Best Personal Injury Lawyers In New Orleans, LA Of 2024 – Forbes

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If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana, you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer in New Orleans who can guide you through the complex legal system and explain the laws applicable to your case. To understand the basic laws that you will need to comply with to get a favorable outcome, please refer to our guide below.

Louisiana Statute of Limitations

Every state prescribes a time limit by which you must file a lawsuit against the wrongdoers in civil court if you want to obtain damages. These deadlines are referred to as statute of limitations and they differ based on the type of case you are filing. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Louisiana is one year.

This means you only have one year from the date of the accident to take action against the defendant. If you file the lawsuit after the deadline has passed, the defendants will likely request the court to dismiss the case. The court will accept the request unless you qualify for an exception.

The most common exceptions to the statute of limitations are:

  • Minority or Legal Incompetence. If the injured is minor or legally incompetent at the time of the accident, they can file a lawsuit within one year after their eighteenth birthday or they attain legal competence.
  • Medical Malpractice. The statute of limitations does not apply in cases against healthcare providers where the injury was not discovered immediately. You have one year from the date of discovery to file the lawsuit. But in any case, you must take action against the defendants within three years from the date of injury.

Louisiana Personal Injury Laws

If you were hurt by someone’s negligence in Louisiana, you can recover compensation for all your losses in most cases. But the state does put caps on certain claims.

  • Claims Against Government. If the state or a state agency is a defendant in your claim, you cannot recover damages exceeding $500,000 for the injury or death of one person. This limit, however, does not include economic losses, like property damages, medical care and loss of earnings.
  • Medical Malpractice Claims. Prior to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must submit your complaint to a state medical review panel. You can only approach the court after the panel has given its report after considering the evidence submitted by both parties. This report is admissible in the court in any action taken after the panel has finished its proceedings.

You cannot recover more than $500,000 (plus interest and legal costs) in a medical malpractice claim. This amount excludes any future medical care you may need.

Identifying Fault in Personal Injury Cases

The at-fault party is responsible for compensating the damages in personal injury cases in Louisiana. You, as the plaintiff, need to prove negligence to claim your compensation. At a glance, it might seem like a simple task, but the defendants can reduce your compensation significantly if you make any mistake.

This is because Louisiana laws apply the rule of pure comparative negligence to determine compensation. It provides that if the plaintiff contributed to the negligence that caused the injury, their claim amount will be reduced proportionately as per their contribution to the negligence. So, the negligent party will try their best to prove that you were partly, if not majorly, responsible for causing the negligence.

The greater your negligence, the lesser compensation you are eligible to receive. For instance, if you were 30% responsible for causing an accident, you can only recover 70% of the damages. Similarly, if you were 80% responsible for causing your injury, you can only claim 20% of the total damages.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

Since personal injury claims can get complicated, it will be in your best interest to have a personal injury lawyer in New Orleans by your side to guide you through the legal procedures. They will help you keep track of the deadlines, send the necessary notices and approach the correct companies and agencies.

If you or your loved ones were hurt in a personal injury case, it might not be your priority to identify the witnesses and gather evidence. Your lawyer can take that responsibility and gather the evidence, hire experts and collect witness testimony while the accident is still fresh in the minds of the people present at the spot.

Your lawyer will identify the defendants and help you file insurance claims with insurance companies. They can guide you in determining whether the settlement offered is appropriate and negotiate with the insurers until you find it acceptable.

If you and the insurance company cannot reach a settlement, your personal injury lawyer in New Orleans will take the case to trial and fight for you in court.

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