Office Location: 400 Poydras Tower, Poydras St Suite 1975, New Orleans, LA 70130
New Orleans is a city known for our delicious cuisine, lively music, and rambunctious revelry, which often includes flowing spirits. However, when irresponsible and negligent people get behind the wheel after indulging in all the Crescent City has to offer, dangerous and sometimes deadly accidents can occur. The risks of drunk driving are extensively studied and widely known. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop some New Orleans residents and tourists from putting themselves and others at risk.
In New Orleans and throughout the state of Louisiana, a driver is driving under the influence if they have a BAC of 0.08 or greater. As a result, they may get arrested and charged with a DWI or DUI. But what about you? While the police file criminal charges, who is looking out for you and your future?
If you’re a visitor or resident of the Greater New Orleans area and have suffered injuries from a drunk driving accident, contact our personal injury law firm now.
You have enough to worry about – let justice be our responsibility.
We know how to navigate the complexities of drunk driving cases, deal with tricky insurance companies, and communicate with legal defense teams. When life has dealt you a rough hand, we want nothing more than to help you return to smooth sailing. Contact us 24/7 at 800-898-4877, or online by CLICKING HERE, to learn more about how we can help you seek justice after a drunk driving accident in New Orleans.
Our New Orleans Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers
The legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, includes a group of diligent, problem-solving attorneys, paralegals, and case management specialists who are committed to fighting for your rights. We seek to maximize clients’ compensation from drunk driving accidents. Stewart J. Guss and his team have a proven history of serving clients throughout the country and Louisiana, including New Orleans.
Our accident attorneys’ commitment to excellent client service has led to MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in settlements and verdicts awarded to drunk driving accident victims and other injured clients throughout New Orleans. While we cannot guarantee a specific financial outcome for your drunk driving accident case, we are dedicated to aggressively pursuing the best results possible for your individual circumstances through the skilled negotiation and settlement of your claim. When those at fault don’t want to pay you the full value of your claim, we will fight for you in the courtroom!
Injuries From New Orleans Drunk Driving Accidents
When drunk driving accident victims in NOLA sustain severe injuries, it isn’t only physical pain that they suffer. Victims and their families must also cope with the emotional trauma and overwhelming stress of an injury or loss. They must also contend with medical bills piling up from hospital stays, doctor visits, and related costs. In severe cases, injured victims are unable to work, causing further financial stress.
After being struck by a drunk driver, accident victims NEED AGGRESSIVE AND EXPERIENCED attorneys on their side. We are ready, willing, and able to take the at-fault driver to court for their reckless choice to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
Severe crashes, often those which occur at higher speeds, can cause serious, catastrophic, and sometimes deadly injuries. If you or a loved one has sustained severe injuries in a New Orleans drunk driving accident, you need a skilled New Orleans car accident lawyer. You can depend on the legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, to help you recover compensation for the full cost of your injuries. Our lawyers work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.
Examples of drunk driving accident injuries we see at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, include:
Broken Bones and Fractures
Fractured bones don’t always fall under the umbrella of serious injuries. However, when a traffic collision occurs at high speeds, drivers and their passengers potentially face multiple breaks and/or crushed bones. These types of fractures often require corrective surgery, sometimes using metal plates, pins, and screws for stability and reconstruction. As a result, accident victims face lifelong struggles and will be more prone to arthritis in these areas as they age. You’ve broken bones, but you don’t have to break the bank too – Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers are here to help.
Drunk driving accident victims can suffer mild to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) depending on the force of impact. A blunt force trauma to the head from an object can cause a TBI, but at high speeds, an accident victim can suffer a TBI from the jolt of the crash alone Young children are especially vulnerable to TBIs and might suffer permanent developmental damage to their brain in the event of an accident. Individuals who suffer permanent brain damage from a TBI may face life-altering challenges with their memories, motor skills, and cognitive skills.
Soft tissue neck injuries are among the most common car accident injuries. When a collision occurs, a person’s neck whips back and forth and causes damage to the delicate soft tissue. Minor cases can heal quickly without much intervention, but severe cases might cause accident victims to deal with chronic neck and shoulder pain, posture problems, and residual headaches. Other neck injuries a victim might experience in a drunk driving accident include fractured neck vertebrae and bulged discs.
When a car accident occurs, the human body contorts into a variety of positions depending on the force of impact and how the vehicles collide. These unnatural twists and turns can result in painful back injuries for drivers and passengers. Injuries might include cracked vertebrae, bulged discs, and slipped discs. Drunk driving accident victims who suffer back injuries often face chronic discomfort and pain, and might even need corrective surgery. Even still, surgery doesn’t always help, and victims can be left dealing with a lifetime of pain.
