Negligence simply means failing to take proper care. Louisiana negligence laws are there to protect you, your family, and your property from the carelessness of others. These laws hold the responsible party accountable when they fail to take proper care – like texting while driving, running a red light, speeding through a stop sign, etc. In this day and age, medical and repair bills get very expensive very quickly. Louisiana law sets a system in place that allows you to get the compensation you deserve from the offending party.
The Elements of Louisiana Negligence Laws
In Louisiana negligence laws, negligence is defined as the failure of one person or entity to exercise appropriate care. If someone’s indifference has harmed you, then you may have grounds for a Louisiana personal injury lawsuit. Louisiana’s negligence law comes from the Louisiana Civil Code article 2315.
Negligence includes the concept of duty. Duty is the care that someone or something is obliged to show to others. For instance, a driver has a duty to maintain a safe speed in light of circumstances to other drivers on the road.
If a breach of duty (or failure to fulfill a duty) happens, and the breach results in you getting hurt, Louisiana negligence laws were likely violated.
Louisiana negligence cases also involve other elements such as proximate cause. This element looks at whether the actual act of negligence caused the damage complained of – or whether something else caused it.
In negligence cases, you must also prove your damages. Damages are either special or general. Special damages include medical expenses, quantifiable financial losses (lost wages, benefits, etc.), and other quantifiable expenses. General damages compensate you for pain and suffering. They are not easily quantifiable and are up to the discretion of the court or jury.
The Issue of Comparative Negligence
Louisiana is a comparative negligence state. This means either the judge or the jury will determine the amount of fault for each party, and that you do not have to have zero fault to recover damages.
I will use a story to illustrate this point:
John is visiting his mother in the hospital. While walking to her room, he slips on an unmarked wet surface and injures himself. The hospital had a duty to alert visitors about the slippery floor and failed to do so. As such, it is likely that the hospital is 100% at fault, and has to pay John’s full damages.
However, suppose that Mary slipped on the same floor, but she was running recklessly just prior to her fall. Under comparative negligence, the court may decide that Mary has some responsibility for her careless behavior. Let’s say the court decides Mary is 30% to blame. This will affect the amount paid in compensation. Mary cannot recover all of her damages. She can only recover 70% of the compensation, as the hospital was only 70% at fault.
Contact a Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney
After a serious accident, while you are dealing with injuries, medical bills, car repairs and insurance companies, you need someone working on your side while you focus on getting better.
An experienced Louisiana personal injury attorney will help you understand your legal rights and options, and if necessary, help you file a personal injury lawsuit to help you recover compensation for your losses.
Contact Loyd Bourgeois today for help with your disabling injury. The call is free and there is no obligation - (985)240-9773.