Alsen, LA – When a person is hurt by a drunk driver, this can be a serious life changing event. The victim may have serious injuries, as well as associated costs for medical treatment. Drunk driving accidents are also more likely to result in fatalities. Even if the government brings criminal charges against the person responsible, one of the most important things that can be done in this situation is for the victim to speak with an attorney about receiving payment for their losses through a civil lawsuit.
The government will likely bring a criminal case against the driver. This is mostly out of the victim’s control, and the case is meant to make the defendant pay fines, spend time in jail, or meet other conditions. The victim can cooperate with the prosecutor assigned to the case, but they will generally not receive any kind of significant financial help from this process, even if the defendant is ordered to pay restitution. It is also possible that the defendant can be liable for damages from a civil lawsuit, but be found not guilty in a criminal case as there is a higher burden of proof for a conviction.
Much of the damages that the victim will receive through a civil lawsuit will reflect their specific economic losses that can be proven through things like bills and invoices. The amount of damages awarded to the victim in this way can depend on things like the total of their medical bills and whether long term medical treatment is necessary, as well as if they missed time from work or will be unable to work in the future. These future projections of losses can be especially significant if the victim suffered from a disability or permanent injury.
Under Louisiana law, drunk drivers can be liable for punitive damages in accident cases. This is an additional amount paid beyond compensatory and non-economic damages that is meant to punish a reckless driver and deter future incidents of drunk driving.
Wrongful death lawsuits
If the victim dies from their injuries, it is possible that their family can bring a lawsuit for compensation on their behalf. Wrongful death lawsuits have similar rules to standard negligence cases, although there are rules related to which family members will receive any damages, and additional costs for a funeral and burial expenses.
More information about accident cases
Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is an accident law firm that works with local clients in Alsen and other parts of Louisiana. Their attorneys are available to provide advice about all matters related to motor vehicle crash lawsuits.
Firm contact info:
3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
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