The drunk driving accident lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, understand the costs associated with lifelong pain management, and we will fight to help you secure compensation for the full cost of your injuries so you can get the quality care you need after a back injury.
Spinal Cord Injuries
All severe accident injuries can be costly and catastrophic, but spinal cord injuries are among the worst. Some minor spinal cord damage can heal, and victims can make a full recovery, but in some cases severe spinal cord injuries cause permanent damage resulting in full or partial paralysis.
The loss experienced by an accident victim who suffers a spinal cord injury depends on the exact location of the injury. The spinal cord carries messages to and from the brain throughout the body’s central nervous system. When an injury occurs high on the spinal column, closer to the brain, victims suffer the most loss. When spinal cord injuries occur near the neck, car wreck victims might experience tetraplegia, meaning total paralysis from the neck down.
In serious drunk driving accidents, especially those that occur at high speeds, drivers and passengers might have their legs or arms pinned or crushed in a vehicle during the impact of the collision. This can result in lost limbs. Amputation can be catastrophic and traumatic, and many victims must then deal with the frustrating struggle of learning how to use a prosthetic device.
Amputees often have stump pain, and some suffer from phantom limb pain. Coping with the permanent loss of a limb can require home accessibility modifications, changes to a person’s daily routines, in-home aides, and many other inconvenient and traumatic changes. Our legal team understands the physical, emotional, and financial pain that accompanies amputation, and we are here to help you hold the drunk driver who caused you harm accountable.
Third-Party Liability in Louisiana Drunk Driving Accidents
If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, you might be wondering if you can attempt to hold the establishment that served alcohol to the drunk driver liable for damages. Many states have laws that permit this practice, called dram shop laws, which open up bars, restaurants, and social hosts to liability if they serve alcohol to someone and that person causes an auto accident.
However, Louisiana is not one of those states. If a drunk driver strikes you in your car, on your bike, or while walking, they are liable. In fact, Louisiana law goes as far as to protect establishments and social hosts.
Under Louisiana law:
- Consuming alcoholic beverages is the proximate cause of injury and property damage, not serving beverages to another.
- No business or its employees who sell or serve alcohol can be liable for injury, death, or property damage caused by an intoxicated person.
- No social host who serves or supplies alcohol to guests can be liable for injury, death, or property damage caused by an intoxicated person.
However, three situations exist in which a Louisiana court might hold a third party partially liable for a drunk driving accident. These third parties include:
- Businesses, employees, servers, and social hosts who serve alcohol to a minor
- A person who forces another to consume alcoholic beverages
- A business, employee, or another party that falsely represents that a beverage has no alcohol content
Regardless of the specifics, drunk drivers need to take responsibility for the motor vehicle accidents they cause. We are here to ensure that happens.
Recovering Damages After a New Orleans Drunk Driving Accident
It is important to understand that civil charges are different from criminal charges. While the police may arrest the other driver for a DUI, you need a lawyer on your side that can fight for your rights in civil court. This may mean filing a New Orleans car accident claim or lawsuit to seek compensation.
When you have been injured as a result of a careless and reckless drunk driver, Louisiana law permits you to sue for damages to recover losses related to your injury. With a skilled legal team on your side, you can expect to recover the following damages after your auto accident:
- Medical expenses, including ambulance and emergency services, emergency room visit, surgery, hospitalization, diagnostic imaging, doctor visits, follow-up care, and prescriptions
- Future medical expenses when a drunk driving accident victim sustains severe injuries that require a lengthy recovery or ongoing care because of permanent damage
- Rehabilitation costs for visits to specialists who can help accident victims recover lost functions and cope with disabilities, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, and psychologists
- Costs of assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, crutches, canes, walkers, and prosthetic devices
- Lost wages from missing work as a result of injury, hospitalization, treatment, and recovery
- Lost future wages when a drunk driving accident leads to a catastrophic injury preventing an accident victim from returning to work or finding any type of employment
- Damages to your vehicle
- Rental vehicle costs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
- Other non-economic damages that might apply to a specific case
If you lost a family member in a drunk driving accident, you might also be eligible to recover some of the aforementioned damages. Louisiana law entitles eligible family members to bring a lawsuit against an at-fault drunk driver. Eligibility to file a wrongful death suit depends on the relationship with the deceased. Other recoverable damages include funeral costs and burial or cremation expenses, as well as non-economic losses specific to the relationship between the deceased and the survivors.
Our New Orleans drunk driving accident law firm can answer any questions you have about a wrongful death suit and advise you on the best legal strategy for you and your family.
