According to my research, there are exceptions to Louisiana's one-year
statute of limitations in some types of civil injuries.
Unfortunately, according to one expert, they appear to be unlikely to
apply to your situation as you have described it. It is essential
that you consult with a qualified Louisiana personal-injury attorney
as soon as possible to preserve whatever rights you may still possess.
Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation, and you should
certainly have them review this issue during that consultation.
I have provided you with information below regarding the law and
possible scenarios that can result in an extension of the statute of
limitations in Louisiana.
"CHAPTER 4. LIBERATIVE PRESCRIPTION
SECTION 1. ONE YEAR PRESCRIPTION
Art. 3492. Delictual actions
Delictual actions are subject to a liberative prescription of one
year. This prescription commences to run from the day injury or damage
is sustained. It does not run against minors or interdicts in actions
involving permanent disability and brought pursuant to the Louisiana
Products Liability Act or state law governing product liability
actions in effect at the time of the injury or damage.
Acts 1992, No. 621, §1."
"Ci. Code. Art. 3492" State of Lousiana
"Please note that it may be possible to bring multiple causes of
action from a single incident of wrongful conduct, and thus even if it
appears that the relevant statute of limitations has run it may remain
possible to bring a different claim. Also, there may be an exception
to the standard limitations period that applies to any given
situation. The following list is provided by way of example. If you
wish to know how the statute of limitations applies to a specific
situation, you should verify the statutory time period and its
relevance to your situation with a qualified Louisiana lawyer."
"The Discovery Rule
Sometimes it is not reasonably possible for a person to discover the
cause of an injury, or even to know that an injury has occurred, until
considerably after the act which causes the injury. For example, an
error in the drafting of a will might not be noticed until the will is
being executed, decades after it was drafted, or a financial planner's
embezzlement might not be noticed for years due to the issuance of
false statements of account.
When it applies, the "discovery rule" permits a suit to be filed
within a certain period of time after the injury is discovered, or
reasonably should have been discovered. The discovery rule does not
apply to all civil injuries, and sometimes the period of time for
bringing a claim post-discovery can be short, so it is important to
seek legal assistance quickly in the event of the late discovery of an
Tolling of the Statute of Limitations
In addition to late discovery, it may be possible to avoid the harsh
result of a statute of limitation by arguing that the statute has been
"tolled". When it is said that a statute is "tolled", it means that
something has stopped the statute from running for a period of time.
Typical reasons for tolling a statute of limitations include minority
(the victim of the injury was a minor at the time the injury
occurred), mental incompetence (the victim of the injury was not
mentally competent at the time the injury occurred), and the
defendant's bankruptcy (the "automatic stay" in bankruptcy ordinarily
tolls the statute of limitations until such time as the bankruptcy is
resolved or the stay is lifted).
For product liability actions involving claims of permanent
disability, the one year statute of limitatioins does not run against
"Louisiana Statute of Limitations for Civil and Personal Injury
Actions - An Overview" By Aaron Larson, ExpertLaw (July, 2004)
"Some states like Louisiana have very short statute of limitations
periods. In Louisiana, a person suffering personal injury will have
one year from the date of injury to pursue a personal injury or
wrongful death claim. If a claim is not instituted within this time
period, it is barred by prescription."
"The law also recognizes that there are instances where a person could
not have brought a claim within the statute of limitations because
they were not aware that a claim existed or some other legally
recognized circumstance occurred. An example of this might be where a
sponge was left inside someone by a physician during surgery and the
patient does not discover this fact until more than a two years later.
Accordingly, the law has created certain legal doctrines that may be
used to suspend or interrupt the running of the applicable time
limitations. These doctrines vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
There are some exceptions to this general rule and an attorney should
be consulted to advise you on the facts and circumstances of your
Not knowing the specific time period in which to bring a claim is not
an excuse. For these reasons, it is important to determine at the
beginning of the review whether there is a potential problem with
"The Statute of Limitations" The Cochran Firm (2006)
"Remember that the delay in discovery must be one that is reasonable
under the circumstances. So, if the patient in the above example was
experiencing abdominal pain after the first surgery but refused to
seek medical treatment for a number of years, his or her lawsuit may
very well be barred by the statute of limitations. Also, the
"discovery of harm" rule will almost never arise in the most common
types of injury claims -- those after car accidents and slip and fall
incidents. This is because such occurrences usually leave nothing to
"discover" in terms of the source and nature of any harm suffered."
"Time Limits for Bringing a Case: The 'Statute of Limitations'"
FindLaw (2006) http://injury.findlaw.com/personal-injury/personal-injury-law/personal-injury-law-limitations.html
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