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What Determines How Much Compensation an Accident Victim will Receive in Monticello?

— August 31, 2022

In Louisiana, punitive damages are only available in very limited circumstances.

Monticello, LA – Those who are harmed in a motor vehicle accident deal with a number of losses and expenses that may be difficult to cover. This is the main reason that the insurance claim process and the option of a civil injury lawsuit exist. All of these sudden costs can be life changing, and there may be even more future losses depending on the victim’s condition and ability to work. If anyone needs specific information about the potential value of their case, they should speak with a local attorney in the Monticello area. 

The law of damages

Compensation in a lawsuit coincides with the plaintiff’s demonstrated damages that are a direct result of their accident. The term damages is used to describe losses associated with an accident, and it is also the fourth element that must be shown in a negligence case. This means that being able to show more actual losses and problems caused by the defendant’s conduct will translate into more money if the case is successful. Damages are divided into economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Sometimes the terms special and general damages are used in Louisiana as well. 

Economic losses

Most of a person’s economic losses from an accident will usually be tied to medical treatment and continued care. However, it is also possible that a person loses a significant amount of wages due to a disability or remaining out of work for long periods of time. Economic damages are these kinds of specific losses that can be documented through things like bills, invoices, repair estimates, and receipts.

Non-economic losses

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Attorneys have the option of arguing for losses related to pain and suffering as well. Much of this is done through argument to the jury or at settlement negotiations, and showing how the victim’s quality of life has decreased. If someone has long term injuries that result in large amounts of physical pain, this is relevant to non-economic damages as well.

Punitive damages

In Louisiana, punitive damages are only available in very limited circumstances. These damages are meant to punish a defendant for reckless or malicious behavior. State law says that punitive damages may only be available in an accident case where the defendant was a drunk driver. In other negligence cases where the defendant merely made a mistake, the plaintiff cannot argue for punitive damages. 

Louisiana accident attorneys

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a firm that helps people in Monticello and other parts of Louisiana with accident lawsuits. Victims of car accidents can contact their attorneys to get advice about filing a case and receiving compensation.

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