Basics of car accident damages in Louisiana

If you sustained injuries in a car crash, obtaining proper compensation can help you stay above water as you face increased expenses and lessened earning power.

The first thing you should know is that you can recover damages even if you were also at fault. Louisiana takes a pure comparative fault approach. This means even if you bear 90 percent of the responsibility for the accident, you can still recover 10 percent of your damages. Determination of fault can be a complicated issue, so you should avoid assuming or admitting you were at fault.

Getting the right information

Some basics about how Louisiana damages awards generally work can offer you a helpful starting point. Discussing your case with a knowledgeable lawyer can give you more specific information as to what you can expect. While the other driver's insurance company may offer a settlement, you cannot rely on it for a fair assessment: The representative's goal is to save the company money, not to make sure you have what you need.

Two kinds of damages

In most cases, car accident victims can get two types of damages: economic and noneconomic. Amounts for both types are calculated based on the harm you have suffered, including reliable expert predictions of future harm you will continue to suffer due to the accident.

Monetary losses

Economic damages are those entailing financial loss. These can include expenses such as payment for medical treatments, in-home assistance and other types of care. They can also cover financial losses that stem from reduced earning capacity. Injuries can cause a person to miss days from work, to reduce hours or pass up promotions. Some people remain completely unable to work.

Other types of harm

Noneconomic damages describe the nonmonetary harm an accident can cause. Injuries often cause a great deal physical pain and discomfort, including those stemming from necessary yet arduous treatments. The aftermath of injuries and potentially long-term, complicated treatment can affect relationships with family and friends.

Punitive damages in drunk driving cases

If a drunk driver caused the accident, you may also be able to recover punitive damages. In such a case, you will need to show the intoxication - and not another factor - actually caused the accident.

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