An estimated three out of ten people in the United States are expected to be involved in a vehicle crash caused by alcohol. Drunk driving accidents can often lead to major injuries and death. In 2017, 28 innocent people became accident victims when a truck plowed through them at the Mardi Gras parade.
28 Injured in the Mardi Gras Accident
Mardi Gras attracts more than one million people to New Orleans ever year. As a result, the streets can become quite crowded. Neilson Rizzuto was sitting in traffic, unable to continue forward due to the sheer amount of revelers.
Instead of waiting on the crowd to disperse, the 25-year-old Rizzuto accelerated and struck two cars. After striking the cars, Rizzuto’s vehicle spun and hit a crowd full of pedestrians.
Reports indicated that the car hit the crowd so forcefully that bodies bounced off of Rizzuto’s hood. Police officers and children were among the 28 injured. The vehicle eventually came to a stop when it collided with a dump truck. Several people were pinned between Rizzuto’s vehicle and the dump truck.
Severe Injuries Blamed on DUI
Of the 28 people who were injured during the DUI crash in New Orleans, five of them were reported to be in critical condition. Although no deaths were reported, the incident left a lasting impact on those who survived. One witness reported seeing victims walking around with blood streaming down their head.
Cause of Mardi Gras DUI Accident
Consequences of the Mardi Gras DUI Accident
Charges for Rizzuto’s actions included:
- First-degree negligent vehicular injuring
- Hit-and-run driving
- Reckless operation of a vehicle.
For these charges, Rizzuto was put five years behind bars.
Steps to Take if You Were Hit by a Drunk Driver
The Mardi Gras DUI accident must have been terrifying for the victims. If you were hit by a drunk driver, it is important that you follow certain legal steps in order to make sure that your rights as a victim are protected.
Following a DUI accident, you need to:
- Contact authorities so a police report can be filed
- Collect important information about the drunk driver
- Seek emergency medical treatment
- Hire a DUI car accident attorney.
Rights You Have as a Victim of a DUI Accident
If you have been in a car accident, you have the right to recover any type of damages spurred by the accident. These damages may include out-of-pocket costs like medical bills, car repairs, and wages lost from being off of work.
In addition to claiming compensation for damages, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit if the drunk driver caused a wrongful death or severe injury to a loved one in your family. You can also pursue attorney fees.
Contacting an Attorney
After a DUI accident, you will be flooded with paperwork. While this is standard procedure in any type of car accident, you will want to hold off on signing any paper work that comes to you, because it may result in you giving up your right to pursue a lawsuit. Instead, consult with an experienced DUI accident lawyer to guide you through the entire process.