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This is the only time that punitive damages may be awarded in accident cases in Louisiana

Baker, LA – Punitive damages can only be awarded to victims of drunk drivers under Louisiana law. While this is only one aspect of a civil lawsuit against an intoxicated driver, it is still an important issue that should not be overlooked as punitive damages can include a large amount of compensation in some cases. In addition to these punitive damages, the victim is also eligible for other forms of economic and non-economic compensation, such as those necessary to pay for pain and suffering, lost income, and healthcare costs.

There are local drunk driving accident lawyers who can provide advice to anyone who needs to learn more about these issues. A civil lawsuit should ideally attempt to maximize all types of compensation available to help the plaintiff pay for their costs caused by the defendant driver.

What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages are a type of compensation that is only awarded in certain civil cases. In most states, they are only available when the defendant engaged in some kind of reckless or malicious actions. This is meant as a type of punishment in civil cases, and punitive damages are not necessarily associated with the victim’s specific losses like the costs of medical treatment or lost wages. It can also be difficult to predict an amount of punitive damages, as attorneys may argue for much more or less than the compensatory damages. 

State laws and punitive damages

Louisiana law regarding punitive damages is very specific for accident lawsuits, as this type of compensation is only available if the defendant driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they caused the crash. Other types of accident lawsuits, even those that involve traffic violations, criminal behavior, or reckless driving are limited to economic damages for accident costs and non-economic damages for pain and suffering.

Criminal consequences of drunk driving accidents

It is possible that the driver who caused the crash may be charged with crimes related to intoxicated driving, or even felonies such as manslaughter if any victims were killed during the crash. These criminal cases proceed separately through different court systems than civil lawsuits, and it is possible for civil and criminal cases related to the same incident to have different outcomes. This is at least partially due to the fact that criminal cases have a much higher burden of proof than civil cases. 

Help from local drunk driving collision lawyers

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a law firm that works with people in Baker and other parts of Louisiana who have been harmed by drunk drivers. Anyone who needs assistance with these matters can get in touch with their motor vehicle accident lawyers to schedule a meeting. 

Firm contact info:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806

225-343-2205

www.mlhlaw.com

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