When many people think about New Orleans and Louisiana, they think about jazz, Bourbon Street, the French Quarter, and Mardi Gras. Fun, parties, and celebration all come to mind, which is very true about the Big Easy. However, with these happy pursuits come the responsibility to party responsibly. Unfortunately, some people do not do so and the result is drunk driving. When a driver makes the decision to drive under the influence of alcohol, causes an accident and ultimately harms others, the state may pursue criminal charges against the drunk driver. The victims injured as a result of the driver’s poor decision-making may also be entitled to money damages in civil court. If you’ve been hurt by a drunk driver, you should seek the advice of an experienced Louisiana drunk driving accident attorney.
Regrettably, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drunk driving-related fatalities are on the increase in Louisiana. In one recent year, the NHTSA concluded that almost 250 of the state’s traffic deaths were alcohol-related. That was up from just below 220 only four years earlier. Many times, drunk driving accidents do not cause fatalities but still inflict serious harm. That was the case for one Mandeville woman and her children, who sued after being hurt in a crash on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, nola.com reported.
Lawrence was a 72-year-old surgeon who spent one April afternoon consuming several beers at a seafood restaurant in New Orleans. Afterward in the late afternoon, he began traveling home along the causeway. While on the causeway, the doctor rear-ended a vehicle carrying a mother and her two children. The doctor was speeding, and records showed that his blood-alcohol level was 0.21, more than two-and-a-half times the legal limit of 0.08, according to nola.com.
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The mother sued on behalf of herself and her two teenage children. In an auto accident case, there are two types of damages that the law allows a jury to award to an injured person.
- Actual damages, which is the amount awarded to compensate the injured person for actual losses they suffered. These can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and mental anguish, among other things. These damages are designed to put the injured person back in the position in which they were before the accident. and;
- Punitive damages, which are meant to punish the wrongdoer and to discourage him and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages can be a very important part of your injury case because they may potentially make up the majority of your total award.
In the mother’s case, the St. Tammany Parish jury awarded her $69,000 in actual damages. The daughter was awarded $21,800, and the son was awarded $21,100. The bulk of the damages award was punitive damages, since the jury awarded $400,000 per person, for a total of $1.2 million in punitive damages.
If you’ve been hurt in an auto accident involving a drunk driver, contact the skilled Louisiana drunk driving accident attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm. Our lawyers have spent many years fighting for injured people and the recoveries they deserve.
For your confidential consultation, contact us online or phone Cardone at 1-888-89-CARDONE (1-888-892-2736).
More Blog Posts:
How Attorneys Use Quantum Books to Evaluate Your Cases, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, July 25, 2017
Louisiana DWI and Your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Aug. 1, 2017