Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorney
All of us owe legal duties to use reasonable care for the safety of others. We must drive our cars with care and attention and avoid drinking and driving, distracted driving, speeding, or other reckless or careless behaviors. Property owners must keep their premises well-maintained and promptly clean up any spills, fix broken steps, or warn the public about existing hazards they should avoid. Dog owners should take care that their animal does not bite or attack another person by keeping their dogs on a leash, fencing their yard, or taking other appropriate steps. Duties such as these exist in just about every area of life, from the road to the workplace to the retail store and all public spaces.
When a person gets injured because of the negligence of another in a car or truck accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or other accident, the negligent party owes “damages” to the injured party in the form of financial compensation. Recovering those damages often requires the assistance of a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer. The insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying a claim or to pay as little as they can get away with. A plaintiff’s personal injury attorney will hold negligent parties and their insurers accountable for the full measure of damages they owe.
Ward Law in Baton Rouge stands on the side of the injured victims and helps them recover a full and fair amount of compensation, even when the facts are complicated or they have suffered the most severe and catastrophic injuries. Call our office for a free consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident or other personal injury accident in Baton Rouge or surrounding communities.
What You Need to Know About Louisiana Personal Injury Law
An injury victim can recover money damages from the negligent party responsible for causing the accident, either by negotiating a settlement or taking the liable party to court. Damages can include doctor and hospital bills as well as the costs of future medical treatment. Victims can recover compensation for lost wages if they missed work due to their injuries, including if they are disabled and can no longer work. Louisiana law also allows victims to be compensated for harm such as their pain and suffering and emotional distress and the loss of enjoyment in life a severe injury may have caused.
Insurance companies don’t want to pay all these damages, and they’ll try several ways to avoid paying what they should. One way is by claiming that the injury victim is wholly or partly to blame for causing the accident, such as by not paying attention to their driving or where they were walking. In Louisiana, it’s possible to assign a portion of fault to each party. When this happens, the injured victim can only recover from the other party for their portion of negligence. For example, if a plaintiff suffers $50,000 in damages but is 50% at fault, that person can only recover 50% or $25,000 from the other party. Don’t let the insurance company convince you don’t have a case or the right to recover. At Ward Law, we’ll work to establish the full extent of the other party’s liability and defend you against unfounded allegations of your own negligence.
Another common tactic of the insurers is to downplay your injuries. They’ll say you weren’t as seriously injured as you claim or that your injury comes from another cause. We take the time to document your injuries and build a strong case for your damages. Insurers might also try to settle with you quickly before you know what your damages are or before you get a lawyer. Be wary of the insurance company’s first offer, especially if you haven’t got a lawyer yet. That offer is likely far below what your claim is truly worth. At Ward Law, we won’t try to settle your case until all the facts of your injury and damages are known. In Louisiana, you have up to one year from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. We can often settle a case much quicker than that, but it’s important not to rush your settlement. We don’t operate our law practice on volume and won’t settle your case until you are ready. If you are worried about paying your medical bills or other expenses before your case is settled, we can talk to you about your options.
One unique factor about Louisiana personal injury law is that you cannot get a jury trial unless the damages in your case exceed $50,000. This is where our criminal jury trial experience works for you. Most Louisiana personal injury attorneys won’t have a lot of jury trial experience because of this high threshold. Most cases settle without a trial, but if your case needs to go to court, Ward Law has the experience and skills in the courtroom you need. Our trial experience and reputation help us settle cases out of court for a high amount and go to court when we need to.
Wrongful Death and Survival Actions
When a person dies due to the fault of another, Louisiana law allows certain surviving family members to sue the responsible party for the wrongful death of their loved one. If the case goes to court, the plaintiff will have to prove that the other party caused the death through their negligence and breach of duty and that the plaintiff (the surviving family members) suffered damages because of it. Damages could include economic costs such as funeral and burial costs or final medical expenses they had to pay, as well as the loss of income or household services the deceased would have provided. Other possible damages could include compensation for harm such as the loss of companionship and support or the emotional pain and suffering that can accompany such a tragic loss.
The family members who can bring a wrongful death claim are spelled out in the law in the following order:
- A wrongful death action can be filed by the surviving spouse and/or any surviving children.
- If there is not any surviving spouse or child, then the parents of the deceased can pursue a claim.
- If the deceased did not leave any surviving spouse, child, or parent, then any surviving brothers or sisters of the deceased can bring a wrongful death action.
- In the case where there isn’t a surviving spouse, child, parent, or sibling, any surviving grandparent can file a wrongful lawsuit.
Louisiana also recognizes a similar claim known as a survival action. If a person who was injured due to negligence died before they had a chance to recover damages in a personal injury claim, the right to pursue that claim falls to the surviving family members in the same order as in a wrongful death claim.
Call Ward Law for Help With a Personal Injury Negligence Claim in Baton Rouge
If you have been injured in a Baton Rouge car or truck accident, slip and fall, or other injury caused by the negligence of another, or if another’s negligence has resulted in the death of a loved one, call Ward Law for a free consultation about your claim. We don’t charge any fee until after we have recovered compensation on your behalf.