Determining Liability in DUI Accidents

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard R. Kennedy are experts at determining liability in DUI accidents. In Lafayette, LA, attorneys  Richard Kennedy Sr. and Richard Kennedy Jr. work hard on behalf of victims who have been injured by drunk drivers, and can build an effective case even if alcohol was not the only contributing factor. In the event you are injured by a drunk driver or a loved one is killed, it is important for you to contact a qualified attorney immediately. 

What Is Drunk Driving?

Drunk drivers cause more death and destruction than any other type of driver. Intoxicated drivers tend to drive fast and lose control, causing high speed crashes. For criminal cases, intoxication means the driver has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. For civil cases, the type of case that our firm handles, intoxication is when the driver’s physical or mental faculties have been compromised to any extent. Therefore, even if the driver does not have a blood alcohol concentration high enough for a criminal conviction, he or she may be held liable in a civil case. Due to its nature, drunk driving can lead to horrific accidents in which other people are seriously injured or killed.

Nighttime scene of cars driving with blurry lights

Intoxicated driving is an easily avoidable hazard that can have deadly repercussions.

Under Louisiana’s comparative negligence laws, even if the victim was partially at fault for the accident, he or she can still recover damages.

In general, if you or a loved one are the victim of a drunk driver, you have one year to bring a lawsuit against the driver for your injuries. Our attorneys can help you bring the liable driver to justice and obtain compensation for your injuries.

Who Is Liable?

The drunk driver, of course, should be liable for his or her actions. Louisiana does not have a Dram Shop Act, as many other states do, to impute liability on anyone selling alcohol to a driver who later has a drunk driving accident. Liability for an accidently lies only with the drunk driver.

Under Louisiana’s comparative negligence laws, even if the victim was partially at fault for the accident, he or she can still recover damages. So, if alcohol was only one factor in causing the accident, damages can be recovered from the drunk driver. These damages, however, may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the victim. For example, if the court finds that the drunk driver was only 70% responsible for the accident, the victim’s award would be reduced by 30%.

Damages Available

Under Louisiana law, drivers may operate a motor vehicle with as little as $15,000 of liability insurance. This means that the victim of the accident may not receive enough money from the insurance company to cover medical and other expenses related to the accident. Our attorneys will explore different avenues through which a victim may be compensated.

For someone injured in a DUI accident, recoverable damages may include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, past and future
  • Physical pain and suffering, past and future
  • Emotional distress, past and future
  • Lost wages

If a loved one has been killed in a DUI accident, parents, children, and surviving spouses may be awarded damages for the following:

  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship and society
  • The loss of the deceased person’s earning capacity and the value of support, training, and advice that the deceased person would have provided to their family members
  • Funeral and burial expenses

In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded for wrongful death. You can depend on our firm to help you collect the maximum amount of damages to which you are entitled, as evidenced in our extensive track record of success.

Evidence Is Important

Evidence that can be collected in drunk driving cases differs from other types of motor vehicle accidents and should be obtained promptly. There may be a video from a police officer’s dashboard camera as well as blood or breath alcohol level tests. To ensure that such valuable evidence is not lost, contact an attorney promptly.

Schedule an Appointment

Our attorneys have over 50 years of experience in handling personal injury cases. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a drunk driver, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.