What Are Your Rights?

What Are Your Rights?


Before Hurricane Katrina, there was a feeling that insurance companies would act responsibly and do the right thing.  That was before lawyers found out that Allstate and others had turned their claims department into profit centers.  For every dollar not paid they were making a dollar profit.  If 100 policy holders are paid 50% less than owed, at least half would not get a lawyer and take whatever offered, Allstate and other companies made millions in profit by underpaying legitimate claims.

Your rights in injury cases are not determined by Allstate, but by law and the Civil justice system. The foundation in Louisiana is  Civil Code Article 2315, “Every act that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it.”   Fault is usually a form of negligence and what is negligence.  A DUTY to do or not to do some action and a failure to do what the duty imposed. 

This assumes the breach of the duty resulted in a harm, loss, injury or death. Every person is responsible for the damage he occasions not merely by his act, but by his negligence, his imprudence, or his want of skill.   C.C. Art. 2316.

A few codal articles, please note the requirement of “knew or should have known” this was a Governor Foster creation. 

The owner or custodian of a thing is answerable for damage occasioned by its ruin, vice, or defect, only upon a showing that he knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known of the ruin, vice, or defect which caused the damage, that the damage could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care, and that he failed to exercise such reasonable care. Nothing in this Article shall preclude the court from the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in an appropriate case.   C.C. Art. 2317.1

The father and the mother are responsible for the damage occasioned by their minor child, who resides with them or who has been placed by them under the care of other persons, reserving to them recourse against those persons. However, the father and mother are not responsible for the damage occasioned by their minor child who has been emancipated by marriage, by judgment of full emancipation, or by judgment of limited emancipation that expressly relieves the parents of liability for damages occasioned by their minor child.   C.C. Art. 2318

Injury cases can cause the following damages. (In death cases these damages may survive to the spouse, children and parents):

Medical expenses

Loss wages

Impairment of a physical or mental function

Loss of earning capacity

Loss of enjoyment of life

Mental pain and suffering (worry about what the mind or body can’t do)

Physical pain and suffering

Fear and Anxiety



Damages recoverable by a  loved one:

Loss of companionship

Loss of affection

Loss of consortium

Loss of support

Wrongful Death Actions and Survival Actions are similar.

Punitive damages are restricted to DWI cases.  Punitive damages for gross negligence or intentional acts are not allowed in Louisiana since governor Foster.

For more help, contact us.

What Are Your Rights?