Pain and Suffering Damages in Louisiana
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed December 19, 2018
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Louisiana is home to some of the world's best creole food. Whether you prefer crawdaddies or jambalaya, the best part of dining out in this Southern gem (besides the food) is the dazzling live music. But if your trip to the South went sour, you fell through the new stairs in your stylish French Colonial home, or you have suffered loss of companionship due to your loved one's illegal controlled substance use, you may have a claim for pain and suffering damages in Louisiana.
You may be familiar with the damages courts award to injured parties to compensate for out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical bills, property repairs, and lost wages from time off work. These are known as economic damages. Non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering damages, are available in many cases in Louisiana to help compensate injured parties, including for:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of services
- Loss of consortium
- Other nonpecuniary losses
In the chart and accompanying explanations below, you’ll find important aspects of the laws governing pain and suffering damages in Louisiana.
Statute of Limitations
• 1 year (La. Civ. Code § 3492)
Limits on Damages
• Compulsory Coverage Rule requires uninsured parties' damages to first exceed specific minimums (La. R.S. § 32:866)
• No pain and suffering for worker's comp claims (F.A.Q.)
• Damages limited to $500,000 for claims against a government agency (La. R.S. § 13:5106)
• Medical Malpractice damages limited to $500,000 (La. R.S. § 40:1299.41 et seq.)
• Pure Comparative Fault System (La. R.S. § 9:2800.68)
Louisiana offers a unique option for those injured by illegal drug users: in most cases, injured parties may bring a claim against the person who provided the drug user with the illegal controlled substance. Additionally, most tort claims allow recovery of non-economic damages, including:
- Car accident
- Product Liability
- Slip and fall
- Wrongful death
- Medical malpractice
- Other personal injury claims
Pure Comparative Fault
Let's say you were running late and so you might have been driving just a tad faster than the speed limit when a coupe smashed into your passenger side door. Even if the court finds that you were mostly to blame for your injuries, Louisiana negligence laws are very forgiving and merely reduce your damage award in proportion to your level of fault. This is known as pure comparative fault.
Known as statutes of limitations, Louisiana has an extremely short deadline for bringing lawsuits: all injury and wrongful death claims must be brought within one year.
The State of Louisiana has instituted caps on damages from medical malpractice claims and on damages for claims against a government agency. In both cases, the cap is $500,000. Additionally, the State instituted a "pay for play" rule which requires uninsured and underinsured motorists' damages to first exceed the amounts the insurance coverage was intended to cover before those parties may bring a claim against another driver.
Pain and Suffering Damages are Hard to Prove: An Attorney Can Help
Louisiana has one of the shortest time limits in the United States for filing personal injury claims. But if you were injured from someone else's negligence, you're entitled to compensation. Whether it was you or a loved one who was physically harmed in the Bayou State, a skilled Louisiana injury attorney can help.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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