Louisiana has the best of both worlds: bustling city life for the metropolitan and rural areas for the outdoorsy among us. Both of these, however, can have their share of negligence, car accidents, and personal injury cases. Perhaps it was you who was injured, or maybe it was a family member or friend whose life was changed. Whatever happened, if you need guidance for your personal injury case, Enjuris has the answers.
Louisiana Personal Injury Cases & Accident Info
Louisiana statutes online
This is where you’ll find Louisiana's laws. The website has details about how long you have to bring a case, monetary limits on personal injury cases (also known as damage caps), and other important information that you will need. Louisiana law also incorporates French and Spanish civil law, unlike every other state, which means that new attorneys have to sit for the longest bar exam in the country.
In Louisiana, you have only one year to bring both a personal injury claim and a property damage claim. That means you have to file your paperwork with the court before that one-year limitation is up. Make sure to act fast.
The first meeting with a personal injury attorney is normally free. (Note that other legal specialties, such as real estate law or criminal defense law, are different.) After that, lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they will receive a third of the eventual reward or settlement, plus whatever office expenses they incurred.
If your case ends up going to trial, the percentage could rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment. These numbers aren't set by law, so don't be surprised if your lawyer suggests something else.
These are some cases of legal interest that came out of the Louisiana courts:
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896): This case upheld state segregation laws under the guise of the doctrine of "separate but equal," allowing train cars to remain separated into black and white sections. This remained the law until 1954, with the handing down of Brown v. Board of Education. Even though Plessy, the plaintiff, was a free man and only one-eighth African American, he had to sit in the "colored" train car.
Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145 (1968): The defendant was convicted of simple battery and fined, but he had requested a jury trial – which was denied under Louisiana law, as it was only granted for capital crimes. After this case traveled all the way to the Supreme Court, it was determined that the right to a jury trial was actually guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment all for criminal offenses, not just capital crimes.
Johnson v. Louisiana, 406 U.S. 356 (1972): The defendant was convicted by a jury of 12 jurors; nine voted to convict and three voted to acquit. Johnson, the defendant, claimed that because the jurors were not unanimous in their decision-making, he had been deprived due process of law. The Supreme Court decided that this was inoffensive and did not deprive the defendant of anything; it certainly didn't violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, at any rate.
There are lots of issues you can solve without the help of a lawyer, surprisingly enough. If you don't know where to start, a law librarian can help you. They are usually legally trained, and they can help you both with texts or online research engines like LexisNexis or Westlaw.