The amount of money involved from first aid to hospital bills and then aftercare is staggering in personal injury, to say the least. While most people have insurance that covers most personal injury situations, it just so happens that your insurer sometimes rejects your injury claims due to technicalities they can find. Therefore, you must know all your rights and claims regarding the personal injury laws of Louisiana.
Deadline for Filing Claims
If you wish to file a lawsuit in court, there is a statute of limitations that limits your opportunity to file a lawsuit to a maximum of 1 year from the date of injury. If you are going to do it, you’ll have to do it within this time frame. Else, the court would not accept your plea even if you have textbook merits.
The Question of Comparative Fault
In determining damages to an injured person, Louisiana has a “comparative fault” rule. According to this rule, if your negligence or fault is found in the given situation, the court will reduce your damages by the same percentage determined to be your fault.
For example, consider a situation wherein a court decides to award you the damages and determines that you are responsible for about 10%. Therefore, your amount is reduced by that 10%, and the remaining is awarded to the court. It all comes down to who was at fault and how much responsibility each party bore.
Auto Insurance Laws in Louisiana
Louisiana gives you two options for injuries regarding automobiles. Since the state requires all drivers to have minimum driving insurance, you can file a claim with the insurance company or file a plea with the court.
While in most cases it is much easier to file a claim with the insurance, the damages they pay you are pretty much only sufficient for hospital expenses alone. So, if you feel you deserve more amount, going to court would be the best option for you.
Liability for Dog Bites and Attacks
Dog bites are severe cases across the US. However, most states protect dog owners from punishment if it is the first time their dog has attacked someone. Louisiana is not one of those states.
That means, here, regardless of your dog’s past, and although your dog hasn’t bitten anyone in the past, you will be liable for damages if your dog attacks someone unprovoked. The Louisiana civil code, article 2321, makes owners strictly liable for their dog’s behavior.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Damage Caps
Damages are paid to those injured as a means to compensate them for hospital bills, medical expenses, and the pain and suffering the injury has caused. However, there are certain cases where the maximum damages that can be paid are capped by Louisiana law.
These limits on non-economic compensations such as “pain and suffering” and “medical malpractice” are common. In fact, the maximum amount that can be paid under medical malpractice is $500,000. Also, the providers would only have to pay $100,000 if they are compensated by the state’s compensation fund in Louisiana. The injured patient would receive any amount of more than $100,000 from the fund. This does not apply to future medical bills or injury cases that do not involve medical malpractice.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The short answer is: it depends. The long answer involves several factors and multiple appointments to deal with and can take a long time. A personal injury lawyer would first do after your accident to get you a medical diagnosis. Then see how long it takes for you to recover. If you heal and get back to your pre-accident state in one to two months, your lawsuit could be settled relatively quickly. But if it takes you over a year, such cases would take considerably longer to settle.
Hence, lawyers do not advise their clients to settle before returning to their full health to pre-accident levels. A good rule of thumb is to ask your doctor how long they will need to see you and decide on not settling on your case till then to gain as much compensation as possible for the damages caused to you.
If you or someone you know has suffered personal injuries and are not sure of the personal injury laws of Louisiana, we are here to help you. Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys to learn more.