Does Louisiana Have a Cap on Damages?

October 5th, 2020

Accidents are costly. After totaling up your medical bills, the paychecks you missed while recovering, and your vehicle repair or replacement costs after a car crash, you could easily be in the hole for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s not unheard of for victims of catastrophic or permanent injuries to incur millions of dollars in costs when lifetime treatment is required.

So, does that mean you are eligible for millions of dollars in compensation? It depends. Generally, victims in Louisiana can get all the money they’re owed after accidents and injuries, but the state does have some restrictions on the amount of compensation injury victims can get for certain types of injuries.

Damage Caps on Personal Injury Claims

Louisiana doesn’t cap the amount of money an injury victim can receive in compensation for most personal injury cases, including car accidents, slips and falls, and injuries caused by dangerous products or medications.

Are there exceptions? If the at-fault party is a government agency, then the amount of compensation the injured victim can receive is capped at $500,000.

Additionally, a bill passed in July 2020 may limit the amount of money an injured car accident victim can receive in compensation for their medical expenses. If the insurance provider is eligible to pay a discounted price for a medical service, the injured party can only receive compensation for the discounted amount plus up to 40% of the difference between the discounted amount and full price, rather than full price.

For example, if a treatment costs $2,000, but the insurance provider received a discount and only had to pay $1,000, then the injured victim would receive between $1,000-$1,400 in compensation, not $2,000.

Damage Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims

In medical malpractice claims, injury victims can receive no more than $500,000 in total damages. That means the total compensation for economic damages (such as medical bills and lost wages) plus any non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) can’t be more than $500,000 when added together, not when added up separately.

However, the cap does not apply to future medical expenses arising from the same accident, so victims who suffer lifelong injuries may be eligible for additional compensation. Talking to a lawyer about your injury at the hands of a negligent healthcare provider could help determine if your case falls into this category.

Damage Caps on Workers’ Comp Claims

In workers’ compensation claims, injured workers will only be able to receive compensation for their economic damages, such as their medical bills and lost wages. They will not be able to receive any compensation for pain and suffering.

Why Do Damage Caps Exist?

Damage caps exist for two reasons. First, tort reformers have long pushed to reduce the amount of money injured victims can receive after accidents. Their goal is to prevent people who are faking or exaggerating injuries from getting compensation, but by doing so, they are hurting countless people with legitimate injuries from getting the compensation they desperately need.

Secondly, damage caps are passed in an effort to try to reduce operating costs of businesses so they can pass the savings on to consumers. For example, the thinking is if medical providers don’t have to pay as much in malpractice lawsuits, they can afford to lower their prices for treatment. Unfortunately, this often doesn’t work.

We Fight for Max Compensation

When you are injured through no fault of your own, you shouldn’t be left in debt. Our goal is always to get our clients the compensation they need to get their lives back to the way they were before their accidents. That doesn’t mean just most of their bills covered, or all their medical bills but none of their lost wages. Instead, it means fighting to get injured victims everything they lost recovered, so they can move forward with their lives. 

Contact our Louisiana personal injury lawyers today for a free case review and learn what we can do for you and your family.