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Vehicle Rammed, Flips; Driver Not At Fault But Gets DWI

Car Accident

A man driving a Nissan Xterra on Houma’s Main Street near Terrebonne High School was rammed violently in the rear by a speeding Crown Victoria a week after Mardi Gras in February, 2015. The impact caused the Nissan to flip and roll over from back to front, ending up on its top in the middle of the road at 9:30 at night.

The driver of the Crown Victoria fled the scene on foot, and police are still searching for her. In the passenger seat of the car was a man who had been stabbed with a knife at some point before the wreck, and he wasn’t talking about anything to the police.

The man in the Nissan consulted the personal injury firm of Kopfler & Hermann a few days after the wreck. While he was understandably sore from the trauma, and needed a doctor’s help, the man had a significant other problem: when the cops came to help him out of his vehicle, they detected alcohol on his breath. They took him to the police station, where he blew a .08 on the blood alcohol machine-the lowest level for intoxication recognized by Louisiana law for a man his age but just enough to charge him with DWI. So, even though he was totally free from fault for the accident which injured him, he had the double misfortune of being just over the limit for purposes of getting a citation for DWI.

Louisiana law provides that if a person is legally intoxicated, and is found to be in excess of 25 percent negligent in causing an accident as a result of his blood alcohol level or controlled substance intoxication, he is not allowed to recover ANY damages, no matter how bad he is hurt or how egregious the fault of the principal wrongdoer. LSA-R.S. 9:2798.4.

In our client’s case, he had nothing to do with causing the accident and is entitled to collect his full measure of damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and property damages.