Frequently Asked Questions
When you have been forced to endure the consequences of an unwarranted
injury, you may not know what to do next. You may be wondering whether
or not you have a valid claim to make, whether or not you need to enlist
the help of an attorney, or whether or not you even want to take legal
action. For this reason, we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently
asked questions regarding
personal injury law. If you are looking for answers to more specific questions about your
case, however, do not hesitate to contact a Shreveport personal injury
lawyer from our firm.
Do I have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit?
Many victims are unsure of whether or not they have grounds to file a personal
injury case, as liability is not always so easily determined. In order
to pursue a valid claim, however, one must be able to show that the
negligent and/or reckless actions of another have caused them to suffer harm. This
can include any instance in which a medical professional has failed to
implement an appropriate level of care to their patient, or even the event
that a distracted driver has failed to adhere to the rules of the road,
and subsequently caused a collision. In order to accurately determine
the validity of your case, however, you should review the circumstances
of your injury with a legal professional.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
Each state in the U.S. has implemented a statute of limitations in regard
to filing a personal injury lawsuit. This means that an injured victim
only has a certain amount of time to pursue legal action in the hopes
of recovering compensation. In the state of Louisiana, the statute of
limitations only allows an individual one year from the date that they
were injured to initiate the legal process. This is applicable for all
personal injury claims, including any instance of
medical malpractice, product liability, and/or a
wrongful death. In the event that an injury was not discovered immediately, however,
one is allowed no more than three years to file a claim.
What if I am partially responsible for my own injuries?
In Louisiana, the legal system follows the rule of "pure comparative
negligence." This differs from modified comparative negligence—which
many states now follow—as an injured victim may be able to recover
a certain percentage of damages regardless of their own contributing fault.
This means that a jury will place a percentage of fault on both the plaintiff
and the defendant, and the amount of compensation will be decided accordingly.
For example, if a person was illegally crossing the street at the time
that they were struck by a reckless driver, even if a jury finds the victim
90% responsible for causing their own injuries, they will still be able
to recover 5% of the original amount of compensation.
How much is my case worth?
The value of a personal injury case is dependent on a wide range of contributing
factors, including the nature and severity of the
injury that a victim has sustained, as well as the extent of the subsequent pain
and suffering that they have been forced to endure. Other variables like
incurred medical expenses and lost earnings will also be taken into account,
but each case is often very different. Many times an insurance company
will prompt a victim to settle for a lesser amount of compensation in
order to avoid going to trial, but if one is willing to stick it out through
the necessary legal process, they may be able to recover much more than
Will I need to hire a lawyer?
Although an individual is not required to retain the services of legal
representation before filing a lawsuit, it is highly advised. Without
a comprehensive understanding of personal injury law, including the statute
of limitations that exist in the state, one may find themselves faced
with a complex case that they cannot handle on their own. By contacting
a Shreveport personal injury attorney early on in the process, however,
an accident victim may be able to better understand their chances of being
able to obtain a successful resolution to their case, as well as take
the proper steps to secure a favorable outcome. For more information about
how a lawyer from Morris, Dewett & Savoie, LLC can help, schedule
a consultation with our firm today.