Auto accident law in Louisiana carries some unique characteristics. In the event that you're injured in an accident in Louisiana, it's important to be aware of how these laws work and what affects this may have on your claim or on your lawsuit. Louisiana is one few states that is considered a direct action state. A direct action state is one in which, in the event of a lawsuit, a plaintiff can name the defendants insurance company directly as part of the lawsuit. This is important, as judges and juries are more inclined to award damages to the plaintiff if they are certain that the damages will covered by an insurance company, rather than an individual.
Simply put, when a jury believes that an individual will have to pay the entirety of a large settlement out of their own pocket, they are often reluctant to force them to pay. While they may feel that the plaintiff is entitled to damages, a large settlement can easily break the bank of a person if they had to pay it out of pocket. Auto accident law in Louisiana allows the naming of the insurance company so that judges and juries are aware of who will actually be paying most of the damages.
Auto accident law in Louisiana has a few other interesting quirks that aren't found in every other state. One particular law is the comparative negligence law. What comparative negligence means is that if a person injured in an accident is also at fault for the accident, the damages can be reduced. People are considered to have a certain percentage of fault for the accident, and damages can be reduced by up to that percentage.
Another interesting fact about auto accident law in Louisiana is that it takes very little to initiate a lawsuit. Whereas in some states, a person is required to have a sustained a certain degree of injury before filing suit, this is not the case in Louisiana. The person filing suit doesn't even have to file an accident report with the police, or inform the person named in the lawsuit before filing. Under auto accident law in Louisiana, you could suddenly find yourself the defendant in a lawsuit for an accident that happened up to a full year ago.