Personal Injury: Five Things To Know
Posted on Jul 2, 2018 in Personal Injury
Louisiana law protects individuals who have been victimized by negligence or wrongdoing. Personal injury cases seek retribution and compensation for these victims. Injuries—which can range from physical to phycological or fiscal—may come at the hands of individual persons, companies and organizations, or government entities.
If you have been the victim of negligence or wrongdoing you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If you are considering pursuing a personal injury case, we’ve compiled a helpful guide for getting started and some need-to-know information.
Here are five things to know about personal injury cases:
1. There are two types of damages
Entering into a personal injury case means you are seeking compensation for the damages (or injuries) you’ve accrued as a result of negligence or wrongdoing. These damages are broken down into two different categories: Special damages and general damages.
Special damages are those losses and expenses that are quantifiable, or can easily be assigned a monetary value. Special damages include damage or loss of property, medical bills, and loss of wages if one is forced to miss work.
General damages, on the other hand, can be more difficult to put a value to, since they refer to those incurred damages that do not have a price mark or receipt. General damages include emotional or mental trauma, physical disfigurement, and loss of quality of life, among others. General damages are also commonly referred to as pain and suffering. It can be much more difficult to put a dollar sign to these types of damages, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can fight to ensure you get the payout you deserve for your injuries.
2. What does “negligence and wrongdoing” mean?
In order to win compensation for a personal injury case, you must prove to a court of law that your injuries were the result of “negligence or wrongdoing” on the part of the defendant (the individual or group you are seeking compensation from).
But what exactly does “negligence and wrongdoing” mean?
According to the law, there is a basic standard for how people should treat one another. Negligence or wrongdoing occurs when an individual, organization, or government entity can be shown to have failed to behave in a legal or humane capacity toward the plaintiff (the person or persons bringing the case against the defendant).
To receive compensation, the plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that negligence or wrongdoing occurred, and provide evidence that they sustained injuries or damages as a result of that negligence.
Negligence and wrongdoing will take many different forms depending on the specifics of the case. It’s important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, to gather evidence for you and build your case.
3. Don’t wait too long to file a personal injury case
When seeking legal or financial retribution for damages levied against you, it is important to act quickly. Following your injury, there is a finite window of time to file a personal injury case in a court of law. This is known as prescription in Louisiana (in other states it’s called statute of limitations). In Louisiana, the prescription is one year from your injury, in most cases.
4. Louisiana is a “fault” state
Louisiana law permits individuals injured in auto accidents to either a) file a claim with an insurance agency, or b) file a lawsuit in court. All drivers in Louisiana are required to carry auto insurance, so if the defendant is shown to be at fault, their insurance company will be responsible for the damages.
In some cases, the insurance payout may not cover all of the plaintiff’s damages, and the plaintiff may choose to file a lawsuit to cover the remainder.
5. Most personal injury cases settle before going to court
The majority of personal injury cases settle before they get to court. According to Annuity.org, less than five percent of personal injury cases actually make it to trial.
Court proceedings can take up a lot of time and money. In settlement, attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant negotiate an agreed-upon payout that they think fairly represents the damages the plaintiff has accrued. Settlement may be reached at any point during the legal proceedings process.
Hire an experienced personal injury attorney
If you have been the victim of a personal injury and want to seek compensation, the experienced attorneys at Bloom Legal can help. We will fight for you every step of the way, from gathering evidence to building your case.
Call today to schedule a consultation with an experienced and compassionate attorney at Bloom Legal, and learn more about the personalized representation we provide.