Types of Damages in Drunk Driving Cases
Nobody should ever have to go through the devastation of being injured in a drunk driving crash or losing a loved one in a collision caused by an intoxicated motorist. Yet drunk driving happens more often than you might think, as does drugged driving, and serious wrecks often occur. Indeed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Louisiana has a higher rate of drunk drivers and collisions than the national average. For every 100,000 people, Louisiana’s rate of impaired driving is higher than the national average for each age group studied. For intoxicated motorists between the ages of 21-34, Louisiana has a particularly high rate. While the national average of drunk driving deaths caused by drivers in that age group nationally is 6.2 per 100,000, Louisiana has a rate of 9.4 deaths per 100,000.
Given the high rate of intoxicated driving crashes and deaths in Louisiana, it is important to understand how drunk driving damages work when you file a claim. Our Shreveport intoxicated driving lawyers can give you some of the key information you need, and we can speak with you today about getting started on your case.
Special Damages (Economic Loss Compensation)
Special damages are one type of compensation that are often awarded in drunk driving lawsuits. These damages are a form of compensatory damages, and they are sometimes known as economic damages. Special damages are designed to compensate a plaintiff for direct or economic losses they have incurred as a result of the intoxicated driver, such as compensation for medical bills and lost wages.
General Damages (Non-Economic Loss Compensation)
General damages, which are sometimes known as non-economic damages, compensate for losses in a drunk driving crash that do not have an objective monetary value. Examples can include, for instance, a person’s pain and suffering, or a person’s loss of enjoyment of life, or a person’s loss of consortium when a loved one is killed in an intoxicated driving collision.
Exemplary Damages (Punitive Award Against Defendant)
Exemplary damages, which can also be known as punitive damages, are rarely awarded in personal injury cases in Louisiana but can indeed be available in drunk driving cases. These are damages that are intended to penalize the drunk driver for particularly harmful behavior, and they can be paid out to the plaintiff in addition to other damages awarded. According to Louisiana law:
“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 wanton or reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others by a defendant whose intoxication while operating a motor vehicle was a cause in fact of the resulting injuries.”
Contact a Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer in Shreveport
Drunk and drugged driving frequently results in severe crashes with serious and life-threatening injuries. If another motorist’s intoxication caused a wreck in which you or someone you love got hurt, it is essential to find out about seeking compensation, and there are multiple forms of damages that you may be eligible to receive. One of the experienced and aggressive Shreveport drunk driving injury attorneys at Rice & Kendig, LLC can begin working with you today on your case. We are committed to holding intoxicated drivers accountable for the horrific harm they cause, and we will work tirelessly to help you receive the compensation you need and deserve after a devastating drunk driving collision caused by another motorist’s intoxication.