The worth of your case is important information that affects your options for recovery and which strategic approach may be best. Many people involved in car accidents in Louisiana and speak to a lawyer want to know the answer right away.
The truth is that calculating the damages you may be entitled to is not a quick process. Lawyers who handle such cases may need to look further into the facts and causes of the accident. They may need to consult medical and financial experts to learn about likely future expenses.
It takes time to get an accurate figure
Essential information, such as a complete diagnosis, may simply not be available at the beginning of the case. For this reason, it is typically a bad idea to settle right away; neither you nor the insurer offering the settlement has the full picture at this point.
The largest category of damages Louisiana plaintiffs typically recover is that of compensatory damages. The law intends this amount to compensate a plaintiff for the harm he or she suffers due to the accident.
One common type of compensatory damages is financial. This includes the monetary damages you suffer, such as medical bills, loss of earnings and replacing damaged property. Your injury can also cause you to spend money on assistive items and household help.
Plaintiffs can also get compensation for pain and suffering. Not only is the injury itself painful and traumatic, but it can also lead to uncomfortable treatments, surgeries, recovery periods and medication with side effects. Injuries can affect someone's psychological well-being and interpersonal relationships.
In an accident case, it is important to also get a reliable projection of likely future damages. Medical experts can explain the predicted course of recovery, the maximum possible improvement and future treatments. Financial experts can describe how a lack of earnings today or the decreased ability to advance can compound over the years.
In Louisiana, punitive damages may be available if the defendant caused the injury by driving while intoxicated. Otherwise, the plaintiff is limited to seeking compensatory damages.