Frequently Asked Questions: Auto Accident Lawsuits

September 17, 2014 @ 10:11 am

Updated on: March 5, 2021

1. What is the time limit for filing an auto accident lawsuit?

After an injury, the state of Louisiana generally allows one year after the date of the accident/injury for an individual to file an auto accident lawsuit. It is important to note you relinquish your right to file a lawsuit if you file after the one year deadline. In Louisiana, the time limit is referred to as “prescription.” Other states refer to this time limit as the “statute of limitations.” Also, each state’s time limit varies. Consequently, verify your state’s filing window to make sure you do not lose your right to file suit.

2. How do I begin the personal injury lawsuit process after an auto accident?

The first order of business is for you to file a Complaint, or Petition for Damages. This document outlines all components you, the plaintiff, are making against the defendant. The Complaint is comprised of facts surrounding the case’s events, people involved, justification for each complaint and compensation for damages. The defendant will then be served with your complaint and will have to answer the lawsuit within 15 days unless otherwise agreed.

3. What is “burden of proof” and who has it in an auto accident case?

Burden of proof is one party’s responsibility to prove to the court that his or her interpretation of the events is legitimate and factual. For example, if a driver is injured because another driver ran a stop sign and caused injury or other damages, the injured driver has the burden of proof if he or she decides to bring the case to court. The injured driver will most likely utilize the other driver’s violation of traffic rules as the evidence needed to validate his or her complaint. In a civil case, the plaintiff, the person filing the complaint, bears the burden of proving each element of his or her case by a “preponderance of the evidence, ” which means “more likely than not.”

4. How long does an auto accident case take?

It is impossible to provide a time frame for an auto accident litigation process. Each case has various factors making it different from the next on the docket. However, it is important to note that a settlement can be reached out of court at any time—even if the lawsuit has been filed.


Contact the knowledgeable and skilled attorneys at Morrow, Morrow, Ryan, Bassett & Haik for an evaluation today. With over 170 years of combined experience representing the injured in state and federal courts, our attorneys are always fully prepared to remain with their auto accident lawsuits until the juries reach their verdicts. Our lawyers will ensure that you receive compensation for your injuries whether they are physical or emotional.

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