In September, The Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), an influential advocacy group raised by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States. This annual report evaluates state liability systems through the economic lenses of corporate America and attempts to persuade state and federal changes through pragmatic research and reporting.
According to the report, the New Orleans or Orleans Parish in Louisiana ranks last among all states for its liability system. Louisiana respondents who include general and corporate council attorneys, corporate business owners, and executives graded judges’ impartiality, jury fairness, as well as the overall treatment of tort litigation worst overall.
ILR is attempting to shed light on the economic cost to the public of “frivolous” litigation and hopes to use survey data to initiate change at every level of government. According to ILR’s website, “frivolous” litigation discourages businesses from operating or expanding in certain states if the climate doesn’t benefit corporate interests.
Among other things, the report also highlights why people should seek professional counsel if an injury is suffered or property damage is incurred in Louisiana.
The lawsuit climate perceived by corporate lawyers and business owners is not the same climate experienced by victims of injustice. And although the report shines negatively on Louisiana, the opinions and survey data collected were only representative of entities that traditionally avoid litigation through whatever means necessary.
Louisiana’s Liability System: It’s Complicated
Despite great effort, there may come a time when a personal injury or accident insurance claim is too complicated to manage on one’s own. Injury cases are time consuming. Depending on the nature of the injury or damages, personal involvement in a case may be too demanding for a victim or simply beyond his or her skill set.
What’s worse, insurance agencies may not take self-representation seriously and could purposely delay actions, refuse to make a fair settlement, or deny a claim altogether.
Injury victims typically don’t have the tools, resources, or expertise to tackle the complicated liability system in Louisiana. This includes a deep understanding of tort law and liability rules, which differ from state-to-state.
Louisiana’s liability system gets even more complicated if a plaintiff is seeking damages from a government entity. Personal injury claims against the government require an entirely different set of skills and expertise.
The financial gravity of a personal injury case may also discourage self-representation in Louisiana. For example, cases involving large amounts in damages encourage extra attention and due diligence from a defense.
Self-representation could be effective when damages are small, but when there’s lots of money on the table, the cost of an attorney is well worth the expense—especially if the case goes to trial.
For injury victims, if there’s anything to glean from ILR’s report it’s this: big business doesn’t like the way our liability system works in Louisiana; this could be because judges and juries tend to side with victims if a case goes to trial or in certain types of cases such as maritime accidents or class action lawsuits.
Hire the Right Personal Injury Firm
When and if a personal injury or accident insurance claim becomes too much to manage, the best thing a victim can do is look for an experienced Louisiana injury attorney who specializes in the area of litigation represented in the case.
The attorneys at Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson L.L.C. are compassionate advocates against civil injustice, with more than 135 years of combined experience in the state of Louisianan.
We hold our sense of civic duty above all else, and we not afraid to take on powerful industries, employers, and businesses if you or someone you care about has been injured.
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