Baton Rouge Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
Representing Victims of DUI Accidents in LA
Drunk driving accidents are devastating and often fatal. When a person gets behind the wheel while intoxicated, they are putting everyone on the road at risk. When they cause an accident, they are putting everyone's life at risk. When a drunk driver causes an accident that results in serious personal injuries or death, they are committing a crime. In Louisiana, drunk drivers are held accountable for their actions when they cause accidents.
At Beall & Thies, LLC, we believe that the only way to truly combat drunk driving is to hold the people who commit these crimes accountable for their actions. Our Baton Rouge drunk driving accident lawyers are prepared to fight for justice on your behalf. We know how to effectively navigate the legal system and hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions. We have the resources and experience to ensure that you get the best possible outcome.
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, our team is ready to help you. Call us today at (225) 577-6223 for a consultation.
Who Is Responsible for a Drunk Driving Accident?
The primary party typically held responsible is the intoxicated driver who caused the accident. In Louisiana, a drunk driver is responsible for a car accident that results in injuries or death if they were driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. If they were driving with a BAC of 0.15% or higher, they are automatically considered to be criminally negligent. In these cases, the drunk driver is typically charged with vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter. Regardless of the charges, these individuals are almost always required to pay hefty fines and serve jail time.
There are other parties who may also be held liable:
Vehicle Owner: If the intoxicated driver was operating a vehicle owned by someone else, the vehicle owner may be held liable under certain circumstances. Under Louisiana law, vehicle owners can be held responsible for the actions of permissive drivers, meaning those drivers to whom they have given permission to use their vehicle. This legal doctrine is known as "vicarious liability" or "owner's liability."
Social Hosts: In some cases, individuals or establishments that serve alcohol to an already intoxicated person may also be held partially responsible. Louisiana has "dram shop" laws that allow injured parties to pursue claims against establishments or hosts that negligently served alcohol to someone who was clearly intoxicated, and that intoxication contributed to the accident.
Employers: If the drunk driver was operating a vehicle within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident, their employer may also be held liable under the legal doctrine of "vicarious liability" or "employer's liability."
Louisiana's "Duty to Stop and Render Aid" Law
This states that all drivers have a duty to stop and render aid if they are involved in an accident. If another driver is injured in a car accident, you have a legal obligation to stop and offer assistance. If you fail to stop and render aid, you can be charged with a misdemeanor. If you are convicted, you can face up to 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine.
Proving Liability in a Drunk Driving Accident Case in Louisiana
In Louisiana, as in most jurisdictions, proving liability in a drunk driving accident case generally requires demonstrating the following elements:
Duty of Care: Establish that the defendant (the drunk driver) owed a duty of care to others on the road. In Louisiana, all motorists have a legal duty to operate their vehicles safely and avoid endangering others.
Breach of Duty: Show that the defendant breached their duty of care. In a drunk driving case, this typically involves demonstrating that the defendant was operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which impairs their ability to drive safely.
Causation: Establish a causal connection between the defendant's breach of duty and the accident. This requires demonstrating that the defendant's drunk driving was a substantial factor in causing the accident and resulting injuries.
Damages: Show that the plaintiff (the injured party) suffered actual damages as a result of the accident. This can include physical injuries, medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
To prove liability, various forms of evidence can be utilized, such as:
- Police Reports: These documents often include crucial information about the accident, including any evidence of alcohol or drug impairment.
- Breath/Blood Test Results: Results from breathalyzer tests or blood tests conducted at the scene or at a hospital can provide objective evidence of the driver's intoxication level.
- Witness Testimony: Eyewitnesses who observed the defendant's behavior, such as slurred speech, erratic driving, or smelling of alcohol, can provide valuable testimony supporting the claim.
- Expert Testimony: Expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists or toxicologists, can offer professional opinions about the cause of the accident and the influence of alcohol or drugs on the defendant's ability to drive safely.
- Medical Records: Documentation of the plaintiff's injuries and medical treatment can help establish the extent of damages suffered.
