Across the United States, the law entitles you to seek compensation in the event that the negligent actions of another party cause you harm. In other words, the party responsible for your injuries did not intend to cause you harm but still decided or inadvertently acted in an irresponsible manner that ultimately led to your injury. Any behavior that endangers, and subsequently injures, another person is grounds for a civil lawsuit under negligence and liability laws. However, liability must be proven in order to make a valid personal injury case against the negligent individual, which bears the question: “What legally constitutes negligence?”
How Louisiana Defines Negligence
The legal concept of negligence will have varying definitions depending on what state you call home. Since Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers is the trusted name in injury claim representation and litigation in Shreveport, we will be taking a look at the law of Louisiana.
In the state of Louisiana, negligence can be defined as the failure to exercise a reasonable amount of care, therefore breaching an inherent duty to keep another person safe from harm. In essence, this means that if someone has a responsibility to uphold a duty of care, they may be held liable for failing to do so. For example, a medical professional is accountable for providing adequate treatment to any patients under their care, just as anyone getting behind the wheel is responsible for adhering to the rules of the road.
Assumptions of Risk & Negligence
Certain exemptions exist, however, including any instance in which an "assumption of risk" is directly implied or stated. In this example, imagine that a hockey fan is struck by a flying puck while attending a game. The stadium cannot be held liable for the accident, as it has happened during the natural course of the game. If that same fan was to be involved in a scuffle with another angry fan and the stadium's security failed to adequately protect the victim, though, this is no longer categorized as an assumption of risk. For this reason, they would be able to pursue a civil lawsuit against the stadium for inadequate security measures.
How Damages Can Be Awarded
The way in which compensation is awarded for unjustified injuries differs from state to state, as it depends on whether a system of comparative or contributory negligence is followed.
In Louisiana, pure comparative negligence is used as a means of placing fault upon both the plaintiff and the defendant in any personal injury case. This means that if a victim was in any way responsible for contributing to their own injuries, the amount of compensation that they can be awarded will be diminished by the percentage of fault that a jury has decided upon.
In many states, comparative negligence allows for a victim to recover damages as long as they are not more than 50% responsible for causing their own harm, but in Louisiana, a victim may still obtain a certain amount of compensation regardless of their own percentage of fault. That is to say, you could be 99% liable for your injury and still sue another party for that 1% of the damages. Although, it would be predictably futile to bring a claim under those liability conditions.
Legal Professionals Ready to Fight for You
If you have been injured at the hands of a negligent or reckless individual and you are unsure of whether or not you have grounds to pursue legal action, you should not hesitate to speak to a Shreveport injury lawyer from our firm today. In doing so, you may be able to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your rights as a victim. Call (888) 492-5532 to start discussing your options with trusted legal professionals.