According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is a fatality in an alcohol-related accident every forty-eight minutes in the United States. Further, Louisiana ranks well-above the national average for alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. Drunk driving is a serious problem and for that reason, the Louisiana legislature allows punitive damages in cases involving drunk driving. What Are Punitive Damages and How Do I Obtain Them? The Louisiana Civil Code provides that in addition to general and special damages, exemplary damages may be awarded upon proof that the injuries on which the action is based were caused by a defendant who was operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Recovery of punitive damages requires proof of the following:
- The at-fault driver was intoxicated to the degree that he lost his normal control of his mental and physical faculties.
- His intoxication was the cause-in-fact of your injuries.
- Your injuries were caused by his wanton or reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others.