Personal Injury in Louisiana When you have been injured by someone else's carelessness, it is important to take some initial steps toward making sure your injury claim can be settled fairly and as quickly as possible: • Write down everything you can remember about how the injury occurred, including the names, addresses and phone numbers of potential witnesses, police officers, insurance company representatives (or company or workers' compensation representatives if it was a work injury) • Talk to a Louisiana personal injury lawyer before making any statements, written or verbal, to insurance company adjusters or representatives • Let anyone you think may be responsible for the injury know right away that you are intending to file a claim against them • Take steps to protect any evidence you may need to prove your injury, such as your totaled car, photographs of an accident or injury scene, clothing you were wearing, damaged personal belongings, and so forth !"#$%"$&$'()*+,$-*.$/0"$&1$2.$'3*4.5$ In most cases, in order to collect on an injury claim in Louisiana, you must prove the person who caused the injury was "negligent" - which is a failure to use reasonable care. In Louisiana, you must prove: • The existence of a duty owed to you by the person who caused your injury • The other person failed to carry out that duty • You suffered damages • The other person's failure caused you to have the injury If you were careless, and your carelessness contributed to your injury, the amount you can recover will be reduced in proportion to your carelessness, under Louisiana's "pure" comparative negligence law. In "pure" comparative negligence, the award of damages to you will be reduced in direct proportion to your percentage of fault, no matter what the ratio. This law allows a damaged person to recover even if the person is 99% at fault, though the recovery is reduced by the damaged person's degree of fault. In Louisiana, if more than one person is negligent toward you, each person who has been found negligent to you is responsible for a proportional amount of the total damages. If you have been injured using a consumer product, the seller of the product may be responsible under a "strict liability" legal theory. Under Louisiana law, you would need to prove that: • The product was defective, which made it unreasonably dangerous • You used the product the way it was supposed to be used • The defect caused your injury • You suffered damages /03.$&1$67$843(9$/"+.05$ Under Louisiana law, the person who injured you is responsible for: • Past, current and future estimated medical expenses • Time lost from work, including time spent going to medical appointments or therapy • Any property that was damaged, such as your vehicle • The cost of hiring someone to do household chores when you could not do them • Any permanent disfigurement or disability • Your emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and any interference with your family relationships • A change in your future earning ability due to the injury • Any other costs that were a direct result of your injury A lawyer will know what type of expert witness to hire to best prove your damages. !"#$:";)$%"$&$!3<,$="$'(4,$2$:,)34$843(95$ In Louisiana, you only have one year to file a lawsuit against the person who injured you. If your lawyer has not been able to come to an agreement with any involved insurance companies, you will definitely want to file a lawsuit before the one-year statute of limitations runs out.
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