Drunk drivers cause a deplorable number of accidents in Louisiana. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, intoxicated motorists killed at least 3,046 people on our state’s roads between 2003 and 2012, and thousands more sustained injuries in alcohol-related collisions.

Due to the prevalence of these accidents, all drivers should know what to do immediately after a drunk driving wreck. One minor mistake or oversight could endanger your life or compromise your ability to file a personal injury claim. Protect your interests by taking these nine steps after a drunk driving crash:

  1. Record the make, model, color, and license plate of the vehicle in case the driver attempts to flee the scene;
  2. Try to remain calm and avoid aggressive behavior because drunk people are often unpredictable;
  3. Check yourself and everyone else involved in the accident for injuries;
  4. Contact law enforcement;
  5. Exchange contact and insurance details with all drivers involved;
  6. Write down the contact details of witnesses;
  7. Take pictures that show your injuries and property damage, as well as the positions of vehicles, traffic signs, and skid marks;
  8. Record the details of how the accident occurred; and
  9. Call a car wreck lawyer to discuss your case.

If you were injured by a drunk driver in Louisiana, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, and non-economic damages. You also may be able to recover exemplary damages, also called “punitive damages.”

Exemplary damages are intended to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior. These damages are not available in all personal injury cases, but if you were hurt by an intoxicated motorist, an experienced accident attorney may be able to help you claim them.

The legal team at Laborde Earles Law Firm can help you gather evidence, calculate your damages, and fight for the maximum compensation. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free initial consultation with an accident attorney in Lafayette.

How to Spot and Avoid Drunk Drivers on Louisiana Roads

Alcohol has a profound effect on a driver’s performance, and there are dozens of signs that police use to identify intoxicated motorists. You can reduce your risk of getting in an alcohol-related accident by keeping your distance from drivers who show the following symptoms of impairment:

  • Swerving or drifting onto the shoulder;
  • Almost hitting a curb or an object in the road;
  • Driving much slower or faster than the speed limit;
  • Stopping well before or after a stop line;
  • Not turning on the headlights while driving at night;
  • Using the wrong turn signal or no turn signal at all; or
  • Straddling two lanes.

Unfortunately, no matter how responsible you are behind the wheel, all it takes is one drunk, distracted, or reckless driver to cause a serious collision. If you were injured or lost a family member due to a negligent motorist in Louisiana, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm.

An accident attorney in Lafayette will help you fight for the maximum compensation and avoid mistakes such as overlooking certain damages, accepting a settlement too early, or missing important deadlines. Call 800-522-6733 today to schedule a consultation.