What is Negligence?
Negligence plays a part in almost every personal injury case, including motor vehicle accidents, maritime accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice and product liability. Therefore, understanding negligence is extremely important legal in Louisiana personal injury law.
For instance, if you’ve been injured in a car accident, Louisiana’s laws on negligence determine who is responsible for the damages you have suffered. The law states: Every act whatever of man that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it.
Proving negligence for the plaintiff includes these components:
- Cause in fact
- Proximate cause
“Duty” refers to the level of care owed to the plaintiff – the victim – by the defendant. In plain terms, the “duty” requires that the defendant owes a legal duty to the plaintiff to act with reasonable care so one party does not physically injure others.
“Cause in fact,” to put it simply, requires a plaintiff to show that he or she would not have been injured without, “but for” – the defendant’s actions. This is the idea that had the other party not failed to meet his or her duty, the defendant would not have suffered injuries. When multiple causes are present in a case, cause in fact is found to exist when the defendant’s conduct was a substantial factor in bringing about the plaintiff’s harm.
A negligent act is the “proximate cause” of a plaintiff’s injury if the injury is the natural and probable, or foreseeable, result of the act. Proximate cause happens when the injury is the result of the other party’s failure and not the failure of another thing, such as a mechanical defect.
After establishing negligence occurred, the final part is establishing a financial total that accurately represents the damages from the accident. Louisiana residents who have been injured by another, and suffered financial damages, can seek compensation in court. Damages can include medical bills, pain and suffering, and other financial, physical and emotional damages.
The purpose of a personal injury claim is to obtain compensation for these harms. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you with your case, and designating an appropriate total to seek for the damages.
Understanding Comparative Fault
Louisiana also has a comparative fault law. If a party who has been injured has some responsibility for the accident, then comparative negligence rules will apply. These rules reduce a plaintiff’s claim in proportion to the percentage of his or her fault in the accident.
In Louisiana, an injured party has the right to recover for injuries sustained in an accident. In an auto accident, the right of recovery exists even if the injured party is over 50 percent at fault for causing the wreck.
In other words, you can recover damages for the percentage you were not at fault in causing. If you have a personal injury claim wherein you sustained $100,000 in damages, but you were 50 percent at fault, your recovery would be $50,000. In a slip and fall, these same rules apply.
An Experienced Attorney Helps Your Case
Having an attorney experienced in accident reconstruction, and fault determination is crucial in determining how these cases are decided. Many accidents and injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence. The Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Domengeaux Wright Roy & Edwards are aggressive advocates for our clients who can help you with the legal process.
We have helped the injured and disabled in Louisiana for over 60 years, representing car accident victims in New Iberia, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Morgan City, Alexandria, Breaux Bridge, New Orleans and communities throughout the state. We can help you with a car accident claim, truck accident, workplace accident or assist with any type of personal injury claim.
Let us start the process of pursuing full and just compensation for your injuries. Call us or schedule a time for a free consultation about your case. We offer free and confidential consultations. We handle car accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t collect legal fees unless and until we win compensation for you.