Louisiana drivers could get charged with a DWI with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, whether they were driving erratically or not. Drunk driving victims are legally entitled to sue for compensation that covers medical costs for injuries caused by a DUI accident, as well as pain and suffering and lost wages. In addition, plaintiffs may sue for millions of dollars in punitive damages that are designed to send a message to the perpetrator: that it pays to stop and think before getting behind the wheel intoxicated.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, sellers and distributors of alcohol prior to the crash can also be held liable. Contact a Louisiana DUI attorney at the Bart Bernard Personal Injury Firm for a free case evaluation.
The legal definition of “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, or “Driving While Intoxicated” (DWI) with alcohol varies from state to state. Some states differentiate between the two terms with greater penalties for driving while intoxicated, but Louisiana punishes both as the same crime.
Under Louisiana’s “Zero Tolerance” policy, minors under 21 can be charged if they have a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.02%. Drivers 21 and older will be charged with DWI with BACs of 0.08% or higher. Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard, with convictions starting at 0.04% nationwide.
Alcohol affects individuals differently depending on age, gender, physical condition, amount of food consumed, prescription medications, and tolerance levels. Generally speaking, a person’s body can process one 12 oz. beer, one 5 oz. glass of wine, or one 1.5 oz shot of 80- proof liquor in one hour. After just three drinks, a 140-pound man has reached the legal limits. A 100-pound man can reach the legal limit after one drink. Likewise, a 120-pound woman that has had two drinks is legally “impaired.”
In the state of Louisiana:
Here are some alarming facts about teen drunk driving in the state of Louisiana:
Besides the drunk driver, potential defendants may include :
Being a “Fault State,” Louisiana insurance follows a system where whoever is legally “at fault” for causing the accident is liable for paying the personal injury and property damage resulting from the crash.
For most crashes, the negligent driver’s car insurance would compensate the victim for damages related to the accidental or even negligent and reckless conduct that causes an accident. However, most policies specifically exclude coverage for “intentional conduct”– which includes drunk driving – that will knowingly lead to harm.
In some cases, victims may qualify to use their own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) when the at-fault driver cannot pay. However, the cap on this type of coverage is usually only $15,000 – and most medical bills exceed this amount by far. That is why it is necessary to seek the help of a drunk driving accident lawyer.
There is no “average settlement amount” in drunk driving cases. Rather, there are multiple factors that may increase or reduce the amount of a verdict or settlement. In our firm’s experience, the largest settlements go to:
Compensation may limited if you suffered a soft tissue neck or back injury with no visibly documented damage that resolved itself in the course of a few months. It may also be reduced if you were somehow at-fault or determined negligent.
Bart Bernard is an experienced drunk driving accident lawyer in Louisiana with a strong track record of successful settlements and verdicts in cases where alcohol impairment produced serious injuries and/or wrongful death. It costs nothing to speak with an attorney about your case, whether you were a drunk driving accident victim, a passenger in a drunk driver’s car, or the loved one of an injured victim. Call today for answers to your concerns and questions.