Personal injury damages are monetary awards injured people may receive as compensation for harm caused by another party’s negligence. “Damages” is also the term used for the injuries the person sustained by this harm. Personal injury damage awards may be received for physical and emotional harm, and also for property damage that occurred due to an accident or incident that was someone else’s fault.
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. A Louisiana personal injury lawyer may be able to examine your individual situation, determine if you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, and pursue a settlement for damages on your behalf.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Louisiana
According to Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315, every person who harms another must compensate that person for the harm done. If you are harmed, you may apply for compensation through insurance, or you may file a personal injury lawsuit for damages.
Insurance coverage is not always adequate to cover your losses. Even when there is sufficient coverage, insurance companies often use tactics to try to get you to accept the lowest settlement possible. Once you accept their offer, you will no longer be able to get more money if your injuries worsen and you need more care in the future. In situations where you sustained serious injuries that require continuing care, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the compensation needed to cover your injuries, medical expenses, property damage, and the effect on your quality of life.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Personal Injury Damages You May Receive
If you win a lawsuit for a personal injury claim in Louisiana, there are several types of damages you may be awarded. These include:
These are economic damages for specific monetary losses and costs due to the accident. Examples of special damages are:
- Medical, ambulance, medication, and rehabilitative expenses
- Expected future medical expenses
- Lost wages from being unable to work, and expected future lost wages
- Funeral and burial expenses, if death is involved
- Property damaged in the accident
These are for less-tangible, subjective costs that do not have a specific monetary value. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish and distress, including depression, anger, anxiety, and sleep issues
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of reputation
Exemplary or Punitive Damages
These are to punish and make an example of a defendant who acted in a malicious, violent, fraudulent, or grossly reckless way while causing your injuries. Punitive damages may sometimes be greater than compensatory damages.
There is no limit on the amount of damages you may receive in Louisiana, except a cap of $500,000 in cases of medical malpractice, per Louisiana State Legislature § 1231.2.
Damages for Wrongful Death Claims
Under Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315.2, the immediate family of a person killed by another party’s negligence may collect damages that the deceased would have been entitled to in a personal injury case if death had not occurred. Wrongful death claims may be made by the surviving spouse, children or other family members.
Proving Negligence for Personal Injury
To be awarded damages in a personal injury case, you and your attorney must show that the defendant acted negligently and was at fault for causing the accident. This means showing the following:
- Duty: the defendant owed you a duty of care not to cause harm
- Breach: the defendant breached this duty of care
- Cause: the defendant’s breach was the direct cause of your injuries
- Damage: you suffered damages as a result
What duty of care is owed would depend on the circumstances, since responsible parties have the duty to avoid harming others.
- Vehicle accidents: if a drunk driver ran a red light and crashed into you
- Slip and fall accidents: if a storekeeper failed to mop up a spill and you fell
- Defective products: if a defective airbag exploded and caused you injury
- Medical malpractice: if a surgeon left a sponge in your body
- Premise liability: if you were attacked in a restaurant parking lot that had inadequate lighting
Get Legal Help to Win Personal Injury Damages
If you or a loved one has been harmed or someone has died due to someone else’s negligence in Louisiana, the personal injury lawyers at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help. We take the burden off you and handle all legal aspects necessary to get you the best damage award possible.
Time is of the essence, as according to Louisiana Civil Code Article 3492, there is a strict time limit of one year from the day the injury occurred to file a lawsuit. It is important to contact us quickly to allow enough time to investigate and build a successful case.
There are no costs to you until we win a damage award for you, so call us today at (337) 777-7777.