The term “personal injury” is a legal term that is often used when an individual is injured or affected by an accident of some sort and is looking to hold the party whom they believed caused the accident accountable. Many accident victims often file what is called a personal injury lawsuit against this person or entity that is liable in an effort to collect compensation to cover the pain, suffering, or change of lifestyle the accident has caused them to experience.
Now, there are many guidelines a personal injury accident victim must be aware of, and even some laws that can help you understand if the incident you were involved in actually qualifies you to file this type of lawsuit.
Therefore, if you recently engaged in a wreck in Alexandria or Shreveport, LA and believe you might have a potential personal injury case on your hands, below we are discussing a few of these guidelines and laws we think you should be aware of. Not only will this information help you understand the term “personal injury” more in depth, but it can also help you better identify if you have a legitimate case on your hands.
- When can I file a personal injury lawsuit?
While you are permitted to bring a personal injury lawsuit against anyone, including an entire company or even the government, you must be able to prove that the party whom you are claiming was responsible for the accident was negligent in some way. Someone who is negligent may not have been paying attention while operating their vehicle or failed to maintain their property that became hazardous and led to you sustaining an injury. While negligence is the common basis most people use to file a lawsuit, there are two other circumstances that permit you to file suit. These include:
Strict Liability. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), you can file a lawsuit against a manufacturer or even designer if you were injured by a product they made that was defective. Although a manufacturer or designer may not have displayed any act of negligence which led to the creation of the defective product, if you can prove the product was “manufactured in a manner that made it unreasonably dangerous when used as intended,” you then have a valid reason for taking legal action.
Intentional Wrongs. Another way you can file a personal injury lawsuit without having to prove negligence caused the incident is if someone does something to you in a joking manner but ends up actually hurting you. One example the American Bar Association gave is if someone was “joking around” with you and they wound up hitting you, you could sue for battery. Another example is if store security personnel wrongfully detained you for shoplifting, you could sue for “false imprisonment.”
- What am I entitled to collect compensation for?
Once you have determined that you have a solid basis for filing a personal injury lawsuit, then you have to determine what you are seeking compensation for. Is it for the injury you sustained? For the way the injury has impacted your quality of life? Or, perhaps it is for how the accident has affected your ability to work. Once you have decided what you are seeking compensation for, then it is best to discuss how much these “damages” are actually worth with an LA personal injury lawyer. “Damages” is the legal term lawyers use when referencing the things you are looking to obtain compensation for. For instance, you can demand you receive compensation for the following damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of consortium
Now that you are aware of what guidelines must be met in order to file a personal injury lawsuit and what some of the damages are that you can demand compensation for, now we move on to the statute of limitations. In the state of Louisiana, there is a strict time limit as to when you can file suit, which is also known as the statute of limitations. And if you miss this deadline, the ABA says your case will likely “be thrown out of court.”
- What is the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state of Louisiana?
According to the Louisiana Civil Code, a personal injury victim has one year from the date of their accident or from the date they became aware of their injury to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. However, if your lawsuit is filed against a government entity, you may be subjected to a much shorter timeframe to file so it best you meet with one of our personal injury attorneys immediately to discuss your matter in depth.
Understanding the laws and guidelines that pertain to filing a personal injury lawsuit can be a lot to comprehend which is why it is always in your best interest to consult with a Shreveport, LA personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of Ross Downs. Not only will our firm take the time to help you understand more in depth what it takes to file suit, but we will be there to represent you throughout the duration of your case if you choose to proceed on and take legal action.
Therefore, if you would like to speak with an attorney or schedule a consultation, visit or call The Downs Law Firm at:
517 North Washington Street
Bastrop, LA 71220
4214 Hwy 165 N.
Monroe, LA 71203