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Shreveport Injury Lawyer > Blog > Auto Accident > What Damages Can I Seek After a Louisiana Car Crash?

What Damages Can I Seek After a Louisiana Car Crash?


Motor vehicle crashes occur far too often in the Shreveport area, and they can result in serious and fatal injuries to vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and bicyclists. According to LSU’s Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety, there were nearly 800 fatalities in Louisiana traffic crashes in 2023, and thousands of nonfatal injuries in collisions. When a collision does occur because of a motorist’s negligence, the injured person can often be eligible to file a lawsuit in order to seek financial compensation.

Damages to Compensate You for Losses You Experienced 

After a motor vehicle collision in Shreveport that results in injuries, the injured person may be able to seek two kinds of damages to help compensate for their losses due to their injuries. These damages are known as economic damages (or special damages) and noneconomic damages (or general damages. Both are types of “compensatory damages.”

Economic or special damages can provide compensation for direct, objective, out-of-pocket financial losses, such as the injured person’s hospital bills, future costs of medical care, and lost wages. Noneconomic or general damages can compensate for objective losses that are not as easily quantified, like physical and emotional pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, or loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive Damages After an Impaired Driving Crash 

Punitive damages are another type of damages that may be sought in certain types of car crashes. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages — also known as exemplary damages — are awarded to punish the defendant. While other states allow plaintiffs to seek punitive damages more broadly, Louisiana law will only allow punitive damages to be awarded when an auto injury resulted from an intoxicated driving crash.

The statute specifically says that, “in addition to general and special damages, exemplary damages may be awarded upon proof that the injuries on which the action is based were caused by a wanton or reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others by a defendant whose intoxication while operating a motor vehicle was the cause in fact of the resulting injuries.”

Comparative Fault and the Reduction of Damages 

Generally speaking, a plaintiff can expect to recover the damages the court awards. However, if the defendant raises the issue of comparative fault as a defense strategy — arguing that the plaintiff was also partially at fault for their injuries — the plaintiff’s damages ultimately could be reduced. Only if the court finds that the plaintiff was partially at fault can the damages award be reduced by the percentage of the plaintiff’s fault. For example, a $100,000 total damages award could be reduced by $10,000, or 10 percent, if the court found the plaintiff to be 10 percent liable.

With help from a lawyer, plaintiffs can often successfully argue against comparative fault when a defendant raises the issue so that the damages award will not be reduced.

Contact Shreveport Auto Accident Attorneys Today 

If you have questions about filing an auto injury lawsuit or the types of damages that you may be able to receive, one of our experienced Shreveport auto injury attorneys at Rice & Kendig can begin working with you on your case today. Contact us today at 318-222-2772 to get started.



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