- Surveillance footage or photographs: If available, video or photographic evidence can provide visual proof of the accident, the defendant's behavior, or the aftermath.
Statute of Limitations for Drunk Driving Accidents in Louisiana
In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit arising from a drunk driving accident is generally one year from the date of the accident. This means that the injured party has one year to initiate legal action against the responsible party.
It's crucial to be aware of and adhere to the statute of limitations, as failing to file a lawsuit within the specified time limit can result in the court dismissing the case, effectively barring the injured party from seeking compensation through a lawsuit.
Representation for DUI Accidents
Beall & Thies has Baton Rouge drunk driving accident attorneys who have spent over a combined 100 years fighting to get fair compensation for those that have been injured because of someone else’s negligence. If you’ve been injured, we want you to be the next person we fight for.
"Never expected to be in a predicament where I would need to hire an attorney but, I wouldn’t recommend anyone but, B&T. They helped my father in his predicament and they’ve helped me in mine. Continuous support throughout the entire process"Den'a Wells
"They are professional and go above and beyond customer satisfaction. I was informed every step of the way on updates and case progress. I highly recommend this firm for all your legal needs!! I am thankful for all they have done for me!!"Barb Nemerovsky
"Beall & Thies was very welcoming. I would definitely recommend them. My attorney, Aaron Humphrey didn’t only make sure I didn’t have to worry about my case, but also treated me like I mattered. Thanks for everything you guys did for me and "Chrystal Woods Graham
We Fight for The Best Result. Every Time.
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Over 100 Years of Combined Experience
Russell W. Beall
"Russell W. Beall is a founding partner in the Baton Rouge law firm of Beall & Thies LLC. His main emphasis of practice is on Civil Litigation including Torts, Products Liability, and Premises Liability. Russell is a frequent guest speaker at Louisiana State University Law School where he participates in the Appellate Advocacy Program and the Professionalism Orientation. He earned his B.A. degree at Louisiana State University (1998) and his J.D Louisiana State University Law School (2001). Russell is an active member of the Louisiana Association for Justice and is frequently invited to be a guest speaker at continuing legal education seminars."Read Full Bio
William W. Thies
"William W. Thies was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1974 moving with his family to Slidell, Louisiana at seven years of age. Mr. Thies graduated from Slidell High School in 1992. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in history and political science from Louisiana State University in 1996 and his Juris Doctorate from the Southern University Law Center in 2001. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in May 2002. He is a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, American Bar Associations, and the Louisiana Association of Justice. He is admitted to practice in all state courts, the United States District Court for the Middle and Eastern Districts of Louisiana, as well as the United States Supreme Court."Read Full Bio
"Jacob H. Thomas is originally from the Piney Hills of North Louisiana, known for producing great litigators such as Huey P. Long as well as several other notable statesmen on the both the federal and state levels.Read Full Bio
Jake is a graduate of Jonesboro-Hodge High School and Northwestern State University where he was a member of the Theta Mu chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, the NSU Presidential Leadership Program, and the Inter-Fraternity Council serving as Vice President."
"Aaron Humphreys joined Beall & Thies, LLC as an associate attorney in the fall of 2016. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in May of 2016. Aaron is also a member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association and the Louisiana Association of Justice."Read Full Bio
"George G. Caballero practices general civil law and focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury, wills, and successions. George joined Beall & Thies as of counsel in 2017 after starting Caballero Law Firm in 1993. Mr. Caballero has over thirty years of experience as an attorney and has served clients in various matters ranging from business and tort litigation, business, family law, and successions.Read Full Bio
Mr. Caballero is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University and Mississippi College School of Law. Upon graduation, he immediately went into the private practice of law, practicing in both Louisiana and Mississippi."
Jewel “Trae” E. Welch, III
"Trae is a lifelong resident of the Baker-Zachary area. Trae is the son of The Honorable Judge Duke Welch, currently presiding on the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals, and former East Baton Rouge Councilwoman, Roxson Welch. Trae is married to the former Lynn Caldwell of Tallulah, Louisiana. Together Trae and Lynn are raising their two children Quade and Vivian."Read Full Bio