Drunk driving is a serious issue in Louisiana. Summer is a popular time for barbecues, block parties, trips to the beach and not to mention the Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays. In short, at any of these occasions many people in Louisiana will have a beer, wine or cocktail. However, when one drink leads to another, and then another, a person can easily become intoxicated. While drunkenness in general should be avoided, the situation becomes especially serious if an intoxicated person gets behind the wheel of a car.
An intoxicated person is not in control of their mental and physical abilities. When driving, they may swerve between lanes, fail to stop at red lights, head the wrong-way down the road or commit other traffic infractions that could ultimately lead to a car crash. Unfortunately, many times drunk driving accidents end up killing an innocent individual. When that happens, the victim’s survivors may want to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
In general, in a wrongful death claim, the victim’s survivors can seek damages suffered as a result of their loved one’s death. However, under the Louisiana Civil Code, Title V, Article 2315.4, in addition to general and special damages, if it can be proven that the injuries that caused the victim’s death were incurred by the wanton or reckless actions of a drunk driver, then exemplary damages may be sought as well.
Knowing a loved one was killed by a drunk driver is especially heartbreaking, because such accidents are entirely preventable if a person simply chooses not to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. However, there will always be those who in total disregard for the safety of others will choose to drive while drunk. While no amount of money can bring back a loved one lost, pursuing damages through a wrongful death suit may help the victim’s survivors feel like justice is being done.