Louisiana Personal Injury Law FAQs
This article deals with interesting and relevant questions often asked by prospective clients who are dealing with personal injuries resulting from another's negligence. The author's intention is to offer valuable insight to people who may have questions regarding their legal rights.
There is no underestimating the traumatic effect and devastating impact that suffering a personal injury can have on your life. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding Louisiana personal injury claims which may provide insight as to your prospective legal rights regarding your personal injury. It is important, however, that you recognize that the information provided below is NOT legal advice and, as such, you should contact an attorney/lawyer to verify its accuracy and applicability to your personal injury case.
1. How long do I have to file a personal injury claim in Louisiana??
Well, that's a difficult question, and one which is heavily litigated and scrutinized by attorneys throughout Louisiana. The short answer: it depends on the type of personal injury claim. In most auto accident personal injury cases, for example, you have one year from the date of the accident to bring a claim. This however is not a hard and fast rule and there may be exceptions depending on your particular injuries. If, for instance, your personal injury case arises out of medical malpractice, you likely have one year from the date on which you discovered, or should have discovered that your personal injury may have been caused as a result of malpractice. As you can see with these two examples, the best course of action is to contact an attorney about your potential personal injury claim as soon as possible; and at the latest, within one year from the date of your injury.
2. Car Accidents: What if I am involved in an auto accident in Louisiana and don't have any auto insurance? Can I still recover for my injuries?
Louisiana has a no pay/no play policy with regard to auto insurance coverage. That means that in order to recover for your damages related to an auto accident you must have the statutorily authorized minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. But it may still be possible for you to recover for your injuries even if you don't have the minimum amount of coverage. If your personal injury resulting from the auto accident requires medical treatment in excess of $10,000, you may be able to recover for your damages without having auto insurance. That is, Louisiana's no pay/no play law only precludes recovery of the first $10,000 worth of damages for those who do not have their own auto insurance.
3. Is it important to have uninsured motorist in Louisiana?
Absolutely! I cannot overemphasize the importance of having uninsured motorist coverage. There have been too many personal injury cases involving auto or car accidents where the negligent driver had no auto insurance. In such a case, the only recourse for the injured person is to sue the driver personally. But, as you might imagine, recovering monetary compensation in such an instance can often prove unsuccessful. With uninsured motorist coverage under your auto policy, your insurance company essentially will stand in the shoes of the negligent driver and pay you for your damages relating to your auto accident.
4. In Louisiana, if I fall on someone's property and injure myself are they responsible for my damages?
Louisiana law, generally speaking, provides a remedy for an injured party who sustains his/her personal injury because of an unreasonably dangerous condition existing on someone else's property. Premise liability is simply another form of negligence law. And as such, liability usually turns on whether the premise owner knew or should have known of the unreasonably dangerous condition which caused your personal injury. But like most cases, this area of the law is not clear cut, and the facts surrounding your particular personal injury case will dictate whether the premise owner is liable for your damages.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Richard Voorhies, Attorney at Law
Richard Voorhies is a Louisiana attorney whose primary area of practice is personal injury.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.