Each year, car accidents cause tens of thousands of injuries and several hundred deaths in the state of Louisiana. In 2015 alone, more than 78,000 people were injured and more than 750 were killed in car crashes.
If you lost a loved one or suffered a severe injury in an auto accident, our Baton Rouge car accident attorneys may be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for the damages you have suffered.
If you were injured, you could recover compensation for the damages created by your injury, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Those who lost loved ones may be able to recover compensation for the financial and emotional damages they are experiencing. This could include lost insurance and retirement benefits, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and lost wages.
However, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim for an injury or death from a car accident. This is because of Louisiana statutes of limitations on personal injury and wrongful death claims.
If you do not file a claim before the statute of limitations expires, you will be prohibited from doing so and will lose your only chance to recover compensation you may be entitled.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Injury Claims
In Louisiana, car accidents are governed by the statute of limitations for personal injury claims (Louisiana Civil Code (CC) Article 3492). Under this statute, lawsuits must be filed within one year of the date of the accident. This applies to claims for personal injuries and property damage.
Claims can be filed by anyone who was injured in the accident, including drivers, passengers, bicyclists, motorcyclists or pedestrians.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
If a loved one was killed due to injuries sustained in a Louisiana car accident, the decedent’s family members or personal representative can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Per Louisiana CC 2315.21, the statute of limitations on these claims is one year from the date of the person's death. This may not occur on the same day that the car accident took place, so you may have more than one year from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Does the Statute of Limitations Affect Insurance Claims?
These statutes of limitations do not apply to any insurance claims you file after the accident. However, it is best to file an insurance claim as soon as possible, because some insurers have deadlines for submitting claims. If you miss the deadline you may not be able to recover any insurance compensation.
Another reason to file a claim right away is that you have only one year after the accident to file a lawsuit. The insurance claims process could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Waiting to file a claim will push you even closer to the end of the statute of limitations.
Filing a claim right away could help ensure you have enough time to file a lawsuit if you are unable to recover fair insurance compensation. If your insurance claim is unsuccessful, your only option for recovering compensation is to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
Contact Simien & Simien Today for a Free Consultation
The Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers at Simien & Simien can help manage your insurance claim while preparing to file a lawsuit if your insurance claim is unsuccessful. We know how to build a robust case and file a claim before the statute of limitations expires.
We have a successful track record of recovering fair compensation for victims of car accidents.
At Simien & Simien, your initial consultation is free and we do not charge legal fees unless we recover the compensation you deserve.