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Who is liable for a drunk driving crash in Louisiana?

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

People who have had too much to drink have longer reaction times and difficulty making good decisions. They are also at risk of falling asleep at the wheel, all of which helps to justify statutes that prohibit drunk driving. Despite the law in Louisiana limiting when people can drive after drinking, a noteworthy number of drivers think that they have the skill to drive after drinking without putting themselves or others at risk. Those drunk drivers might then cause crashes that have major consequences for other people.

People affected by a drunk driving crash in Louisiana often want justice. Regardless of whether or not the state prosecutes a drunk driver, victims will very likely want compensation for the consequences of a crash.

The impaired driver is typically liable

Anyone who does something either illegal or negligent could be subject to a personal injury lawsuit filed by those whom their misconduct affects. Many drunk driving collisions result in insurance claims against the impaired motorist’s policy. Those hurt and those who lose a loved one in a drunk driving wreck may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the driver as well. In cases where there isn’t insurance or where the expenses caused by a crash are quite high, both an insurance claim and a lawsuit are often necessary.

What about third parties?

Louisiana actually deviates from the legal standard in many other states when it comes to the liability for drunk driving collisions. Specifically, in many states, those harmed by a drunk driver can often take legal action against a business that overserved the drunk driver before a crash. Louisiana actually prohibits such claims, meaning that a business will not have a duty to compensate those affected by an impaired driver served at a bar or restaurant. Similarly, state law largely protects social hosts from legal and financial culpability if a visitor or attendee at a party causes a crash after overindulging. The exception to the rule protecting social hosts from liability is when adults allow those under the age of 21 to consume alcohol and then leave.

In short, in Louisiana, it is typically an impaired driver themselves that must compensate individuals injured in a collision that they’ve caused. Understanding the Louisiana rules for personal injury claims after drunk driving collisions can help people seek justice from an appropriate party after a wreck.