Any type of motor vehicle accident can cause serious injuries to the victims involved in the collision. A motorcycle accident, however, is particularly likely to result in serious injury to a victim due to the lack of protection a rider has on a motorcycle. If you were injured in a motorcycle crash that you believe was caused, in whole or in part, by another party you could be entitled to damages (compensation) for your injuries. Your next question may be “What damages can I seek in a motorcycle accident claim in Louisiana?”
As you may already know, a motorcycle accident can leave the victim with physical injuries as well as emotional trauma. It can also result in financial hardship for the victim. Fortunately, Louisiana law allows a victim to recover damages from another party if the victim is able to show that the other party’s negligence was the cause, or a contributing cause, in the collision. “Negligence”, in legal terminology, requires the victim to show four elements:
- Duty of care owed to the victim by the defendant
- Breach of the duty of care
If another party was 100 percent at fault in the “accident” that party will be 100 percent responsible for the damages caused by that negligence. A defendant does not have to be 100 percent at fault, however, for a victim to recover from the defendant. Louisiana uses the doctrine of “comparative negligence.” Comparative negligence essentially allows a victim to pursue compensation from a defendant as long as the defendant was at least partially at fault, meaning the defendant is responsible for some degree of the negligence that caused the collision.
A victim may potentially recover both economic and non-economic damages from a negligent defendant. Economic damages are easily quantifiable, out of pocket expenses, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Non-economic damages are what people often mean when they refer to “pain and suffering” damages. Non-economic damages are much more difficult to value because of the subjective nature of the injury; however, for purposes of valuing the claim and/or pursuing litigation a value must be arrived at for both the economic and non-economic damages a motorcyclist sustained in the collision. This is one of the many reasons why it is always in your best interest as the victim of a motorcycle accident to retain the services of an experienced Louisiana personal injury accident attorney. By doing so you ensure that you will be fully and fairly compensated for all your injuries.
If you have additional questions or concerns, contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today.