While many people are aware of their right to compensation after a personal injury, few people who are injured in a car accident in Louisiana are aware of the statute of limitations and what this means. Let’s discuss what the statute means, how long you have to file a claim after an injury, and why working with the team at Breaux Law Firm is key to your overall recovery.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Greater New Orleans or South Louisiana, you deserve fair compensation for all your physical and emotional injuries, as well as damages to your personal property and your livelihood. Friends and family members may encourage you to reach out to a personal injury attorney to discuss your rights to compensation—a step you should definitely take.
However, don’t wait too long to take that first step of talking with a lawyer!
Why? Because there is a statute of limitations for a car accident in Louisiana.
According to the Legal Information Institute, which provides open access to legal information, in legal terms, a statute of limitations is: “Any law that bars claims after a certain period of time pass after an injury.
The period of time varies depending on the jurisdiction and the type of claim. Statutes of limitations exist for both civil and criminal causes of action and begin to run from the date of the injury, or the date it was discovered, or the date on which it would have been discovered with reasonable efforts.”
In layman’s terms, a statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a claim against another party. In Louisiana, according to CC Art. 3492, the statute of limitations for a car accident claim is one year. After that one year has passed, you can no longer file a claim to receive compensation for damages you sustained in that accident.
That compensation might look like covering costs related to your medical expenses, the income you lost if your injuries caused you to miss time at work, prescription costs, therapeutic treatments, therapy for emotional pain, or damage to your property (like the cost of replacing or repairing your car following an auto accident), and past and future pain and suffering (both emotional and physical).
The experienced attorneys at Breaux Law Firm can help you calculate these costs and will be aware of incurred costs that you might not realize can be reimbursed by the at-fault party’s insurance company.
In other words, if you’re asking yourself how long after a car accident can you take legal action to receive compensation for an injury, the answer is, in plain terms: just one year.
After the year statute of limitations for a car accident injury has expired, you can no longer file a claim regarding that accident or your injuries. If you file after the expiration, the insurance company or the court will defend and dismiss your case.
In a fatal car accident or a wrongful death case, the same statute of limitations of one year still applies.
Whether you are filing a claim with an insurance company or filing a lawsuit, in Louisiana, the statute of limitations for any claim related to a car accident or injuries sustained in a car accident is one year.
Yes, there are a few exceptions. One example is car accidents that involve multiple responsible parties (i.e. defendants) and thus require extensive investigation into who is to be held responsible and to what degree.
An injured person may be able to file a claim against additional parties if the investigation reveals other parties to be at fault for the accident. These exceptions are highly complicated and as a general rule, you should keep the one-year deadline in your head.
In Louisiana, CC Art. 3492 establishes a one-year deadline for filing a lawsuit asking for compensation after an automobile accident in which you have suffered injuries. This law provides injured parties with only one year from the date of the accident to take legal action. This means you have exactly one year to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance company.
If you are hit by an uninsured driver or the accident is a hit-and-run where you have no information on the driver who hit you, the statute of limitations to file suit against your own under/uninsured motorist insurance carrier is two years.
Although the answer may seem counterintuitive, a statute of limitations is designed to protect citizens. The idea is that a person who has been injured in an accident cannot sue another party continually or indefinitely for compensation regarding their injuries.
Lawsuits can be more difficult to pursue the more time goes by after the incident. Investigations need to happen soon after the accident. For this reason, lawsuits need to be a timely thing. The decision to pursue legal action should be made quickly and reasonably, within an appropriate time frame after the accident.
We’ve covered what the statute of limitations is for a car accident in Louisiana, how long after a car accident you can claim an injury, and why the law exists. But why should you work with the team at Breaux Law Firm to file your claim before the statute of limitations expires?
The answer, simply put, is that we succeed in winning our clients a fair compensation package that covers all of their injuries, mental health damages, property damages, loss related to income or quality of life, and past and future pain and suffering.
We cover all the bases and use our expertise in personal injury law to ensure that you win your case. We know the ins and outs of the Louisiana legal world, and we know the timelines and deadlines that you will need to follow. Consider us your guides, your support system, and your advocates.
At Breaux Law Firm, we see our clients like family, and we fight for you as if we were fighting for one of our own. If you’re hesitant about your claim or unsure if the statute of limitations has already passed, just give us a call so we can determine what kind of case we can develop on your behalf.
We’re happy to spend the time it takes for you to understand the legal complexities of your case, the direction you can take, and what steps you should take next. Our reputation speaks for itself; we are ready to fight for you.