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Changes in Louisiana Law That Will Impact Your Personal Injury Suit 

Author: Henri M. Saunders

Tort reform was a hot topic in last year’s gubernatorial election. As a result, many people ask us questions about tort reform laws and how they will affect Louisiana personal injury law.

To address these questions, let’s provide an overview of what tort reform is, Louisiana’s recent tort reform laws, and how they affect Louisiana personal injury law.

What is Tort Reform 

A tort is a wrongful act of an individual that leads to damage to another. For example, consider a situation where a person is texting while driving and causes an accident that leads to damages and injuries. The driver’s conduct is considered negligent and generates a tort claim. When this happens, the injured parties can file a civil action against the negligent driver, seeking damages as compensation for their injuries and losses. 

When courts award damages, insurance companies make the payments. As you might imagine, insurance companies advocate for limitations on the damages plaintiffs can recover, and these arguments are the basis of tort reform debates. Most Louisiana drivers do not think about these issues on a regular basis which is why we feel it is important to shed light on the subject.

Lobbyists are constantly at work for insurance companies, pushing the Louisiana legislature to enact laws limiting recovery in personal injury cases. Lobbyists and politicians advocate for tort reform laws by arguing that they will produce lower insurance premiums for Louisiana drivers and avoid inefficient windfalls to victims. In reality, “windfalls” and “run-away” jury verdicts are extremely rare.

Louisiana Tort Reform Laws 

In 2021, Louisiana lowered the threshold for jury trials from $50,000 to $10,000 through enacted tort reform laws. The idea here was that juries would be less generous to car accident victims than judges are. At the time, our insurance commissioner promised that these laws would cause insurance premiums to go down. This contention was false.

Insurance premiums have not decreased. However, the change has increased litigation costs and expenses, all while insurance premiums continue to rise. Despite this failed measure, tort reform supporters advocate for additional reforms, and many expressed concerns during the last election that Governor Landry is too friendly with trial lawyers to support the necessary reforms.

Tort Reform’s Impacts on Louisiana Personal Injury Law 

After trying personal injury cases in Louisiana for years, we’ve observed that tort reform does not lead to reduced insurance premiums or benefits for the people of Louisiana. Instead, tort reforms benefit insurance companies, and these laws make it more challenging for victims to achieve full compensation.

When you hear arguments about more tort reforms and people advocating for leaders who will enact new tort reform laws, we encourage you to be skeptical. Louisiana history shows that these anti-consumer reforms benefit insurance companies at the expense of injured victims. 

Contact Saunders & Chabert to Learn More 

Contact our team if you have questions about tort reform laws. We’re experts in Louisiana personal injury law and well-versed in insurance companies’ arguments for tort reform. We’ve seen the effects of the passage of draconian tort reform laws and are all too familiar with the reality that they don’t help the people of Louisiana. 

Call us today or schedule a free online consultation to discuss how Louisiana tort laws could impact your situation. 

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