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What Damages are Available in Louisiana for Personal Injuries Sustained in an Auto Accident?

Container cargo ship Louisiana law offers many remedies for people injured in auto accidents. In minor accidents where you completely recover, a modest financial settlement is the goals. However, if you sustained serious and/or long-term injuries, substantial monies must be recovered to compensate you for your past and future injuries, medical expenses and lost quality of life.

Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315 requires every person who harms another to compensate that person for the harm that they have done.

There can be many aspects of your injury and losses:

  • Past and future pain and suffering caused by the injuries sustained in the accident
  • Long-term disability
  • Significant medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity, i.e., you are unable to return to your prior work
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Property damage

Fortunately, you can seek monetary relief for all of these things under Louisiana law, which divides the type of damages into two broad categories: general damages and special damages.

General Damages

Under Louisiana law, general damages refers to compensation for categories for which exact dollar values cannot be calculated. General damages typically include:

  • Pain and suffering (past, present and future)
  • Mental anguish
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Consortium (loss of service, society or spousal/family relationships)
Special Damages

Special damages are damages that compensate the injured party for specific monetary losses and out-of-pocket costs. Examples of special damages under Louisiana law include:

  • Accident-related past medical expenses
  • Accident-related future medical expenses
  • Past lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Vehicle and/or property damage
Punitive Damages

Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315.4 allows for “exemplary” or punitive damages for personal injury plaintiffs injured by an individual whose intoxication by alcohol or drugs caused the vehicular accident. Punitive damage claims are difficult to prove, generally requiring post-accident alcohol/drug testing and an attorney experienced in handling such claims. If you suspect that your vehicular accident was caused by an intoxicated individual, please contact our firm, Anderson, Dozier, Blanda & Saltzman.

Survival and Wrongful Death Claims

Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315.2 and 2315.3 create a framework by which the immediate family of a person killed by another party’s negligence may step into the injured person’s place after death and recover for their claims. Louisiana’s “wrongful death” statute allows the immediate family to sue for their suffering and loss, and Louisiana’s “survival action” allows the family to sue for the pain, suffering and other general damages the injured person incurred before their death. Thus, if your spouse is seriously injured in an automobile accident and subsequently expires, claims exist under Louisiana law in several categories:

  • Pre-accident/pre-impact fear
  • Pain, suffering and medical expenses of your spouse, which are inherited by the estate (surviving spouse or immediate family)
  • Bystander claims (if you witnessed the accident)
  • Wrongful death claims by the surviving spouse, children or family members arising from the death
  • Lost economic benefits as a result of the death (lost wages and support)

Anderson, Dozier, Blanda & Saltzman have decades of experience in handling complex wrongful death claims resulting from auto accidents, truck accidents, work accidents, and maritime incidents. Please contact us today at (337) 233-3366.

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Finding yourself in the middle of a personal injury case is not a pleasant experience. I could not have been more blessed than to have Mr. Boyd Anderson represent me in that difficult time. He treated me and my family with respect and earned my complete trust. Mr. Anderson is an extremely skilled attorney and did an exceptional job with my case. His support staff, Tammy and Donna, are also amazing to work with. They are very thorough and took care of every detail, so that I could concentrate on healing. I would not hesitate for a second to recommend Boyd Anderson to family and friends. Angie T.
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