Can You Use Evidence of the Defendant’s DUI to Prove Fault?
One of the most dangerous types of motor vehicle accidents is drinking and driving crashes. The most frustrating thing about them is that they’re 100% preventable. Nobody should get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or using drugs.
Sadly, thousands of people die every year in drunk driving accidents. Someone decides to drink and drive and then an innocent person gets killed. Even if you survive the crash, you’ll suffer some pretty serious injuries.
When this happens, the other driver needs to be held accountable. They should be held both civilly and criminally liable. There’s nothing your lawyer can do about holding them criminally liable. However, they can make sure they prove who was at fault and get the defendant to pay for your injuries.
If you or your loved one have been injured in a drunk driving accident, you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer in Baton Rouge.
What Happens if the Other Driver is Arrested for DUI?
The first thing you need to do if you get into a car accident in Baton Rouge is call the police. An officer will come to the scene and conduct a thorough investigation. They’ll prepare a police report and try to determine what happened.
One of the first things the cops will do is check to see if either of the drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This isn’t something you can do yourself. The cops will conduct the necessary field tests to determine if the other driver is drunk.
These tests include the following:
- Field sobriety tests
- Breathalyzer test
- Chemical tests
- Subjective evaluation (odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, etc.)
If, after conducting these tests, the cops suspect either driver is impaired, they’ll arrest them. The impaired driver will be issued citations for DUI and taken to jail. The officer will make sure this information is included in your police report.
Will You Have Proof of the Other Driver’s DUI?
After they’re arrested, the defendant will have to go to court for their DUI. At their first hearing, they’ll have to enter a plea. They’ll either plead guilty or not guilty. They may negotiate some kind of plea deal with the prosecutor.
As the victim, you may have a say in whether the defendant is offered a plea deal. You have a right to talk to the prosecutor and judge to let them know how you feel. Your Baton Rouge trial lawyer can let the court know you oppose the charges being reduced.
If the defendant pleads guilty to DUI or a lesser charge, you can use this as proof of causation. Your lawyer will get confirmation of their conviction and use it in your case. If the charges were reduced, your attorney can still point out that they were initially charged with DUI.
Will the Defendant Automatically be Found Liable?
Just because the defendant was convicted of DUI doesn’t automatically mean they’ll be found liable. In most cases, they will. But your trial lawyer in Baton Rouge still has to put on your case. They still have to prove that the other driver was at fault.
In order to prove who was at fault, your lawyer will have to demonstrate the following:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- You were injured
- Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach
In a drunk driving accident, it shouldn’t be difficult to prove negligence. Clearly, the other driver had a duty of care. They are required to follow all traffic rules. They decided to drive drunk. Therefore, it’s pretty obvious that they breached their duty of care.
The question will come down to your injuries. As long as you go to the hospital, you should be able to prove that you were injured. But, can your Baton Rouge trial lawyer prove that the defendant caused your injuries?
For example, let’s say that you are hit from behind by a drunk driver. You have a bad back from a previous accident. Your injuries get worse due to getting rear ended. The defense can prove that your brake lights weren’t working at the time of the accident.
The defendant will claim that your injuries were from a prior accident, not their client’s driving. They’ll also argue that, had your brake lights been working, their client never would’ve hit you. Your Baton Rouge injury lawyer will work hard to overcome these claims.
Call and Schedule a Free Consultation with a Baton Rouge Trial Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to damages. You should rely on an experienced trial lawyer in Baton Rouge to get you the compensation you deserve.
Call today and schedule your free initial consultation with Babcock Injury Lawyers. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case.