, this legislation rarely applies in Louisiana except when a vendor or host causes intoxication by force or by misrepresenting an alcoholic drink as a non-alcoholic beverage.
Put the Womac on ‘Em!
At The Womac Law Firm, we have earned a reputation for aggressive, hard-hitting plaintiff advocacy. Our personalized, client-centric approach has helped us earn the respect of our community, as has our record of success, with millions of dollars recovered for our clients in both settlements and verdicts.
If you or a loved one was involved in a drunk driving accident in New Orleans, we understand what you are going through, as well as the complex challenges that lay ahead. Our team is here to guide you through the recovery process, answering your questions and keeping you informed every step of the way. We can handle every legal detail, from negotiating with the insurance company to preparing for litigation, so that you can simply focus on healing and moving forward.
We encourage you to reach out to our firm as soon as possible to discuss your case. We answer phone calls 24/7 and do not collect any attorneys’ fees unless/until we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. There are no out-of-pocket or upfront costs for you, ever.
Drunk driving accident cases can be confusing, as the drunk driver not only faces civil repercussions but also criminal penalties. However, a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a drunk driver is entirely separate from criminal prosecution. While the outcome of a criminal case does not necessarily have any bearing on your civil claim, a guilty verdict can serve to bolster your claim by providing evidence of the drunk driver’s negligent/wrongful conduct.
Rather than seeking criminal penalties, such as jail time, fines, and driver’s license suspension, a civil drunk driving accident claim seeks compensatory damages for victims.
Such damages might include:
- Current and future medical costs
- Current and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
- Funeral and/or burial expenses
- Lost earning capacity
Additionally, as the victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be able to pursue punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not meant to compensate you for your losses but, rather, to punish the drunk driver and help ensure that similar acts of egregious negligence do not occur in the future.
The Womac Law Firm
At The Womac Law Firm, our team is comprised of experienced New Orleans personal injury lawyers who work hard to deliver you real results. We listen to your story, explain your options, and let you know how we can help. Your case matters; let us help you get the justice you deserve.