Whenever you tell your family, your co-workers, the police, or even the insurance company about a car accident in which you were involved, you probably put a lot of effort into convincing the listener that the accident was not your fault. No matter how skilled you are in rhetoric, you probably will not be successful, especially in the case of the insurance company. The good news is that even if the accident is partly your fault, you still have a chance to recover damages in a car accident lawsuit if you are injured. Contact a Louisiana car accident lawyer to find out more.
Comparative Negligence in Louisiana Law
Louisiana is a “pure comparative fault” state, also known as a pure comparative negligence state. According to the Louisiana Civil Code 2323, you can still sue for damages if you get injured in an accident for which you bear some of the fault, but the damages you can win will be reduced based on what percentage of the fault is yours. For example, if you request $50,000 in the lawsuit, but the judge determines that your share of fault for the accident is 20%, your damages award will be reduced by that percentage. Therefore, you will only be able to collect 80%of the award, which in this case is $40,000.
How Louisiana’s Comparative Negligence Rule Affects Your Car Accident Case
Most car accidents do not end up in court as personal injury lawsuits, but deciding the percentage of fault for all the parties involved is necessary if any injuries or any property damage resulted from the accident. The percentage of fault of each driver is a major factor when insurance companies decide how much money to offer each driver as a settlement. When you receive a settlement offer letter from the insurance company, you might be unpleasantly surprised at how little they offer you. Usually, it is not even enough to cover your financial losses related to medical bills and vehicle repairs.
You should contact a car accident lawyer as soon as you receive the settlement offer letter; do not sign the letter, of course. Your lawyer can help you negotiate a better settlement; most of the time, it is possible to resolve the problem this way, and it will not even be necessary to file a lawsuit. You will only need to file a lawsuit if your injuries are very severe or if the insurance company refuses to give you a better settlement.
Contact Patrick Yancey About Car Accident Cases
Even if you bear more than half of the responsibility for the accident, you might still be able to recover a substantial amount of compensation in your car accident case. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.