Louisiana law provides unique rules to filing a lawsuit. In Louisiana, lawsuits for damages are called Petitions for Damages. Plaintiffs are called Petitioners. The Louisiana Rules of Civil Procedure prohibit Petitioners from stating specific dollar amounts for money damages in the Petition. Furthermore, Louisiana law requires factual pleading, meaning that facts must be described in the petition sufficient to allow the defendant to answer the lawsuit and plead defenses.
5 Essential Steps to file a Louisiana Lawsuit
Before filing an injury lawsuit, lawyers gather important information and relevant evidence. Lawyers may interview witnesses. Visit the scene of the injury and take videos or photographs to document the scene. They may perform legal research about the law that applies to the claims. Generally, the 5 steps to filing a lawsuit in Louisiana include:
- Gather all relevant evidence
- Write the petition for damages
- File the petition for damages in the correct court
- Serve the petition and summons on the defendant
Information Required for an Injury Lawsuit in Louisiana
Using a personal injury lawsuit as an example, the petition must identify the injured plaintiff and the defendant who allegedly caused the injury. Often, Louisiana law allows multiple plaintiffs and defendants depending on the circumstances. Important facts for the lawsuit may be found in witness interviews and documents. Moreover, police crash reports and injury claim reports provide many details gathered at the scene of the injury, including the identities of eyewitnesses.
Louisiana Personal Injury Money
Article 2315 of the Louisiana Civil Code provides for recovery of all damages to make the injured party whole. An award of money damages may include property repair costs, medical bills, lost income, and compensation for physical and mental pain. Louisiana law does not award money for punitive damages unless the law specifically authorizes those damages. Importantly, Louisiana laws provide recovery of punitive damages against drunk drivers.
How to File a Louisiana Personal Injury Lawsuit
You must comply with the Louisiana Rules of Civil Procedure when writing, filing, and serving your lawsuit. Parties must file the Petition for Damages in a court of proper jurisdiction and venue. You must serve the lawsuit in compliance with the law. If you fail to follow certain rules, the court may dismiss your lawsuit. Therefore, you should hire a lawyer licensed in Louisiana to help you properly file your lawsuit.