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Suspected drunk driver injures Mardi Gras partygoers

A suspected drunk driver in a pickup truck plowed through a group of people attending a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, leaving 28 people injured. The victims ranged from small children to adults enjoying the Mardi Gras festivities. Thankfully, it does not appear that any of the injuries will be fatal, although the exact nature of the injuries is unknown at this time. At least three victims had to stay in the hospital, though, and, initially, several hospitals received victims. One victim was a police officer.

After hitting the crowd, the pickup truck then cashed in to another vehicle. The driver was removed from his truck and immediately arrested. He will face multiple criminal charges. According to police, his blood alcohol content was .232 percent, which is well above the legal alcohol limit in Louisiana. His bond has been set at $125,000, and at this time he is being represented by the public defender's office.

In addition to the man's criminal charges, it appears from early reports that he or his insurance company may be liable to compensate up to 28 people, all of whom he injured in this car accident. In addition to needing medical care and, in some cases, time off from work to recover, these victims likely suffered emotional distress and other noneconomic damages.

Under the circumstances of this case, injured victims should also be aware that the driver may not have enough insurance coverage or other resources to be able to pay full compensation to all of his victims. A victim should be prepared to have to turn his or her claim over to his or her own insurance company for underinsured or uninsured motorist benefits. However, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit can be a powerful way to recover much needed compensation and help get a victim back on his or her feet.

Source: ABC News, "Suspect in Mardi Gras parade crash expected to face at least 19 more charges," Michael Edison Hayden et al., Feb. 26, 2017

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