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Is a drunk driver liable for damage that they cause during a car accident in Brownsfield?

Brownsfield, LADrunk drivers are responsible for various forms of damage and the loss of life in Louisiana and other states in the U.S. In addition to facing arrest and prosecution, the defendants can also be sued by victims to pay for various kinds of losses associated with the accident. Civil lawsuits can be filed against the defendant in a drunk driving crash case just like any other accident. Anyone who was injured by a drunk driver should contact their attorney for more specific advice about receiving compensation and other aspects of their case. 

Criminal charges against the driver

Drunk drivers will be prosecuted by the local government. This may include a sentence of jail time, fines, probation, and other conditions. The process to file charges and obtain a conviction is mostly in the hands of the government, not the victim. 

Civil accident lawsuits

In addition to a criminal case brought by the government, the victim can bring a civil lawsuit for compensation. The outcomes of the civil and criminal cases may be different, and they do not affect each other. The advantage of the civil case for the victim is that the defendant can be forced to pay for all of their losses if they are liable in a negligence case. This includes things like repairs to property damage, lost wages, and medical treatment costs. 

Negligence cases

In civil court, the plaintiff will ultimately have to prove that the defendant was negligent, whether through evidence of their drunk driving or other behaviors. Depending on the specific facts of the case, the fact that the defendant was intoxicated may not necessarily be conclusive in deciding the outcome of the case. The plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant’s deviation from the accepted standard of care on the roads led to their losses. 

Punitive damages in Louisiana law

Louisiana law only allows punitive damages to be paid out in an accident case if the driver was intoxicated at the time they caused the crash. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for some kind of malicious or reckless behavior. These are not associated with any specific losses by the plaintiff. In the state of Louisiana, this is restricted to drunk drivers exclusively. Other car accident defendants will never have to pay punitive damages in a civil case regardless of their behavior. 

Meeting with a lawyer in Louisiana after an accident

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a firm that handles various personal injury matters for clients in Brownsfield and other parts of Louisiana. They can provide advice and guidance throughout the course of a civil lawsuit related to drunk driving. 

Firm contact info:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806

225-343-2205

www.mlhlaw.com

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