What Damages Can I Recover After A Louisiana Car Wreck?
Louisiana has its share of car wrecks on any given day, as roughly 3.4 million locals competed with around 32 million visitors in 2020 for a share of the road. Auto accidents happen for many different reasons, but regardless of why, a Louisiana car crash can cause permanent injury and fundamental changes to a person’s life. Someone who has been injured due to the negligent or reckless behavior of another driver has the right to seek compensation for what they have been through.
If you have been in a car crash and you suspect that the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries, a Shreveport auto collision attorney can help you receive the financial compensation you need to start getting your life back on track.
When one private individual brings a lawsuit against another person, they are seeking financial damages in exchange for the injuries they have suffered. If they are able to establish that the defendant was negligent, they may be awarded economic damages. This award can help cover their bills and expenses that only came about because of the defendant’s behavior. There are three different types of damages that one may be entitled to in a Louisiana car wreck case – economic, non-economic, and punitive. Every case is different, so it is not possible to immediately know whether your case merits one type, two, or all three, but it is a good idea to be familiar with them all.
Different Types Of Damages
By far the most common type of damages in a car wreck case is referred to as economic damages. Economic damages include more tangible financial expenses, like the cost of repairing your vehicle, your lost wages, and loss of earning potential if you are disabled as a result of your injuries. Any expense that can be calculated to within a reasonable number qualifies as economic damages – while there are other potential losses you may experience after a car crash, they are much more difficult to quantify.
Non-economic damages are the second type of potential recovery. While economic damages can be quantified and documented, non-economic damages are much more vague and hard to pin down. They are also somewhat unique in that it is possible to recover non-economic damages for what you may suffer in the future, rather than what you already have experienced in the past. For example, loss of enjoyment of life is a recognized ground for claiming non-economic damages. It can be difficult to quantify this type of injury, but it is possible, particularly with the help of experts.
The last type of damages is referred to as punitive damages. “Punitive” comes from the word “punish”. In other states, punitive damages are awarded to an injured plaintiff if the defendant has done something truly egregious or outrageous in causing the accident. In other words, punitive damages are more about punishing the defendant than compensating you for what you have been through. In Louisiana, punitive damages are only awarded if your car crash occurred due to a drunk driver, whose intoxication directly caused the collision.
You Should Not Do It Alone
Even if you believe that your case is straightforward, it is generally a good idea to enlist an experienced attorney to help you navigate the court system. Especially because the time period in which to file suit is very short. In Louisiana, the “liberative prescription” (similar to a statute of limitations) is only one year. This means that you only have one year from the date of your collision to file suit against the (allegedly) negligent defendant.
Any car crash has the potential to be life-changing, but whether your injuries are relatively mild or permanently disabling, you have the right to seek compensation for what you have been through. A Shreveport auto accident attorney from Rice & Kendig can help you evaluate your options. Contact our offices today at 318-222-2772 for a free consultation.