A recent CDC report found that 32 people per day and one person every 45 minutes was killed in a drunk driving accident in 2020. Ultimately, there were 11,654 drunk driving fatalities that year, 14% more than in 2019.
Drunk driving accidents may be the most preventable accidents of all. When a person decides to drink and drive, they endanger the lives of everyone on the roadway.
When a drunk driving accident occurs, the consequences can be devastating for the victims and their families. Injuries to drunk driving victims are often serious and lead to costly medical treatment and lost wages.
Obtaining full and fair compensation is necessary for victims of drunk driving and their families to recover and move on with their lives. Read further to learn what steps our Baton Rouge auto accident lawyers recommend a victim take to strengthen the value of their auto accident claim.
What to Do After an Accident with a Drunk Driver
What you do immediately after an auto accident with a drunk driver can have a huge impact on the compensation you ultimately recover. Here are a few important things to do if you have been involved in an accident with a drunk driver in Baton Rouge:
Call the Police
Make sure you call the police immediately after the accident, so that the drunk driver can be apprehended.
Check for Injuries
If you sustained any injuries, which is common in drunk driving accidents, make sure you get the proper medical attention, whether that means by ambulance from the scene of the accident or seeing a doctor as soon as possible later on.
Collect Insurance and Contact Information
Collect the insurance and contact information for everyone involved, and the names and phone numbers of all witnesses.
Document the Scene of the Accident
Preserving evidence is crucial after a drunk driving accident. We recommend taking as many photos and videos of the accident scene as possible, including the cars, the road, and the drunk driver.
In a drunk driving case, the drunk driver is very much a piece of evidence. If the driver is slumped over the wheel, staggering, slurring their words, or glassy-eyed, you or someone you are with should take a video of that.
Consult with a Baton Rouge Auto Accident Lawyer
Victims of a drunk driving accident should seek out a personal injury lawyer who handles car accident cases to help them seek recovery. If you are looking for help in the aftermath of a drunk driving accident in Baton Rouge, contact Dudley DeBosier to consult with an experienced auto accident lawyer in Baton Rouge.
Compensation for an Accident with a Drunk Driver
The damages a victim can recover after being injured by a drunk driver come in two varieties: Compensatory and Punitive.
Compensatory damages are comprised of property damage, economic damages, and non-economic damages.
- Property Damages: In most cases, this means the cost to repair or replace your car, bike, motorcycle, or whatever the victim may have been driving or riding at the time of the accident.
- Economic Damages
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and incomeOut-of-pocket expenses; and
- Other losses we can easily put a price tag on.
- Medical bills
- Non-economic Damages
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Other losses that come to the victim as a result of an accident that we can’t readily put a price tag on.
- Pain and suffering
In the most extreme cases of drunk driving, the victim may also be awarded punitive damages by a judge. Punitive damages are designed to punish a drunk driver for driving while intoxicated and to deter the same or similar conduct from other drivers.
What is the Difference Between a Civil Claim and Victims Restitution?
- The criminal case, handled by the prosecuting attorney to punish the wrongdoer; and
- A civil claim that the victim may file against the drunk driver to recover damages.
If a drunk driver pleads guilty or is convicted in a criminal case, the court may order them to pay restitution as part of their sentence. Restitution is court-ordered payments made by the defendant to cover the victim’s court costs and, in some cases, other damages.
A civil claim, on the other hand, is a lawsuit in which a victim of drunk driving seeks to hold the defendant financially liable for damages incurred as a result of the accident. A civil claim is entirely separate from any criminal case related to the accident and is the most common way victims of drunk driving accidents seek to recover compensation for their damages.
A civil claim against a drunk driver typically allows the victim to recover damages above and beyond those available through victims’ restitution. However, the victim may require the assistance of a skilled auto accident attorney to ensure that they recover the compensation they deserve.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer After an Accident with a Drunk Driver?
After causing an accident, a drunk driver may face criminal charges. But, in most cases, those do nothing to help the victims with their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
Fortunately, the law allows a victim of drunk driving to also pursue a civil claim against the wrongdoer to recover compensation for damages. If their damages are high enough, it may be worth it for the victim to hire a lawyer to ensure that they collect all the compensation to which they are entitled from the drunk driver’s insurance company.
Studies consistently show that accident victims who are represented by an experienced auto accident lawyer recover more compensation than if they represented themselves. The skilled auto accident lawyers at Dudley DeBosier are committed to getting maximum results for Baton Rouge auto accident victims.
Hire a Baton Rouge Auto Accident Lawyer from Dudley DeBosier
When a person is seriously injured or loses a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or reckless misconduct, they have the right to seek justice. At Dudley DeBosier, every prospective client receives a free case assessment. We love to help auto accident victims protect their future and get the compensation they deserve.
Contact us today to consult with an auto accident lawyer Baton Rouge accident victims turn to for the help they need.
This content has been reviewed the Baton Rouge Dudley DeBosier office.
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