Specific claims filed within the broad category of personal injury are varied and regulated by laws unique to Louisiana. In fact, each state has its own set of legal limitations, and it’s wise to become familiar with these limitations and the unique claim types before you pursue a claim in a Louisiana court.
Types of Personal Injury Claims in Louisiana
The nature of the accident will help determine the best legal recourse in the event that you wish to pursue compensation for a personal injury.
Each type of personal injury has its own liability tests and theories that must be fulfilled if you are to be awarded compensation. Let’s take a look at each claim more specifically:
In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove negligence from a third party, whether it was caused by hazardous conditions in the workplace, a medical mistake, or death during a supervised activity.
Slip and Fall Accidents
To determine a slip and fall case, the plaintiff must be able to establish fault to the property owner (which when a merchant, requires proving actual or constructive knowledge of the thing that causes the fall), and mitigate any defenses that they acted exceedingly careless.
Personal injury caused by an auto accident occurs when a negligent driver breaks the rules of the road and harms another individual or their property. Louisiana adheres to pure comparative negligence, so a negligent driver does not have to be 110% at fault for you to recover.
Medical Malpractice refers to negligence on the part of a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare professional, while a patient is in their care, or under their administrative supervision.
For a product liability claim, the plaintiff must prove an unreasonably dangerous characteristic of the product, and that injury or death was the direct result, during a “reasonably anticipated use” of the product.
In our state, employers must carry workers compensation insurance. In the event an employee is injured on the job, the employer is responsible for providing the injured party with workers’ compensation.
Each personal injury claim must be considered carefully; each claim type has different legal limitations, compensation caps, and liability theories that can influence the outcome of a claim.
Compensation Caps and Limitations in Louisiana
Unlike medical malpractice, personal injury claims in Louisiana do not have compensation caps, unless the defendant is the State of Louisiana itself. On malpractice cases in the state of Louisiana the cap is set at $500,000, exclusive of future medical expenses and related costs (this does not allow recover for loss of future wages). In non medical malpractice personal injury claims against the state of Louisiana, the cap is also set at $500,000, but also allows recovery of future wages beyond the cap.
Moreover, fault (liability) can be split among parties, including injured persons, under comparative negligence theory. This means, at trial, damages will be awarded based on the percentage that each party was at fault. In other words, you cannot recover damages for the percentage of fault that was your own. If you are determined, for example, to have been 25% at fault in causing the accident, then you will only be allowed to recover for 75% of your damages. That is why a good lawyer is needed to present the evidence in the best way to minimize any claims that your actions in anyway contributed to the accident or injury.
The state’s Statute of Limitations (prescriptive period in Louisiana) is what restricts the time a plaintiff has to file a claim. For a general personal injury, like a car collision, these periods are generally one year from the day of the accident (date of the negligent act), or one year from when you knew or should have known of the negligent act. For a medical malpractice claim, the period of time to bring a claim is one year from the day of the negligent act, or one year from when you knew or should have known of the negligent act, BUT in no event longer than three years from the negligent act (whether or not you could have known of the negligent act).
Finding an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Louisiana
These are just a few things you should consider if you’re thinking about filing a personal injury claim in the state of Louisiana. Choosing an experienced personal injury lawyer can make all the difference when it comes time to select the right claim for the type of injury.
If you have questions about a personal injury claim, we at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana, Attorney at Law, want to hear from you.
For a free case review, please fill out the form to the left, or call me directly at 318-340-1515.
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