After a motor vehicle accident occurs in Louisiana, it is possible for both criminal and civil actions to be initiated. In some cases, only one form of action results but both are possible. While criminal actions may help ensure that people who have broken the law serve appropriate consequences, it is through civil actions that those injured may receive personal compensation.
An example of a case in which both criminal and civil actions resulted after a crash involves a mother and her two children. The family was in a vehicle on the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway in the spring of 2012 when hit by another vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle was a doctor and, according to reports, the doctor was driving with a blood alcohol level of .021 percent. While criminal charges for drunk driving would be expected in a case like this, that actually never happened. Other criminal charges for vehicular negligent injury were pursued, however, and the defendant was sentenced to a five-year sentence of home incarceration.
In addition, the woman initiated civil proceedings to seek compensation for the injuries she and her children experienced in the accident. Just recently, nearly five years after the crash, she and her two kids were awarded nearly $1.3 million by a jury.
When an accident happens, it might help people involved to talk with an attorney to learn about the different types of charges and ways of pursuing justice available to them.
Source: Louisiana Record, "Jury awards $1.3M to victims of alleged drunk driver after questions of conflict of interest," Hank Strickler, Feb. 1, 2017