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According to the Federal Judicial Caseload Statistics, the number of personal injury lawsuits increased by 97% in 2020. More people are seeking redress through the courts for damages and compensation.

The court process is complex in New Orleans. Procedural rules, evidence rules, the standard and burden of proof, and technicalities weigh heavily on the court’s verdict. Knowledge of each aspect of private law, the judge’s politics, mitigating factors, and legal jargon are must-haves if you desire a favorable ruling.

With so much at stake, you need an experienced New Orleans personal injury lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.

A Personal Injury Lawsuit Requires Time, Knowledge, and Skill

Contrary to popular belief, self-representation comes with a lot of risks. To adequately represent yourself in a personal injury suit, you need a great deal of knowledge and skill. It may also take up a significant amount of your time to properly prepare and understand the legal process.

You should also know that personal injury suits involve multiple parties. The plaintiff’s lawyer must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused their injury. A negligence claim requires a thorough investigation into the facts of the case and knowledge of the law.

The tricky part is navigating the legal process, guided by the Louisiana Civil Code and Civil Code procedure. One must understand how to file a complaint, gather evidence, and the legal implications of filing deadlines. In New Orleans, you have up to a year from the time of injury to file a claim. Any lawsuit filed outside of this window will be dismissed for failing to meet Louisiana’s filing deadline.

When self-representing, you may make mistakes or overlook substantial evidence or legal arguments, leading to unfavorable outcomes. Also, one must understand that there’s always the potential for a countersuit. If one party believes the other acted recklessly and without due care, they may file a countersuit.

You May Be Partially at Fault for the Accident

In Louisiana, the doctrine of contributory negligence can either reduce or eliminate the financial damages a court awards (CC 2323) Contributory negligence is the concept that, if a person’s negligent actions contributed to their own injury, the damages awarded would be reduced in proportion to that negligence.

Louisiana is a pure comparative negligence state. The court will reduce or eliminate the damages owed in proportion to the injured person’s negligence. If an injured person was 20% at fault for their injury, the court may reduce their damages by 20%.

With the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, New Orleans accident victims can face a contributory negligence claim. Experienced lawyers can provide the legal knowledge and expertise needed to properly defend your case and ensure you receive a fair reward for damages.

Types of Damages You Might Not Know to Ask for in Your Claim

The three major types of damages you can recover in a personal injury claim are:

Economic Damages

These are the financial losses an injured person incurs due to their injury. Courts award these damages to compensate injured persons for their lost wages, medical expenses, and any other costs associated with the injury. 

Economic damages can also include lost earnings capacity, future medical expenses, travel expenses, or lost property. However, the claimant must establish a causative chain that links their loss and costs to the injury resulting from the defendant’s negligence. Claimants can prove these losses using work pay stubs and hospital bills.

Non-Economic Damages

Courts award these damages to compensate the claimant for non-quantifiable losses. Such damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and other intangible losses. One may also collect damages for loss of enjoyment of life and loss of companionship.

However, it’s not easy to calculate non-economic damages. They are only meant to provide compensation for the psychological and emotional effects of the injury.

Damages for wrongful death

These damages compensate the surviving family members of a person who died due to the defendant’s negligence. Wrongful death damages mitigate the family’s financial losses associated with the death, such as lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses, and other costs related to the death. In some instances, the family may also receive non-economic damages, such as pain, suffering, and loss of companionship.

Working With Insurance Companies Can Be Difficult

Insurance companies evaluate your claim and determine the extent of damages. They can be challenging to work with as they’ll try to deny or reduce the claim amount. Agencies also dispute the facts of the case or argue that the victim is partially at fault for the accident. They’ll never be on the injured person’s side.

As an accident victim, working with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can help you negotiate with the insurance company for fair compensation is essential.

Benefits of Hiring a New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer

Deciding to hire a personal injury attorney to handle your claim is an important step in your case. Experienced personal injury lawyers in New Orleans have a thorough understanding of the law and the legal process and excellent negotiation skills. They will also help you understand your rights and ensure you get fair compensation.

Don’t go through this process alone. Contact a local New Orleans personal injury lawyer today for a free consultation!

Reviewed the New Orleans Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers office.

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