Catastrophic Injuries

When you or loved one are involved in an accident in or around New Orleans, Baton Rouge or Southeast Louisiana and injury results, the process of both physical and emotional recovery can be long, confusing and frustrating. If another person was responsible for your injuries, the situation can seem very unfair. You’ll need an honest, smart and experienced law firm that can help.

Types of Accidents and Events that Can Cause Injuries

A claim for personal injury can come from many different situations. The key is that you or a loved one was hurt because of another person’s negligence or fault. You may be familiar with some of these situations:

  • Car accidents caused by someone running a red light or stop sign;
  • 18 Wheeler accidents caused by over worked and tired truck drivers;
  • Slip and falls caused by bad maintenance or dangerous conditions;
  • Pedestrian accidents caused by drivers who don’t pay attention; and,
  • Bicycle accidents caused by careless drivers.

Damages for Your Injuries

The laws of Louisiana require anyone who causes harm to another through their negligence or fault to be held responsible. While no attorney can absolutely guarantee you will be compensated for your personal injury, the law does allow us to pursue certain types of money damages on your behalf. These damages include:

    • Pain and suffering from your injuries;
    • Emotional distress caused by the accident;
    • Medical bills past and future through your recovery;
    • Lost income from missed work or inability to work;
    • Rehabilitation costs needed to get you physically back to normal;
    • Loss of consortium, service and society which is essentially damage for how your injury impacts your relationships with your loved ones;
    • Wrongful death for death of a spouse, child or parent depending on the circumstances;

Survival action for the conscious pain and suffering endured by an accident victim prior to his or her death;

  • Mental anguish for witnessing the injury of a spouse, child, sibling, parent or grandparent.

 

Negligence Explained

The Louisiana Civil Code sets out the rules so to speak of how people have to act towards one another. Article 2315 of the Code lays out a simple rule: “every act whatever of man that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it.”

Still, certain elements must be established to win a claim for personal injury. The defendant must be shown to have been negligent, intended to harm, or is subject to “strict liability,” which is liability without fault. In cases of negligence, it must be shown that the defendant failed to exercise proper care, that their negligence in this duty of care caused the accident, and that damages were suffered as a result of the accident. Every person is subject to a reasonable duty of care to avoid harming others. Failure to exercise this duty is a key element in most personal injury cases.

Settling Your Personal Injury Case

Not every personal injury suit goes to court. In fact, most cases of this sort are settled out of court through negotiation by the insurance companies and participating attorneys. Only when efforts to resolve the issue through negotiation and mediation fail do personal injury cases go to trial

If your injuries are particularly serious it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. The reason is that in Louisiana a Petition for Damages in most personal injury cases has to be filed within one year of the accident. If you or your loved one is still recovering, or if it isn’t clear whether more medical procedures are necessary or how much longer they’ll be out of work it may be better to file suit than to settle your case before you know everything you are facing

Filing the Personal Injury Lawsuit

Your lawsuit will need to be filed either in the parish were your accident occurred or in the parish where one of the defendants lives. The Petition for Damages will lay out the basic overview of your case. Once the lawsuit is filed and the defendants are served they must file an Answer and proclaim any defenses they have. The defendants may want to add another person or company to the lawsuit that they feel is responsible for your accident. If so they will file a third-party demand against that person or company.

Once all of the parties have been brought into the lawsuit the attorneys will begin what’s known as “discovery.” Through discovery the parties develop the evidence they need to prove their case. There is written discovery, where questions and request for documents are sent to the other side. There are also depositions where the sworn testimony of people who have information about your case or condition is taken outside of court. Subpoenas can also be issued requiring that documents be produced for inspection or people appear to be deposed. Once the attorneys feels enough evidence has been gathered the case will be set for trial. At any point during this process you can decide to accept a settlement if one is offered.

Honest, Smart and Experienced Attorneys

If you or a loved one is injured because of someone else’s fault you need to contact us here at Mitchell & Associates. You should never try to represent yourself in a personal injury case. The laws involved are intricate and can be complicated. You need an honest, smart and experienced law firm to navigate these difficult waters and fight for your rights.
If you have been in an accident and someone else is at fault, you need an attorney that will stand in your corner the whole way. Do not wait; the clock is ticking. Give us a call today!

Sending us information about your potential case does not mean we will automatically represent you – you are telling us about your situation in order for us to evaluate whether we believe you have a case which we may choose to handle on your behalf. We will review your circumstances and let you know as soon as possible whether we can discuss your potential case with you further. The information you give us is confidential and can’t be shared with anyone outside of our office.