Prescription and Personal Injury

 In Louisiana Car Wrecks

March 30, 2020

We are here for you. The State of Louisiana including Lafayette and Acadiana is  hunkered down under a shelter-in-place ordered by the Governor. Here at Joseph Joy and Associates, our personal injury attorneys are taking all necessary precautions to minimize potential exposure to the potentially deadly coronavirus. We urge you to do the same.

But make no mistake. Even though the courts in Lafayette and Acadiana are temporarily closed during the lockdown, the legal team at Joseph Joy and Associates in Lafayette is hard at work, paying attention to our caseload as we comply with public health directives.

We urge all clients to take the precautions. The Louisiana Department of Health has a dedicated website with comprehensive information.  I urge you to visit it frequently and

  • Stay home unless it is necessary to go to work or get necessities.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Wash your hands.

The Louisiana State Bar Association also has a website with links to court closings and other helpful information.  Things are changing every day and these websites are updated regularly. Visit these websites for the most-up-to-date information or call our office.

“We can’t stress how important it is for all of us to comply with all State and Federal health department guidelines for prevention of exposure and contracting the virus. Most importantly stay sheltered and wash your hands with approved disinfectant. Please call a doctor asap if you lose your sense of smell or taste or develop  fever or coughing,”  Attorney Joseph Joy said.

The Louisiana Supreme Court ordered all judges and court clerks to limit in-person court contact as much as possible by utilizing available technologies, including alternative means of filing, teleconferencing, email and videoconferencing.

The law offices of Joseph Joy and Associates remains accessible to clients through these alternate means of communication.

Even though the courts are temporarily shut down, there is still much work to be done as we  work up our clients’ personal injury cases.  Our legal team handles cases involving serious injury from  auto accidents, 18-wheeler crashes, maritime  or boating or helicopter accidents. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence,  pick up the phone and call us:  337-232-8123.

Suspension of Prescription in Louisiana

Note! We cannot emphasize this enough: If you have any questions or a case that may prescribe, call our office immediately.  Timelines and court announcements are changing frequently.

One of the first steps in our assessment of a client’s case is to review the timeline of events to determine when the prescriptive period runs. Prescription is a Louisiana civil law term for the length of time within which a plaintiff may file suit. It is referred to as statute of limitations in other states.

Negligence, Action for damages LSA C.C. 3492: 1 year from day injury or damage sustained. Does not run against minors or interdicts in products liability actions involving permanent disability

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.

On March 17, 2020, Governor John Bel Edwards took the extraordinary step of suspending this one year prescriptive period for state court actions so plaintiffs do not have to worry about the one-year deadline expiring while courts are closed. Prescription deadlines vary and can be tricky so always consult an attorney on this complex legal issue.

SECTION 5: A. Legal deadlines, including liberative prescription  and peremptive periods applicable to legal proceedings in all courts, administrative agencies, and boards, are hereby suspended until at least Monday, April  13, 2020, including, but not limited to, any such deadlines set forth by law within the following:

  1. Louisiana Civil Code;
  2. Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure;
  3. Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure;
  4. Louisiana Children’s Code;
  5. Title 9 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Civil Code Ancillaries;
  6. Title  13  of   Louisiana   Revised   Statutes,   Courts   and   Judicial Procedure;
  7. Title 14 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Criminal Law;
  8. Title 15 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Criminal Procedure;
  9. Title 18 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Louisiana Election Code;
  10. Title  23  of  Louisiana  Revised  Statutes,  Labor  and  Worker’s Compensation;
  1. Title 32 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations;
  2. Title 40 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Public Health and Safety;
  3. Title 47 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Revenue and Taxation;
  4. Title 49 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, State Administration; and
  5. Title 56 of Louisiana Revised Statutes, Wildlife and
  6. In addition, all other deadlines in legal proceedings in all courts, administrative agencies, and boards shall be suspended until Monday, April I 3,
  7. Courts, administrative agencies and boards statewide shall use due diligence in communicating with attorneys, parties to proceedings with pending deadlines, and the public how the court, agency or board will implement and interpret the provisions of this
  8. Paragraph B of this Section shall not be interpreted so as to prohibit an owner of immovable property from reclaiming leased property if abandoned as provided by law, or entering leased property to make necessary repairs as provided by

Our Work Continues

Our legal team may not be able to go to trial during this COVID-19 crisis but we are able to interview potential clients to assess your case.  There is still much work to be done!  Should you need an attorney, below is a very short description of the kind of work we can initiate to get started on your case.

During this shelter-in-place, we will schedule a phone call to discuss your case in detail.  Below are just a few of the areas we will discuss with you:

  • Facts of the accident or event that caused your injury-dates, place, location and witnesses.
  • Whether you sought medical treatment or are under the care of a physician.
  • Your employment status and history and whether your recent injury has kept you from working.

During our initial interview, we will begin the process of evaluating whether we will need to engage an expert.  Very often, our attorneys will engage experts to render an opinion as to the cause of an accident.  The qualified experts that we rely upon at Joseph Joy and Associates are experienced in collecting the data that is needed to prove their conclusions.  They range from medical experts such as physicians or other medical professional, engineers and technicians skilled at accident reconstruction or economists to evaluate lost wages. The list is exhaustive.

Our law firm initially bears the costs of working up your case and hiring experts.  You only pay when we win or settle the case.

I urge you to follow the public health instructions of federal, state and local officials as we protect ourselves and our communities against COVID 19. If during this time of self-distancing you happen to sustain injury or know someone who has been injured due someone else’s negligence, contact us at Joseph Joy and Associates in Lafayette and we’ll assess your case. Call us at (337) 232-8123 for a phone appointment.


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