If you or your loved one are hurt in a drunk driving accident, you’re going to want justice. In this day of rideshares, there’s no excuse for anyone to drink and drive. Years ago, people used to complain that they couldn’t find a designated driver. That excuse no longer flies.
But even though we all know it’s dangerous and illegal, thousands of people in Louisiana drive drunk every year. This means that hundreds of people are killed in drunk driving accidents as well. Law enforcement can make as many public service announcements they want. Certain people are never going to change their behavior.
That’s why it’s so important that you call the cops after your car accident. The police will check to see if either of the drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If they suspect one of the drivers have been drinking, they’ll have them complete a field sobriety test.
If the driver fails the field sobriety test, they will have to take a breathalyzer test. And if they refuse the test, they’ll automatically be arrested and charged with DUI. The same is true if they blow higher than the .08 legal blood alcohol limit in Louisiana.
You do need to keep in mind, just because someone is charged with DUI, doesn’t mean they’ll be found liable. Technically, someone can be drunk and not be the reason you got in an accident. Or, they could be found not guilty of the DUI all together.
Your Lawyer Will Get a Copy of the Conviction from the Court
One of the most useful tools your accident lawyer in Baton Rouge will need is the police report. This report contains some really valuable information, such as:
- Description of the accident scene and road conditions
- Names and contact information for any witnesses
- Pictures of the victims, the cars and the scene
- Statements made by the drivers involved
- License and insurance information for all parties involved
- Notes about any tickets or citations issues
Once they have this report, your lawyer can request proof of the DUI conviction from the court. This can serve as proof that the defendant was negligent. A DUI conviction is per se evidence that someone is at fault in an accident.
When you meet with your accident lawyer in Baton Rouge, they’ll review the police report. This report will mention whether either the drivers were charged and arrested for DUI. Even if someone isn’t convicted of the offense, that doesn’t mean your lawyer can’t bring it up.
If the police a suspicion that the driver was drunk or using drugs, there’s probably a good reason for it. The officer will describe how the other driver was behaving. This information can be presented to the court. It can show that the defendant was more than likely responsible for the crash.
There will also be documentation if the driver pleads guilty to a lesser defense. Your lawyer can get this information from the prosecutor and can be used in your case.
Having Proof of the DUI Helps Show the Defendant was Negligent
If the defendant was in fact convicted of DUI, it’ll go a long way to prove fault. Your lawyer can use this to show that the other driver was negligent. It’s very rare that someone would be found guilty of DUI and not be found liable in your personal injury lawsuit.
The good news is that once the driver’s insurance company learns they were convicted of DUI, they’ll be more inclined to settle your claim. They know that their chances in court won’t be very good. It’ll be more expensive to fight the claim in court than it would be to pay it.
This doesn’t mean it won’t still take months or a year to settle your case. Once you file suit, the insurance company doesn’t have any reason to rush. They may try to drag it out so they can hold on to their money for as long as possible. They’ll also try to settle the case for less than it may be worth.
While your lawsuit is pending, your Baton Rouge injury lawyer will continue to try to negotiate your settlement. They’ll demand that you receive compensation that you deserve, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
Call a Car Accident Lawyer in Baton Rouge Today
If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, you’re going to need a good accident lawyer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They’ll work hard to get you the money you deserve. Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. You won’t pay a dime until you settle your case.