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Louisiana Negligence Laws

You were just changing lanes on I-49 and then bang, a speeding car in the lane next to you hits your truck. Who is at fault for the accident, and are they liable for your injuries and damage to your vehicle? And if you file a lawsuit, how does the claim work?

Here is a brief overview of negligence laws in Louisiana.

General Negligence Law

There are several elements of a negligence case you must prove in court in order for your negligence claim to be successful:

  • Duty: the other party owed you a duty of care;
  • Breach of Duty: the other party failed to meet that duty;
  • Cause in Fact: but for the other party's failure, you would not have been injured;
  • Proximate Cause: the other party's failure (and not something else) caused your injury; and
  • Damages: you have actually been injured and suffered some loss.

Negligence Laws in Louisiana

State negligence laws vary significantly based on the civil justice system in that jurisdiction. The basics of negligence laws in Louisiana are listed below.

Code Section


§ 2323 et seq. of the Louisiana Laws Civil Code

Comparative Negligence

The percentage of fault of all persons that contributed to the accident/damages is determined. The amount of damages recoverable by the plaintiff shall be reduced by the plaintiff's own negligence which is determined by a judge or jury. If a person suffers as a result partly of their own negligence, the amount of damages is reduced in proportion to the percentage of attributable negligence

Contributory Negligence --Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery


Contribution Among Tortfeasors

A joint tortfeasor shall not be liable for more than his degree of fault

Uniform Act


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Comparative Fault in Louisiana

Louisiana law, however, employs a doctrine known as “comparative fault" in negligence cases. This means that liability will be spread to everyone who contributed to the accident, in equal proportion to their proven fault. For example, let's say you didn't use your blinker or look over your shoulder when you were changing lanes. If you were also negligent in the accident, the amount of damages you could receive would be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault for your injuries.

Get Legal Help with a Negligence Claim

Understanding the ins and outs of negligence law can be tricky. You can contact a Louisiana personal injury attorney if you would like legal assistance with a negligence matter. You can also visit FindLaw's section on Negligence for more articles and resources on this topic.

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