Compensation Caps and Limitations in Louisiana
Unlike medical malpractice, personal injury claims in Louisiana do not have compensation caps, unless the defendant is the State of Louisiana itself. On malpractice cases in the state of Louisiana the cap is set at $500,000, exclusive of future medical expenses and related costs (this does not allow recover for loss of future wages). In non medical malpractice personal injury claims against the state of Louisiana, the cap is also set at $500,000, but also allows recovery of future wages beyond the cap.
Moreover, fault (liability) can be split among parties, including injured persons, under comparative negligence theory. This means, at trial, damages will be awarded based on the percentage that each party was at fault. In other words, you cannot recover damages for the percentage of fault that was your own. If you are determined, for example, to have been 25% at fault in causing the accident, then you will only be allowed to recover for 75% of your damages. That is why a good lawyer is needed to present the evidence in the best way to minimize any claims that your actions in anyway contributed to the accident or injury.
The state’s Statute of Limitations (prescriptive period in Louisiana) is what restricts the time a plaintiff has to file a claim. For a general personal injury, like a car collision, these periods are generally one year from the day of the accident (date of the negligent act), or one year from when you knew or should have known of the negligent act. For a medical malpractice claim, the period of time to bring a claim is one year from the day of the negligent act, or one year from when you knew or should have known of the negligent act, BUT in no event longer than three years from the negligent act (whether or not you could have known of the negligent act).