When someone is injured due to another party’s negligence, it is considered to be a personal injury for the purpose of making a claim. The negligent party could be another person, a business or corporation, or a government entity. If you can prove that the party was at fault, you may be able to receive compensation for the damages you received as a result, through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
There are a wide range of categories of personal injury lawsuits, including:
- Vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Slip and fall
- Wrongful death
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died due to a personal injury situation, a Louisiana personal injury lawyer may be able to help you get the compensation you are entitled to. An attorney can help keep you from making costly mistakes. Attorneys know how to aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and their lawyers, whose goal is to pay out as little as possible. If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can file a lawsuit and take your case to court if necessary. Insurance companies are aware of this and will tend to take your case more seriously if they know you have an attorney on your side.
Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay anything unless they win a settlement for you, and they often offer a free consultation to determine if you have a good case. There are strict Louisiana time limits for filing a lawsuit, so it makes sense to call an attorney as soon as possible after an accident occurs.
Damages You May Receive
Louisiana allows victims of personal injury to receive compensation from a negligent party for monetary losses and other damages that are difficult to put a dollar value on. These are called special damages and general damages.
Special damages are for economic losses and expenses that you can quantify. These may include:
- Cost of medical and rehabilitative bills, medical equipment, and prescriptions
- Loss of wages and future earnings
- Funeral costs, if a death was involved
General damages may include:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Physical disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of companionship
In some case of extreme negligence, punitive damages may also be awarded to be an example and discourage such behavior from happening again.
The amount of damages you may receive varies greatly depends on the circumstances. Factors considered may include:
- The extent and permanence of your injury
- Whether you will need continuing care
- Your age and earning capacity
- The insurance coverage available
- The area of the state and court your case may be heard in
- The skill of your attorney
Louisiana has no cap or limit on the amount of compensation you may receive, except for medical malpractice cases, which have a maximum award of $500,000 plus the cost of future medical care, per Louisiana Civil Code §1231.2.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Winning Your Personal Injury Case
To win your personal injury case, you and your attorney must prove that another party, called the defendant, was at fault and negligent, and that you suffered damages as a result. This means showing the following elements:
- Duty of care: the defendant had a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent harming you.
- Breach: the defendant breached that duty by acting improperly or failing to act.
- Causation: this breach is the primary cause of your injury.
- Damages: your injury resulted in damages.
Your attorney would have to show evidence to prove your case. Proving fault involves conducting investigations to locate and interview witnesses, examining police and doctor reports, locating possible videos from traffic or security cameras, and reconstructing how the accident happened. There also would have to be evidence of your losses, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Relevant Louisiana Laws
There are several Louisiana laws that affect personal injury cases. These include:
- Time limitations: Louisiana has a strict statute of limitations, a deadline to bring a personal injury lawsuit to court. According to Louisiana Civil Code Article 3492, you must file within one year from the day the injury occurred, or your case will probably not be heard.
- Comparative fault: under Louisiana Civil Code 2323, if you have contributed to the accident in some way, your damage award will be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault. However, you would still be able to receive the portion of the settlement for which the other party was at fault.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for Help
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury in Louisiana, or if you are still unsure of what is considered to be a personal injury and want to know if your situation qualifies, the personal injury lawyers at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help you negotiate with insurance companies and navigate the legal system so you can get the compensation you deserve.
Call us today for a free and confidential case evaluation at (337) 777-7777.