Determining fault in drunk driving accidents

When someone is involved in a collision with a drunk driver in Louisiana, he or she may immediately think that the drunk driver caused the accident. This may not always be the case, though. It is important to understand how fault is determined in a drunk driving accident.

According to FindLaw, a driver is considered to be at fault for a collision if his or her behavior falls into one of four categories:

  • A driver might be considered responsible if he or she is driving recklessly. This means maneuvering the vehicle without thinking about the safety of other people on the road.
  • A person may also be responsible for an accident if he or she is negligent on the road. This means that the driver may have run a red light or failed to yield to another car.
  • If a defective car part causes the crash, the driver of this car sometimes may be considered responsible, even if he or she was otherwise driving safely.
  • People are also considered at fault for a collision if they were intentionally being irresponsible drivers.

When a crash involves a drunk driver, the drunk driver is generally considered responsible because he or she was negligent. FindLaw says that there may be times, though, when a sober driver is considered to be partially at fault for this collision. When this is the case, it is usually because the sober driver engaged in some kind of negligent behavior before the collision occurred, such as running a red light or texting.

Some people may think that driving while intoxicated is more negligent than texting behind the wheel or failing to obey traffic rules. Because of the risks of distracted driving, however, law enforcement may not always place responsibility for the collision entirely on a drunk driver if the sober driver also exhibited negligent behavior.



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