New Orleans Drunk Driving Accident FAQ
Have you recently become the victim of a drunk driving accident in New Orleans? If you have, you certainly have many questions and concerns. Dealing with drunk driving accidents is a long, challenging, and stressful process, and going through that process will take a lot of your time and energy. Therefore, you must seek help if you’re trying to recover from severe injuries while working through a drunk driving accident.
Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is here to help. Our team is located close to the heartbeat of New Orleans, so we know that in this beautiful, lively city, drunk driving accidents can be hard to avoid. We are here for you if you’ve been in such a crash. You can get in touch with our team, day or night, for a free consultation about your case and advice on how to proceed.
Below, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding drunk driving accidents in New Orleans. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Q: Who Is Responsible for a Drunk Driving Accident In New Orleans?
A: According to Louisiana law, the person most responsible for the accident must pay for the damages. If you were in a drunk driving accident and the drunk driver entirely caused the crash, you can hold that driver fully responsible for your damages.
If the drunk driver got drunk at a party, the party’s host usually cannot be held responsible for what happened. Instead, the driver and/or their insurance company are responsible for paying for the damages you incurred after suffering the results of their careless actions.
Q: How Do I Prove that a Drunk Driver Caused My New Orleans Accident?
A: Finding the evidence you need to prove who was at fault in your accident can be challenging. It’s essential to seek legal help after your drunk driving accident if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to find the proper evidence to support that a drunk driver caused your accident. However, there are things that you can do to help provide proof.
First, you need to know what you need to prove to pursue an effective claim against a drunk driver.
The judge and jury must believe, based on your evidence:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care. In a car accident situation, this is fairly easy to prove. Any driver who sits behind the wheel of a car owes others on the road the duty of care that any reasonable person could expect—the duty to protect others from a serious accident if at all possible.
- The defendant breached their duty of care. This requires that you can show proof that the drunk driver drank a high amount of alcohol and should not legally have been behind the wheel of a car.
- The defendant’s negligence caused the accident. You’ll need proof that the driver’s drunkenness led to the circumstances that caused your accident to happen.
- The accident that the drunk driver caused led to serious damages. You will need to provide evidence that the accident has caused you personal, financial, and physical suffering that you should not otherwise have had to suffer through.
If you meet these four criteria, you can easily claim compensation from the drunk driver who caused your accident.
Here is what you might need to do to gather the relevant evidence to prove your case.
- Call an ambulance. You must receive immediate medical attention after an accident. This is the only way to prove that the accident caused your injuries officially. Plus, you must receive immediate medical treatment so that your injuries don’t worsen through lack of proper care.
- Call the police. An official police report can offer important evidence for a drunk driving accident. These reports usually contain a lot of information about how the accident occurred, who was involved, and what led to it. These reports also usually contain witness information and witness statements.
- Talk to witnesses. Even though the police may do the same, it’s helpful if you can get the contact information of any witnesses who saw your accident. That way, it’s easy for your lawyers to get in touch with them later for official statements.
- Take pictures. If you are physically able to, it’s a good idea to take some photos of the accident scene. Focus on visible injuries, damage to your vehicle or other property, and unmistakable evidence that may relate to the accident, such as skid marks on the road.
- Exchange insurance information. If a drunk driver caused your accident, their insurance company would compensate you for your damages. It’s crucial to get the insurance information of the drunk driver as soon as possible so that you and your lawyers can begin the negotiation process.
- Receive medical treatment and keep records. As you receive treatment in the emergency room and any follow-up visits or surgeries, keep track of your care providers’ records. Also, keep any bills that they send you so you can account for how much your treatments cost you.
- Keep receipts and other bills. If you have to replace or repair your car, your phone, or any other property, keep track of the receipts and/or bills you receive. You must hold on to this information so that you and your lawyers can determine exactly how much you deserve in compensation.
- Talk to a lawyer. While a lawyer can’t provide you with any evidence, they can and will help you gather relevant evidence from doctors, repairmen, witnesses, and policemen. They will also put it together in a neat package that will help you easily prove your claim that you deserve compensation from the drunk driver.
Q: What Damages Can I Claim After a Drunk Driving Accident?
A: After an accident, you and your lawyers need to compile a concise account of your losses from the accident. You will need to take into account both economic and non-economic damages.
The main types to include are:
- Medical expenses from emergency room visits, surgeries, procedures, ongoing therapy, medication prescriptions, the purchase of medical equipment, etc.
- Property damage repair costs for your car and anything else that the crash damaged.
- Lost income from the time you had to take off work to recover.
- Loss of earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to the same job and/or position you worked before the crash.
- Pain and suffering in general.
- Scarring, disfigurement, and humiliation result from your injuries.
- Emotional trauma or distress.
- Loss of life enjoyment in any form.
