Roughly half-way between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, a mid-March accident claimed the life of one Louisiana man. That man, a 54-year-old from Holden, left behind a fiancée, a mother, two siblings and many nieces and nephews. He was killed by a driver whom police believed to be driving while intoxicated. Certainly, a DWI that causes injury or death usually will be a criminal matter. However, if you were injured (or a loved one killed) by an intoxicated driver, what you and your family may need is often much more than just the closure that comes from an intoxicated driver’s criminal punishment.
The law gives people injured (and the loved ones of people killed) by intoxicated drivers the ability to seek compensation in criminal court. To get the answers you need and to find how best to go about pursuing your legal options, be sure to reach out promptly to a skilled Louisiana injury attorney.
In the recent fatal accident, a the driver who caused the head-on crash was, according to police, “found to be in possession of several different types of narcotics after the accident.” The allegedly intoxicated driver was booked in Ascension Parish and charged with vehicular homicide and multiple drug possession crimes.
According to police investigators, the deceased was not the first to come into contact with the allegedly intoxicated driver. Investigators said that the 29-year-old man was traveling east on Highway 70 when he crossed the center and struck a glancing blow off a westbound vehicle. The allegedly intoxicated man then continued traveling east on the wrong side of the road, eventually slamming head-on into the deceased.
If you were ever in the terrible situation that is facing this family, you might know that you could sue for wrongful death. But would you know how, exactly, to do that? Doing this the right way is very important because your family may be entitled to a large sum of damages, and a failure to follow all the rules and procedural obligations could limit your damages award, or result in no compensation at all.
As noted, the total sum of damages may be sizable. A successful wrongful death plaintiff in Louisiana can potentially recover a variety of types of damages, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress
Depending on the facts, you may be entitled to receive an award of punitive damages as well, which is on top of the other compensation.
Also, in some cases, you may be able to sue more than just the intoxicated driver and that driver’s insurance company. You may also be able to sue the owner of the vehicle (if different than the driver) and that person’s insurance company. In some very specific circumstances, the law will allow you to seek compensation from the person or business that provided a drunk driver with alcohol, but that scenario is a narrow one.
In a situation like this one from Ascension Parish, there may be both criminal and civil cases involved. That can be a big help to you if you are seeking wrongful death damages. If the driver’s trial is concluded with a guilty verdict, or if the driver is pleads guilty as part of a plea bargain, then you can use that conviction to your advantage. Proof of the conviction may be very powerful evidence on your behalf to establish the defendant’s driver was liable for causing the crash.
Losing a loved one in an auto accident is tragic and heartbreaking. Losing that loved one because someone else played fast and loose with everyone’s safety on the road is even worse. During this stressful and anguishing time, leave the job of meeting your legal needs to the legal pros. Contact the Cardone Law Firm and our highly experienced Louisiana car accident attorneys, where we have nearly four decades of experience handling auto accident cases of all varieties (including intoxicated driver accidents) and possess the knowledge to get our clients the results they need.
For your confidential consultation contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.