Personal injury law deals with compensation for a person harmed as the result of another’s negligence. Various negligent acts fall within the scope of these lawsuits: car and truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, dog bites, premises liability, defective products, dangerous drugs, wrongful death, and many others. Damages suffered can range from minor lacerations to traumatic injuries that bring lifelong medical and psychological expenses.
If you were harmed because of another party’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your injuries, and a skilled attorney can help you fight for it. A compassionate Lafayette personal injury lawyer will investigate your case, assess all your present and future damages, and work tirelessly to ensure you receive the financial recovery that you’re owed.
Proving Negligence for Injury Claims
The state’s negligence laws are codified in Louisiana Civil Code Section 2315 (A). For you to succeed in your personal injury claim, you must prove the following elements of negligence:
- Duty: the defendant owed you a duty of care
- Breach: the defendant breached that duty
- Cause in fact: if not for the defendant’s breach, you wouldn’t have been injured
- Proximate cause: the defendant’s breach caused your injury
- Damages: you were injured and suffered a loss
A knowledgeable personal attorney could further explain these legal concepts and help you effectively pursue your claim.
Pure Comparative Fault Rule
Louisiana follows the pure comparative fault rules laid out in LA Civ Code 2323. Essentially, if the plaintiff contributes in any part to their own injuries, then their final damages will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. For example, if you were speeding when you were hit by the defendant who ran a red light, and the jury decides you are 10% responsible for the collision, your damages will be reduced by 10%. For instance, if you were awarded $10,000 in damages, your final damages would be reduced by $1000.
A skilled local attorney familiar with comparative negligence can fight any allegations of partial fault on your behalf. This is crucial to ensure that you can recover the maximum amount of damages.
What Damages Can You Collect After an Accident?
If you were injured, you could potentially recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are quantifiable and cover medical bills (both present and future), lost wages, pain and suffering, and property repairs.
Non-economic damages include emotional and psychological damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Emotional and mental distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
A Lafayette attorney can investigate your injury case and bring in medical and financial experts to testify on the extent of your damages.
There isn’t generally a cap on compensation for damages in injury claims. However, there are some exceptions that are best to go over with a qualified attorney that practices personal injury law in Lafayette.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
LA Civ Code 3492 states that an injured party only has one year from the accident date to file their claim. If you fail to file within this one-year window, your lawsuit could be barred, causing you to lose your right to compensation.
Exceptions to Statute of Limitations
While the statute of limitations is generally a hard rule, some exceptions may benefit an injured party in certain circumstances. If the injured person was a minor at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations will pause until their 18th birthday. In addition, if you were injured but didn’t know the extent or nature of the injury, the statute of limitations won’t run until the injury can reasonably be discovered.
An experienced local lawyer who knows the statute of limitations can help ensure your claim is filed in a timely manner to preserve your right to damages.
Call a Skilled Lafayette Personal Injury Attorney Today
Whatever your situation, if you were harmed and want to seek damages, a compassionate Lafayette personal injury lawyer can help. An injury that seems minor at first could become significant. The loss of a loved one or the complete upheaval of your life can result in expenses you never imagined. Luckily, a seasoned lawyer can manage your case, assess your damages, and fight tirelessly to help ensure you receive your deserved compensation.
Time is of the essence in these claims. Call our firm today to understand the true nature of your case and discuss the amount of damages you could pursue.