In Louisiana, one of the most common ways an individual is made whole following an auto accident is through the award of a money judgment or settlement; however, the value of such a claim depends on the amount of damages you have suffered. For example, the more expensive and invasive the medical treatment for your personal injury, the more valuable your claim.
There are a multitude of personal injury damages but the most common are:
In the context of a car accident, property damages typically compensate a claimant for damages to their vehicle. For example, a claimant can recover compensation for repair of the vehicle or a complete replacement in the event the vehicle is deemed to be a total loss.
Compensation for property damages can also extend to damaged items found within the vehicle, such as computers, household goods, and other belongings.
An injury will often have a disruptive impact on all areas of a person’s life, including their professional life. Injuries can keep us out of work for a significant period of time and prevent us from carrying out all the duties we could perform before an accident.
Fortunately, lost income is a recoverable damage in a personal injury lawsuit. If work is missed because of an injury, you can recover compensation for what you would have been paid. What’s more, you can recover compensation for the future wages you would have earned had the injury not prevented you from carrying out certain tasks. However, it is important to have all necessary documentation in order to prove the amount of compensation for which you are entitled.
With any injury comes the necessity of professional medical treatment. A claimant can recover compensation for any injury-related treatment – past, present, or future. However, recovery of future medical expenses requires a showing future medical care is necessary and will cost a certain amount.
Medical expenses include:
- Ambulance and other emergency transport
- Medical equipment such as crutches, wheelchairs, and canes
- Prescription medications
- Medical tests, such as X-Rays, MRIs, and blood work
- Physical therapy and in-home care costs
An injury can also prevent people from carrying out many of the day-to-day tasks they were accustomed to performing before the accident. Our law recognizes these important tasks cannot simply be neglected and that someone suffering from an injury should be compensated in the event they need to hire someone else to complete them. This includes expenses for lawn care, child care, household chores, and school transportation for children.
There are many damages an injured person suffers for which no receipt may be shown. These are called general damages and they are compensable in civil law. These damages include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Inability to perform certain functions
These damages can be significant because they fundamentally impact our lives. A damaged vehicle can simply be repaired but a damaged morale and outlook on life is much more difficult to fix.
How Much Can I Recover?
Other than medical malpractice, Louisiana law places no caps on the amount of damages recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit. However, practically speaking damages are often capped by the liability limitations on a defendant’s insurance policy. For example, if your damages total $50,000.00 but the at-fault driver has only $15,000.00 in insurance coverage, $35,000.00 of your damages will not be covered under that particular policy.
In any case, it is in your interest to contact an experienced attorney who can ensure you recover the maximum amount of compensation for your damages.