Comparative fault does apply to insurance claims, lawsuits, and any other actions an individual might take to recover financial compensation after an accident. This is according to Louisiana state law governing comparative fault, per CC Art. 2323.
If you were hurt in any type of accident in Louisiana, it is advantageous to have a thorough understanding of the local laws in order to file a successful claim or suit. For example, if you were partially liable for the accident, you need to know how that could affect your ability to negotiate a settlement that includes all of the damages you incurred. Our law firm can help you to attain that understanding.
How Comparative Fault Applies to Insurance Claims
In Louisiana, the court considers the role that each party played in an incident when awarding damages. For example, if you were even partially responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, the total amount of compensation that you recover could be reduced.
Let’s assume, for example, that a driver changes lanes without signaling and gets rear-ended by another vehicle traveling faster than the speed limit. The court awards the plaintiff $100,000 in damages but finds that the plaintiff was 25 percent at fault for the accident. In such a case, the plaintiff can take home $75,000 in damages despite suffering $100,000 in losses.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
How Can I Prove Fault After a Collision?
If you were involved in an accident, it is important to demonstrate that you either did not contribute to the accident or that your contribution was minimal. Otherwise, the insurance adjuster may not offer you a settlement that covers all the damages you incurred.
Establishing liability involves proving the following factors to the satisfaction of the insurance company or the jury.
- The liable party you have named had a duty to take care of others (for instance, by following the speed limit or taking care of their property)
- This party failed in their duty
- This party’s failure of duty was solely or mostly responsible for the accident and injuries you want compensation for
- The injuries you sustained were serious enough to cause a noticeable and negative change in your life
Finding Evidence of Fault
There are various ways to prove fault following a personal injury accident. The most effective approach will ultimately depend on the circumstances of the accident. In general, the insurance company will want to review:
- Photographs of the scene
- Official police reports
- Medical reports and records
- Witness testimonials
- Expert testimonials
- Any other evidence you have
Proving liability is just one step in the claims process, even if your case does not go to trial. Once you demonstrate fault, you will need to negotiate for a fair settlement, which is where a personal injury attorney from our firm can prove invaluable.
Navigating Comparative Fault with Legal Representation
The state of Louisiana relies on the doctrine of comparative fault to award damages in personal injury cases. If you are not sure how this might affect the value of the case or the outcome of the trial should it go to court, we can help by:
- Collecting evidence: While an abundance of evidence is especially important in complex cases (such as multi-car collisions), all claims and lawsuits can be strengthened by pulling evidence from multiple sources.
- Identifying the real liable party: Insurance companies may already be looking for ways to blame you for the accident and reduce your payout. We can investigate the accident to find out who really caused your injuries.
- Handling communications: By communicating with an insurance company by yourself, you could inadvertently give them ammunition to use against you. Let us do the talking, emailing, and notifying on your behalf.
- Negotiating or going to trial: We can do our utmost to get a fair settlement from either your insurer or the liable party’s, or both. If this is not possible, we can fight for your rights in front of a jury.
- Advising you throughout the case: Insurance claims and lawsuits can be complicated, especially when comparative fault is involved. We are always happy to answer clients’ questions about any legal matter they need help with.
A personal injury attorney from our firm can evaluate your case and help you navigate the claims process, including the challenges presented by comparative fault laws. Our lawyers have recovered more than $200 million for clients in successful settlements and verdicts.
We Can Help You Understand Comparative Fault
If you were hurt in an accident that was not your fault, contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers. Our attorneys have a reputation for tough litigation and a strategy for winning substantial settlements and verdicts for our clients. Call (337) 777-7777 for a free case evaluation with a team member who can explain more about whether comparative fault applies to your insurance claim. We charge no attorney’s fees until you get your money.