- Loss of consortium with your loved ones.
You may be eligible for various other types of damages as well, depending on the circumstances of your accident. If a loved one died in the crash, you may seek damages from a wrongful death claim. Either way, it’s helpful to speak with an attorney to figure out exactly how much compensation you can request after your drunk driving accident.
Q: How Much Will I Receive In Compensation After a Drunk Driving Accident?
A: It’s difficult to calculate how much you will receive in compensation after an accident. In some cases, claimants receive hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars payments. However, every case is unique; the total amount will depend largely on how many damages you suffered, how severe your injuries were, how much of a long-term effect your injuries will have on your life, etc.
To determine the appropriate amount of compensation, get in touch with a drunk driving accident lawyer. They can help you calculate your damages. They will then set a likely range of amounts you can receive, from the lowest settlement you should accept to the highest they think is possible. When you negotiate with the insurance company, you will want to keep this range in mind.
You will need to negotiate with the insurance company and may need to compromise. If you go to court, which will drag out the process much longer, the court will determine your compensation. Either way, it’s best if you are open to working with the insurance company to settle for an amount that both sides can get behind.
Q: How Does a Drunk Driving Accident Claim Work?
A: If you’ve been in a drunk driving accident, you’ll want to file a claim. Such a claim will help you seek compensation for the losses that your injuries caused you. A drunk driving accident claim covers many accidents that lead to injuries, including car accidents and slip and fall accidents.
A drunk driving accident claim works through a process of gathering evidence, negotiating for compensation, and possibly going to court.
Here are the basic steps:
- Call a lawyer. First things first, call our drunk driving accident lawyers. We can handle the process for you. Initially, you’ll use a free consultation to explain the basics of your case and get the lawyer’s expert opinion on how to proceed.
- Meet with the lawyer. Once you’ve decided to pursue your case, you’ll meet with the lawyer to go over the situation in more detail and, if you both agree to work together, to sign the necessary paperwork.
- Gather evidence. Following the first meeting, your lawyer will help you gather evidence from medical bills and records, police reports, witness statements, etc. They will then put this evidence together in a complaint.
- File a complaint. Your lawyers will file a complaint for you, detailing the circumstances of the accident, what you suffered, and how much you deserve in compensation. They will mail this complaint to the at-fault party (the drunk driver) and the insurance company representing that driver.
- Receive a response. Within 21 days (30 if you also request discovery), the defendant must respond to your complaint, either rejecting your claim or responding with a reasonable settlement offer.
- Gather more evidence through discovery. Through a process known as discovery, your lawyers will gather other relevant evidence from the other party, from depositions (verbal questionings), interrogatories (written questionnaires), etc.
- Negotiate a settlement. You and the defendant will negotiate a favorable settlement for both parties.
- Go to court. If you can’t reach a compromise and an appropriate settlement offer, you may need to take your case to court. Your lawyers will help you build a solid case to present to the judge and jury.
- Receive a verdict. The judge and jury will determine the outcome of your claim, including how much compensation you will receive from the defendant.
- Take home your check. Your lawyer will help you receive your settlement check and take it home, at which point you can use it to get back to life as soon as possible. At this point, your lawyer will take the agreed-upon percentage of your winnings as payment for their services.
As you can see, the process is long and complicated, but our drunk driving accident attorneys can handle it all for you. We must get started as soon as possible, so you don’t miss any deadlines, so call us now.
If you have more questions about starting a legal claim after a drunk driving accident in New Orleans, reach out to a lawyer from Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, for help. We can get you a free consultation to help you get started on your claim.
Get the Legal Help You Need From the Team at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers!
The qualified legal minds at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, are nationally recognized for their dedication to professional excellence and client service for 20 years. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a New Orleans drunk driving accident due to someone else’s poor judgment behind the wheel, you deserve compensation for damages related to your injuries.
Our New Orleans personal injury attorneys are here to advocate for you, seek justice, and help you through the entire lawsuit process. Contact us as soon as possible for a free case evaluation. We understand the financial stress that comes with a severe car crash injury, so we take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means YOU DON’T OWE A PENNY unless we secure compensation for you. You can call us 24/7 at 800-898-4877 or CLICK HERE to contact us online for a FREE consultation.
We are proud to handle car accident cases for injured drunk driving accident victims in New Orleans, Metairie, Houma, Kenner, Gretna, Covington, LaPlace, Slidell, Baton Rouge, Mandeville, and more!
Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, New Orlean Office
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“Mr. Guss was wonderful. He fought hard against the insurance company to get us what we deserved. I went from owing almost $5000 in medical bills to actually getting money in my pocket. Absolutely Amazing!!!!! A big thank you from me and my family!!!”
Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.