When you get hurt in an accident, you deserve to be compensated for the injuries you suffered. While your medical bills mount, you are entitled under the law to compensation for those bills, for your pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, emotional damages, lost compensation and a range of other benefits.
You can’t, however, file a claim any time you want. There are specific steps in place and laws regulating how and when you can file a suit of this kind. It’s important to understand these limitations so you can be sure your suit gets the consideration it’s due. Learn how long you have to file an injury lawsuit, how the statute of limitations works, and when you need help from a personal injury lawyer in Louisiana.
The Statute of Limitations
Every lawsuit has a time limit during which you have to file a claim. If you don’t file before this deadline, you may find your case is simply dismissed. This time limit is known as a statute of limitations, and it’s different in every state, as are the steps you need to take to initiate the process.
When you get injured or you lose a loved one in a wrongful death case, you only have so much time in which to file a suit. You must file within this window if you want to be eligible to seek benefits for the injuries you’ve suffered. That makes it vital to start your case right away, or as soon as humanly possible. There are certain exceptions to this rule, but they vary from case to case and it’s best not to risk it.
Louisiana Injury Law
Louisiana injury cases can get very complex, because of the comparative fault rules that govern our injury law. Comparative fault means that the courts will review the responsibility each party holds in an accident, and your damages will be reduced according to the level of fault you hold. This means if your case is worth, say, $10,000, but the courts deem you 25% responsible for the accident, you’ll only receive $7,500 in damages.
In addition, when it comes to auto accident injuries, Louisiana does account for the fault held by one or both motorists in the accident. Drivers in this state are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance to cover injuries and damage, but going to court is another option. In addition, dog bite cases in Louisiana hold a dog owner strictly liable for any dog bite, regardless of the animal’s history. This is different than many states which have a “one bite” rule for dog bites.
Louisiana Damage Caps
Another way in which Louisiana differs somewhat from other states is in the cap that is placed on damages. A number of states have similar laws that are designed to account for the fact that compensation in an injury case is designed to be compensatory, covering your losses and not to pay out additional money on top.
In Louisiana, for example, a medical malpractice suit is capped at $500,000, and providers only have to pay the first $100,000 of this if they’re a part of the Patient Compensation Fund (which then pays the rest). This cap in Louisiana, however, only applies to medical malpractice, and not other kinds of cases. It also doesn’t apply to awards for future medical expenses expected.
Louisiana Statute of Limitations
In Louisiana, just like in other states, there’s a limited window of time during which you have to file your personal injury claim. The Louisiana statute of limitations begins from the moment you become aware of your injury and damages, or the date you reasonably should have become aware. This is called the Discovery Rule.
In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for any case, whether car accidents, slip and fall, assault, defamation, strict or product liability, or even wrongful death, is one year from the date of injury. Of course, you’ll need the best legal help to get your case filed and avoid critical errors that could be costly.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Louisiana
If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer in Louisiana who can help you get compensated for your lost wages, medical bills past and future, pain and suffering and more, the Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux are here to help. We bring many years of experience and legal knowledge to the table and we’ve helped many others just like you. Give us a call for a consultation today.