Understanding Louisiana’s Personal Injury Laws
If you’ve been hurt while working to support your children, in a car accident, or injured due to some other negligence, you’re no doubt dealing with a very stressful time. Knowing the ins and outs of Louisiana’s personal injury laws can help you navigate this trying time with more peace of mind than you would have otherwise.
What Does A Personal Injury Lawsuit Include?
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, filing a personal injury lawsuit can help you in several ways. It covers medical expenses, lost wages, and the pain and suffering you’re likely coping with as a result of the injury. Any compensation you can get can also ease your other out-of-pocket expenses caused by your injury. A good attorney helps you navigate this process and helps you ease the financial burden of this trying time. Consider a personal injury lawsuit if you’ve been hurt by an auto accident, a slip and fall, a defective product, or even medical malpractice. If you’re dealing with the immense grief caused by the wrongful death of a loved one, you can also file a wrongful death lawsuit.
You can file under Louisiana’s personal injury laws if the other party is found to have failed in their “duty of care”, which means that the party had a duty to prevent injury to others and failed to do so. Speeding, creating defective products, failing to clear a sidewalk of ice, or performing medical malpractice are all examples of this.
How Much Time Do You Have To File Under Louisiana’s Personal Injury Laws?
In the state of Louisiana, injuries due to negligence, a car accident, or from some other event such as a dog attack give you a time limit of one year to file your paperwork with the court. The court calls this time limit the statute of limitations. In fact, Louisiana has one of the shortest time limits for personal injury claims in the U.S. for car accidents and other personal injury suits. The time after your injury is stressful. You’re likely dealing with medical appointments, insurance companies, and juggling your work and childcare responsibilities. Talk to an attorney early during the process. They’ll help you straighten everything out and gather the paperwork you’ll need to file a lawsuit.
Things To Know About Different Types of Injuries
The laws are slightly different depending on the sort of personal injury that you’re dealing with.
- For injuries that result from car accidents, you can choose between filing a claim with your insurance company or going ahead with a personal injury lawsuit. It’s possible your car insurance will be enough to pay your medical bills, but a lawsuit is a good option if it’s not. Louisiana is a “fault” state. This means the driver who caused the accident is responsible for your medical bills and other expenses caused by the accident.
- For dog bites, it’s good to know that if you’re hurt from a dog bite or other injury, the owner of that dog is “strictly liable”. They are responsible for that injury, no matter what the dog’s past behavior was. Make a police report and get documentation of the bite.
- For medical malpractice that results in injury, there is a cap on how much a provider pays the injured person. This cap is at $100,000 if the provider is covered by the Louisiana Patient Compensation Fund. But the good news is that the Fund must pay you the rest of the amount you’re entitled to.
What If More Than One Person Is At Fault?
There are times when more than one person is at fault for your injury. Perhaps you made a mistake and you and the other party are at fault. No one is perfect and it happens. This situation seems complicated and you may be wondering how it will play out in court.
In Louisiana, “comparative fault” is the law. Comparative fault spreads the responsibility to everyone who had any role in your injury. It does so by assigning a percent of the blame to each person. If you’re found to be partly at fault for your injury, through negligence or otherwise, your award for winning your case will be reduced. The amount the court reduces it matches the percent of fault the court assigns to you.
For example, say you get into a car accident partly because you didn’t use a turn signal. But, the other person was running a red light. If the court finds you to be fifteen percent at fault for your injury, your award will be reduced by fifteen percent.
Get Help When You’re Dealing With A Personal Injury Lawsuit
An injury can be as life-changing as a divorce or fighting for custody of your child. You don’t have to go through it alone. At Ellender Law Firm, we’re here to answer your questions about Louisiana’s personal injury laws and help with our services. Please contact us today with any questions you may have and for peace of mind.
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