If you or a loved one has been in an accident, you may be considering filing a personal injury claim against a negligent party.
You will probably have plenty of questions if you’ve never filed an injury claim before ranging from how to start a personal injury claim to how much compensation you may be owned.
There are a variety of factors to consider when evaluating how much an injury case is worth. That’s why it’s challenging to provide a single answer that covers every unique claim.
That said, the value of an injury case is typically linked to three key factors: liability, damages, and insurance coverage.
Liability refers to who is responsible or at-fault for causing an accident. Louisiana operates on a “fault” system, which means the party responsible for causing the accident or injury is responsible for compensating the victim.
Specifically, Louisiana uses what’s known as comparative fault. This means your compensation could be reduced by the amount of fault you have for the accident.
For example, if you’re injured in a car accident, but it’s found that you’re 10 percent at-fault for the accident, your compensation would be reduced by 10 percent.
What Are The Damages?
Damages from an accident are generally categorized as economic or non-economic.
Economic damages may include the repair or replacement of damaged property, past and future medical expenses, lost income, and other related out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate. They include damages for things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other intangible damages.
Depending on the claim, other types of damages might include:
- Punitive damages—damages intended to punish the defendant; punitive damages may be limited by state law.
- Nominal damages—awarded by the court when a plaintiff is legally wronged but no true financial loss was incurred by the wrongdoing.
Limits on Damages in Louisiana
For some claims, compensation limits, or caps, restrict the total amount a victim is eligible to receive.
In Louisiana, there is no limit to compensation for most car accident claims, but limits exist for cases involving medical malpractice. Medical malpractice cases, for example, have a $500,000 limit.
Depending on the particulars of a claim, limits to compensation may apply.
Trying to calculate what your compensation could be on your own is tricky. While the amount you lose from missed work and money spent on medical bills is easily tallied, the non-economic damages are not. That’s why you may need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer from Cox, Cox Filo, Camel & Wilson.
One of the more complicated aspects of an injury claim involves dealing with the insurance company. Insurance companies typically undervalue damages, especially for common car accident claims.
For example, after a car accident, the insurance company will try to settle your claim as quickly as possible to minimize its payout for medical care, auto repairs, and lost wages. What’s worse, insurance adjusters use delaying tactics to pressure victims into accepting the first settlement offer.
The money available to victims can be limited by the amount of insurance the at-fault party maintains. If, for example, you’re injured by a negligent driver who does not have car insurance, you will need to seek insurance coverage from other sources to cover your expenses—this is best left to an experienced attorney.
Before accepting a settlement from the insurance company, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Accepting the first offer could result in you coming up short as the bills pile up.
If you’ve been injured in Louisiana, an attorney can help you recover and acquire an equitable settlement, even if you’re partially at fault.
A skilled accident attorney will possess the foresight required to ensure an equitable outcome for their client. This includes carefully assessing injuries, work capabilities, and future medical needs.
Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson can help you navigate the murky waters of your personal injury case, so you and your loved ones can focus on what really matters: recovery.
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