Each state handles car accident claims according to specific local laws, and if you are in a crash, it is important to understand how to act following the accident so that you do not disadvantage yourself. Aside from the different time limits you have to file personal injury and accident claims, another law that varies widely among states relates to comparative fault.
Comparative fault or negligence refers to the part each party plays in causing a crash. Many people tend to think about an accident as an all-or-nothing, guilty and innocent issue. However, it is not unusual for more than one party to act negligently and contribute to a collision. When this occurs, the jury will determine the percentage of fault that lies with each party. This decision can significantly affect the compensation in a claim.
Attorneys May Play a Crucial Role in Building Louisiana Car Accident Claims
If you sustained injuries in a crash and intend on filing a claim against the negligent driver, it is important to understand how the courts will view the accident in line with the state’s comparative fault laws. At the Morris Bart law firm, we can help you understand the various elements of local Louisiana law, and we will walk you through the entire legal process.
We are personal injury lawyers who can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your accident and determine if you have a valid claim against another individual or organization. With the right approach, we may be able to recover expenses related to medical care or lost wages.
To schedule an appointment with a Louisiana personal injury lawyer, call us today. We have a team of attorneys and support staff who can assist you throughout the process and help get your life back on track. Read on for more information regarding comparative fault in Louisiana.
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Comparative Fault in Louisiana
La. Civ. Code Art. 2323 outlines the key comparative fault laws that you should keep in mind in the event of a serious crash. According to this statute, comparative fault explains how the court will consider an accident when more than one person is at fault for causing it.
In the state of Louisiana, you are free to take measures to recover damages from any individual who is at fault for the accident regardless of how big a role you might have played in the crash. This means you can file a claim and demand compensation even if you were 90 percent at fault in the crash. This differs from many states, which do not allow you to sue if you were 50 percent or more responsible.
However, there are other factors to consider. If you contributed to the collision in some way, a Louisiana court will take this into account and reduce the amount that you can recover from the other individual by the percentage of your own fault. For example, if you were 20 percent at fault, you can only recover up to 80 percent of the value of your damages.
Comparative Fault and Insurance Claims
These comparative fault laws only apply in the event of a formal civil lawsuit, but an insurance company will still consider the degree of each individual’s fault should the case not go to court. Because there is no specific way to allocate fault, it is likely that the decision will come down to your ability to negotiate with the company in question.
If you are working with a law firm, they will present strong support showing the other driver caused the accident. They will work to counter what the other driver said about you and limit the effects this could have on your claim. They will handle the negotiations on your behalf and fight for an appropriate settlement.
Under these circumstances, a personal injury attorney may be of benefit because they understand what kind of compensation you may be eligible for should the case go to court. Your attorney will work to mitigate the effects of any allegations against you. If effective, this could increase the percentage of financial recovery you can receive or eliminate the accusations of shared fault altogether.
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Working With an Attorney May Help Protect Your Right to Fair Compensation
In a car accident where there may be allegations of shared fault, it is important to protect your case from the beginning. Not only should you speak with a New Orleans personal injury attorney as soon as possible about your crash, but it is imperative that you allow them to handle all communication with the insurance companies. They know the tactics insurers use to reduce a payout, including alleging shared fault.
When your attorney develops a strong case to show fault and liability fall on the other driver, it makes it much more difficult to prove that you played any meaningful role in causing the crash or your injuries. This protects your right to pursue compensation for 100 percent of your damages through a claim or lawsuit.
If your lawyer can effectively counter or minimize the allegations that you caused or contributed to the collision, they may be able to file a claim or lawsuit and recover compensation for the estimated value of your:
- Medical bills
- Future care costs
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Other non-economic losses
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Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC for Free Today
If you sustained car accident injuries and are considering claiming damages, call the Morris Bart law office today. We may be able to help you file a claim for medical expenses and lost wages, as well as other damages. We provide complimentary case reviews for crash victims in Louisiana from our multiple locations throughout the state.
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