Louisiana Personal Injury & Property Damage Law Offices
The attorneys at Kanner & Pintaluga’s Louisiana offices are committed to fighting for people who have been injured in accidents caused by other people’s dangerous or reckless behavior. If a person or company’s actions caused you or your loved one’s injury, contact one of our local offices for a free case evaluation.
How Are Louisiana Personal Injury Laws Different From the Laws in Other States?
Although many states have relatively similar laws that govern how personal injury claims are handled and/or how cases are tried in the courts, there are often some substantive differences that may affect how a case can be pursued and the ultimate outcome.
If you or a loved one have been injured in Louisiana, there are some important things you should know regarding insurance laws and statutes of limitation.
- Compared with other states, Louisiana requires you to file a personal injury claim relatively quickly after an injury. Personal injury victims in Louisiana have just one year to file a claim after they’ve been injured, or in cases of medical malpractice where you may not realize you’ve been injured until after a treatment has been administered, one year from when you discover the injury (but not more than 3 years from the date that the actual medical malpractice occurred). You may lose your chance to file a claim if you miss this window.
- As a pure comparative fault state, you may have to share the blame for your injury with the negligent person or company who caused your injury. The concept of comparative fault is essentially that your settlement or verdict compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you share. If the jury decides you should be compensated $100,000 for your injury but it’s determined that you were 30 percent at fault for the accident and your injury, you will only be awarded $70,000.
- Louisiana requires all drivers to carry $15,000 per person/$30,000.00 per accident in bodily injury insurance to cover injury victims, however it is possible to purchase policies which carry higher limits. Drivers who do not carry the required insurance coverage may be subject to the Louisiana No Pay No Play law.
- When it comes to dog bites and personal injury cases, states are either strict liability or one bite states. In a one bite state, dog owners and their pets are essentially given a pass for their first bite if the dog owner claims that the dog had never shown aggression before and that they had (supposedly) no idea the dog was dangerous. In a strict liability state, like Louisiana, there is no one bite benefit out of the doubt. Dog owners may be held liable for injuries their pets cause regardless of whether the dog had ever previously shown aggressive tendencies or not.
- The only compensation caps in Louisiana are for medical malpractice cases. The most a medical malpractice injury victim can receive in a personal injury case is $500,000. Louisiana is also somewhat unique in medical malpractice thanks to the state’s Patient Compensation Fund. If an injured patient wins a medical malpractice suit, the physician or their practice only has to pay up to $100,000 – anything awarded by the court over that amount is paid out of the Patient Compensation Fund.
- There are some other revised statutes in Louisiana that are specific to personal injury cases, including Title 13 for civil case procedures, Title 23 for workers compensation cases and Title 32 for auto accident cases.
Personal injury cases can be quite complicated, which is why it makes sense to speak with an experienced attorney before you make any decisions or agree to accept an insurance company’s settlement offer. If you or a loved one have suffered a severe injury due to someone else’s negligence, your entire future could potentially be riding on the outcome of this case. Make sure the decisions you’re making are in your best interest.