Louisiana Personal Injury Overview
Personal injury includes accidents, such as auto accidents and boating accidents, and other cases in which you were injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrong doing, including such as toxic exposure and faulty construction.
Each state has its own specific personal injury laws. Even though the basic concepts involved in personal injury law are the same throughout the country, the details unique to your state can make or break your case.
For instance, in Louisiana you have a shorter time limit for filing your case than in most states. Overlooking this one, small detail means giving up your right to compensation. On the other hand, Louisiana is favorable toward the injured party, compared to many states, when it comes to shared blame.
In Louisiana you only have one year after your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit, in most cases. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. Certain exceptions are made for minors and in cases of medical malpractice. While the statute of limitations is a “technicality” it can be a complicated issue, and a seemingly small detail that can destroy your case.
For more in depth information about time limits in Louisiana read our Louisiana Statute of Limitations page.
When you share the blame for your injuries
As unfavorable toward the plaintiff (you, the injured party) as Louisiana may be in its time limits, it shows great leniency on the matter of partial blame. Louisiana follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence, which means that even if you were mostly to blame for your injuries, the other party or parties who were also partly to blame can be held responsible for their portion of fault.
Louisiana law does not put a limit on the amount of punitive or non-economic damages which you may receive. Compensation to which you may be entitled in Louisiana includes:
- Past and future medical expenses, including wages lost while attending medical appointments
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Loss of love and affection (if married)
- Property damage
- Other expenses incurred as a direct result of your injuries
In most personal injury cases you must prove negligence in order to prove fault. The concept of negligence works on the assumption that we all must use a minimum amount of care to not cause injury to others. The basic elements of negligence are as follows:
- The defendant (person you are suing) owed you a duty
- The defendant failed to uphold that duty
- That failure caused your injuries
- You suffered damages
If you were injured by a defective product, it is a little different. You have to prove strict liability, rather than negligence. Under strict liability you must prove that the product was defective and unreasonably dangerous and that you used it properly, but it still caused your injuries.
Collecting from multiple responsible parties
Often, in a lawsuit, more than one person is to blame for your injuries. In Louisiana, under several liability, you must collect from each responsible party individually. You cannot collect one party’s portion from the others, even when someone fails to pay.
Personal injury laws vary from state to state. If you believe you have a personal injury claim and you live in Louisiana, please contact one of our Louisiana personal injury lawyers for a free claim evaluation.