Beat the Clock: Louisiana Prescriptive Period for Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases arise in many different shapes, sizes, and kinds. Whether it be a small injury from a simple car accident or life-altering damage from a plane crash, negligence may be found and recovery necessary. But not matter the type of case, all claims have one thing in common: a time limit for how long you can bring your case to court. When a plaintiff fails to bring their claim within this time period, the court will refuse to hear the case and a settlement cannot be made. So, how much time do you have to file your claim?
Under Louisiana Civil Code Article 3492, an action for personal injury, not relating to a faulty product, must be filed in court within one year of the date of the injury. This means as of the day your injuries or damages are sustained, the prescriptive period starts running. This rule applies to injuries arising from: (1) car accidents; (2) slip and falls; (3) pedestrian accidents; and (4) dog bites or attacks.
Not only should prescription be considered to ensure a claim may be filed, but waiting too long may raise other issues. As time passes, witnesses may be harder to find, videos and pictures of an accident may be lost, and other evidence may be destroyed. Additionally, filing sooner allows more time for settlement negotiations to be made.