Unlike other states, Louisiana does not have a general rule allowing for punitive damages. Given Louisiana’s legal history, this means that, for the most part, injured victims in car accidents have to rely on non-economic and economic damages in order to get compensation for their losses.
This is true even when a motorist is flagrantly careless or even reckless and that malfeasance causes a serious accident.
However, there is one exception to this general rule. Specifically, Louisiana law allows for a victim to collect punitive damages following a drunk driving or drugged driving accident. The idea behind this law is that drunk and drugged driving is dangerous behavior, and those who engage in it should pay extra compensation for their wrongdoing.
Obtaining punitive damages following a drunk driving accident can be a complicated legal proceeding, as an award of punitive damages is not automatic. When considering whether to pursue punitive damages, getting the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer is a good idea.
The good news, though, is that a driver’s being drunk or high does not have to be the predominant reason for the accident. To give a recent example of what this means, a previous talked about accidents related to road rage or reckless driving.
Generally speaking, it may be difficult to get punitive damages for reckless driving. However, if the reckless or aggressive driving is related to a driver’s drunken or drugged state, even remotely, then punitive damages may be available.
Drunk driving accidents too often lead to serious injuries or even fatalities. A victim of such accidents should consider pursuing compensation to the fullest extent possible.