Baton Rouge, LA – Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every jurisdiction in the United States. However, when the driver causes an accident they can also face civil liability, and other parties may also be implicated as well depending on the facts surrounding the collision. Those who have been injured by a drunk driver can meet with an attorney who will analyze the facts and evidence surrounding the accident in order to make a decision regarding the proper party to name as a defendant in the lawsuit.
The individual driver
In most cases when a driver makes a decision to consume alcohol or drugs before driving, they will be responsible for both criminal penalties and any civil lawsuits that are brought by the accident victims. This is because the individual made the decision to break the law by driving drunk, and even in a civil negligence case all of the elements can be applied to their actions to show that they deviated from the required standard of care on the roads.
An employer of commercial drivers
When commercial vehicles are involved in accidents, their employer can face various kinds of civil liability. The employer is responsible for ensuring that they hire safe drivers with the proper credentials. Once a person is hired, they are also responsible for any negligence committed by the person during their normal job duties. Many accidents involving semi trucks, buses, and other large commercial vehicles result in the victims suing the employer of the driver rather than the individual. As a practical matter, this is important because the business is likely to have a large insurance policy that is capable of covering large amounts of damage caused by a commercial vehicle. Individual commercial drivers will generally not be able to afford to pay the victim.
Businesses that serve alcohol
There are laws in most states called Dram Shop Acts. These can potentially impose liability on people or businesses that serve alcohol to a person who becomes intoxicated and then causes a collision. In Louisiana, a business is not liable once the person has left their premises. The state law also says that the intoxicated person is always the proximate cause of the accident, which is an essential element of negligence. For these reasons, it can be extremely difficult to try to establish liability to a person or business that served alcohol to a drunk driver.
Drunk driving accident attorneys in Louisiana
Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a firm that helps people who have been injured by a drunk driver in Baton Rouge. Their attorneys can provide advice about the process to bring a civil case for compensation.
Firm contact info:
3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
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