New Louisiana bill looks to curb victim's rights

It’s become popular to wax poetic about the evils of frivolous litigation or crack jokes about trial lawyers and, like most jokes, there is some seed of truth there. But, for all the humor, the civil courts are set up for a noble purpose: to allow normal citizens access to real justice and compensation when they’ve been legitimately wronged. Within those walls, the wealth, power and status of a company or an individual are supposed to have no influence.

Say, for example, you’re involved in a car accident and have been destroyed by medical expenses and have lost wages from being unable to work. Say the cause of the accident was a drunk driver. The criminal courts might give him or her a fine or even time in prison, but that doesn’t help you recover what you lost tin the wreck, both monetarily and emotionally. If the wrongdoer is rich or of high standing, some believe he or she may be able to get charges reduced or even thrown out.

In civil court, though, those societal constructs hold no sway and theoretically both plaintiff and defendant meet one another on equal ground. That’s why it’s particularly sad to see a new Louisiana bill being pushed in the House that would change this. Bill 118 would stop plaintiffs without insurance in these cases from receiving the first $25,000 of damage to property and the first $15,000 in bodily damages that they win in a lawsuit.

With assaults like these on victim’s rights, the need for a lawyer is stronger than ever before. If you’ve been a victim of another driver’s negligence, make sure your voice is heard by speaking with a Louisiana attorney.

Source: theneworleansadvocate.com, “Legislature cracks down on lawsuits,” Mark Ballard, May 26, 2014

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