Whether you will file a first-party vs. a third-party personal injury claim depends on who is responsible for your injury. For instance, in a first-party claim, you sue the party that is directly responsible for your injuries, such as the driver of the car that hit you. In a third-party claim, you sue a party whose actions indirectly contributed to your accident. Examples of third-party lawsuits include those against:
- A person’s employer
- A maintenance contractor
- A manufacturer
Getting compensation after a personal injury
You have the right to sue for two different types of compensation. This will cover all your injuries and enable you to pay for medical care and other expenses.
The first category of damages is economic damages. You could be reimbursed for the following financial losses:
- Medical bills: Your injuries were so serious that you went to a doctor or hospital, and/or you will need additional treatment in the future.
- Loss of wages: You were temporarily unable to work while your injuries healed.
- Loss of earning capacity: Your ability to work in your chosen field has been permanently affected by your injuries; you will never be able to earn as much as before.
- Other expenses: You needed to hire a housekeeper, a babysitter, or anyone else whose services you would not have required before the injury.
The second category is non-economic damages, which compensate for physical and psychological injuries, such as:
- Pain and suffering: You experienced noticeable distress (physical, emotional, mental, etc.) because of your injuries.
- Disability: Your accident caused your physical or intellectual disability, or it worsened an existing disability.
- Disfigurement: You have permanent scarring due to your injury. These scars may be physically and/or emotionally painful.
- Reduced quality of life: It is now difficult or impossible for you to complete necessary tasks (e.g., getting dressed) on your own or to participate in activities you love.
Your right to file a personal injury lawsuit lasts for a limited time
After an accident, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to seek compensation from more than one party. In other words, you can file a first-party lawsuit and a third-party lawsuit at the same time.
According to CC Art. 3492, you must file your lawsuit within one year of the accident date. To ensure you do not lose your right to collect damages, contact our law firm as soon as possible. We can help you with:
- Quantifying your damages: Review your case with your lawyer and let them help you decide how much money you should sue for.
- Contacting the liable party: Your lawyer will send out all necessary notifications to the liable party, the court, and anyone else involved in your case.
- Meeting with the insurance company: Your lawyer will sit down with the liable party’s insurance company and fight on your behalf for fair compensation.
- Drawing up the settlement agreement: If an agreement is reached, let your lawyer prepare the paperwork and review it with you before you sign.
- Going to court: If your case goes to court (and not all cases do), your lawyer will put together and present your case for you.
- Updating you: Call your lawyer whenever you need advice or more information. They, in turn, will let you know when something important happens.
Wrongful death damages in Louisiana
If you are suing on behalf of a loved one who has died, the resulting lawsuit is called a wrongful death case. The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases can be found at CC Art. 2315.2. As with personal injury cases, you are allowed one year to start your lawsuit.
The sooner you start, the easier it will be to build your case
Aside from obeying the statute of limitations, there is another advantage to starting your case quickly: the less time has passed since your accident, the more evidence is generally available for your lawyer to collect. Evidence could include:
- Police/car accident reports
- Medical records
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert statements
- Photos or videos of the scene
- Surveillance footage
The more documentary evidence your lawyer can obtain, the stronger you case will be.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is here to help
Want help figuring out whether to file a first-party vs. third-party personal injury claim? Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is on your side. Call our main office at (337) 777-7777 for a free consultation. We charge no attorney’s fees unless and until you receive compensation.