House damaged by a drunk driver with no insurance...

by Anonymous
(Louisiana)

My house was hit by a drunk driver with no insurance, and the police seem to either be covering something up or trying to help out the suspect. They only charged him with Louisiana Revised Statutes (LARS) 32:58, until I brought up all the other violations. I was told they would correct and fix the report and add the charges of 32:861, and 14:98, and possibly 14:99 depending on the toxicology report.

I recently contacted the DA's office and was told that the court date was switched again and that the charges being pursued are 32:58 and 14:98, but that they were pushing the court date back to offer pre-trial diversion to this Violator.

Keep in mind he did not have insurance and I was left with $40,000 of damage to my home. I filed a claim with my homeowners insurance and only received $30,000, so I was left to pay for $10,000 worth of damage out of pocket. I'm a 5 year veteran police officer, I know the laws and how the system works.

How do I go about dealing with this injustice, and who should be held accountable for this debacle? Is there a way I can get the remaining $10,000 of damages covered? Thank you for any perspective you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "House damaged by a drunk driver with no insurance...":

Anonymous (Louisiana):

It appears the driver may be charged with violating the following laws:

Section 32:58 - Careless Operation, which reads in part:

"Any person operating a motor vehicle on the public roads of this state shall drive in a careful and prudent manner, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. Failure to drive in such a manner shall constitute careless operation."

Section 32:861 - Security Required, which reads in part:

"A.(1) Every self-propelled motor vehicle registered in this state...shall be covered by an automobile liability policy with liability."

Section 14:98 - Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, which reads in part:

"A.(1) The crime of operating a vehicle while intoxicated is the operating of any motor vehicle, when any of the following conditions exist:

(a) The operator is under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
(b) The operator's blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood.
(c) The operator is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V as set forth in R.S. 40:964."


Section 14:99 - Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, which reads in part:

"A. Reckless operation of a vehicle is the operation of any motor vehicle, aircraft, vessel, or other means of conveyance in a criminally negligent or reckless manner."

Contact the prosecutor. If the driver is going to receive pre-trial diversion (a form of probation), the driver will have conditions he must follow. Give the prosecutor an accounting of the money you have lost as a result of the driver's actions, and ask that as part of pretrial diversion the driver be ordered to make monthly payments to compensate you for your losses.

If the prosecutor agrees, and the judge signs off on it, you will be able to receive compensation from the driver. If the driver fails to make the payments ordered by the court, the driver will likely be incarcerated.

It may take a long time, but hopefully before the driver's pre-trial diversion ends you will have recovered at least part of your losses back.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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