Louisiana Car Accident Law and Lawyer Overview
The center of Cajun and Creole culture in America, Louisiana is a Gulf state rich in character. The state is probably most famous (unfortunately) for the devastation that befell New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina several years ago. Because New Orleans is located within the limits of Louisiana (New Orleans being the state’s most populated city), Louisiana is also associated with Mardi Gras celebrations and French influences in architecture and cuisine. About 4.6 million people live in Louisiana.
Even though the culture of Louisiana may be unique and unlike the culture of any other state, individuals are injured and killed in Louisiana traffic accidents just as they are in other states. A Louisiana car crash can cause serious injuries to drivers and passengers – injuries that require extensive medical treatment to correct and that cause disabilities that may not ever truly go away. In the aftermath of one of these accidents, a car crash claim or lawsuit may need to be pursued in order to help the victim(s) of the crash address the financial burden of their injuries and losses.
Statistics Concerning Louisiana Car Crashes
Data reports maintained by Louisiana State University illustrate just how frequently car crashes and car accident-related injuries occur in the state. In 2015, there were 2.95 million licensed drivers in the state (a number that is more than 50 percent of the state’s total population. The data also shows that in 2015:
- There were 693 fatal crashes that killed a total of 747 people. This makes 2015 the deadliest year for drivers in the previous five years.
- There were also 48,300 injury crashes that caused injury to 78,800 people. Again, this makes 2015 a dangerous year for those on the road as the number of injury crashes and the total number of people injured is higher than any of the previous four years.
- It is predicted that the number of injury victims will increase in 2016 and that the number of individuals killed will remain constant.
The projected number of injuries and fatalities connected to car crashes does not need to happen. Many Louisiana car crashes occur because one or more individuals choose to engage in careless behavior. Driving without a sufficient amount of sleep, driving while drunk, and texting while driving are just some of the behaviors that contribute to these car crashes. Drivers who choose not to engage in these behaviors not only decrease the chance that they will be involved in a crash, but also decrease the chances that drivers around them on the road will be injured or killed, too.
Louisiana is a “Fault” Insurance State
In Louisiana, you may not operate a motor vehicle without having an adequate insurance policy in force covering yourself in the event you cause a crash. Because Louisiana follows a “fault based” approach to insurance claims, injured victims will most often file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and attempt to secure compensation from that insurance company first.
If that proves unsuccessful, the injury victim may next consider filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and/or his or her insurance company. In this lawsuit, the injury victim will need to prove that the at-fault driver acted carelessly or recklessly, that this behavior caused the crash, and that the victim’s injuries are attributable to the crash. If the victim him- or herself also acted carelessly and this contributed to the crash, the compensation the victim would have otherwise received from the at-fault driver will be proportionally reduced.
Louisiana’s Statute of Limitations
Car accident lawsuits and other personal injury lawsuits must be filed within one year of the date of the accident. This does not give injury victims much time to investigate their claims and prepare their cases for filing. Unfortunately, there are very few exceptions to this statutorily-imposed deadline (called a statute of limitations) and most of these exceptions are not applicable in car accident injury cases. As a result, victims injured in a Louisiana car crash must be prepared to take swift action if they wish to protect their right to pursue a claim of compensation. Usually, hiring a knowledgeable attorney can help the victim make better use of his or her time: As the attorney is busy filing the claim with the insurance company and/or in court, the victim can focus his or her energies and resources on recovering from the accident.
Contact Stern Law, PLLC Today
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed as the result of another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact Stern Law, PLLC right away at (844) 808-7529 and let us assist you in understanding your legal rights and the compensation which you may be able to recover. The sooner you contact our firm, the sooner we can go to work on your behalf.