Best Car Accident Lawyers In New Orleans, LA Of 2024 – Forbes

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If you were involved in a car crash in Louisiana, you should know the laws that can help you recover damages for your losses. We prepared a guide below to help you understand everything you need to know about car accident lawsuits in the state.

Louisiana Statute of Limitations

Louisiana has one of the shortest statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in the nation. If you were involved in a car accident in the state, you only have one year from the date of the accident to take action against the negligent party. If you do not approach the court within this time, your case will likely get dismissed unless you qualify for one of the rare exceptions.

One of the most common exceptions to the statute of limitations is if the injured person was either minor or mentally incompetent at the time of the accident. In these cases, the clock does not start running until the plaintiff turns 18 or is declared legally competent.

Louisiana Laws for Car Drivers

If you are driving in Louisiana, you must abide by the road safety rules to avoid accidents, fines and imprisonment. Also, if you follow all the laws and still get into an accident, it will not be difficult for you to claim compensation.

  • Cell Phones Usage Restriction. You are not allowed to use any wireless communication device to write, send or read a text-based communication. You can still use your phone for navigation with a global positioning system and for emergency situations.
  • Alcohol Restrictions. If you are under the age of 21 years, it is unlawful for you to purchase or possess any alcoholic beverage. If you are over the age of 21 years, you cannot drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. It is also illegal to drive with an open container of alcohol in your car.
  • Seat Belt Requirements. All occupants of a car should wear a seat belt at all times while driving. A child under the age of six years must be in an age-appropriate child restraint system or booster seat and every child between the ages of six and twelve must be restrained by a lap belt, shoulder harness or child safety or booster seat.
  • Headset Restrictions. You cannot wear headphones while driving in Louisiana. This applies to any headset, headphone or listening device which covers or is inserted in both ears other than a hearing aid.

Identifying Fault for a Car Crash

In Louisiana, like most states in the country, the party at fault for causing the accident is liable to pay for the damages caused. So, if you were involved in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you can claim compensation from them for your injury and losses.

If, however, you contributed to the negligence that led to the accident to some degree, you can still claim damages from the other party. This is because Louisiana applies the rule of pure comparative negligence to calculate the compensation you are eligible to receive. As per the rule, your final claim amount will be proportionately reduced according to your contribution in causing the accident.

For example, if you were injured in an accident that you were 80% responsible for causing, you can still claim 20% of the total damages you suffered.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

A car accident lawyer in New Orleans will essentially take over all the legal tasks related to your personal injury claim. They will assist you by:

  • Identifying the Correct Defendant. On the surface, identifying the negligent party might not seem like a daunting task, but it can sometimes get a bit complicated. For example, a slip and fall might not be the fault of the owner but of the maintenance company responsible for drying the floors. It is important to take action against the correct defendant to avoid wasting precious time by fighting against the wrong person.
  • Collecting Evidence and Witness Testimony. Your lawyer will gather all the evidence required to build a strong case against the defendant. They will reach out to the witnesses and collect their testimony on your behalf while it is still possible to locate them and the facts are fresh in their minds.
  • File and Negotiate Claim. Your car accident lawyer in New Orleans will help you file an insurance claim with the right insurer and negotiate with them until you reach a settlement. If you find the settlement offer to be lacking, your lawyer can take your case to trial and represent you in court.

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