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Understanding The Housley Presumption in Louisiana Law

A critical issue in any Louisiana personal injury case is the damages that were actually caused by the accident. Generally speaking, this requires a determination of the extent of the injuries that a person suffers in an accident. This is typically established through testimony from doctors and other health care providers. But how do you prove the injury did not exist before the accident? This is where the “Housley presumption” comes into play.

What Is The Housley Presumption?

The presumption was explained in the Louisiana Supreme Court’s opinion in Housley v. Cerise where the Court stated as follows:

“A claimant’s disability is presumed to have resulted from an accident, if before the accident the injured person was in good health, but commencing with the accident the symptoms of the disabling condition appear and continuously manifest themselves afterwards, providing that the medical evidence shows there to be a reasonable possibility of causal connection between the accident and the disabling condition.”

In other words, if a person isn’t in pain before an accident and then is in pain after the accident, the symptoms/injuries are presumed to be related to the accident as long as there is medical evidence to support it.

Defendants Can Rebut the Housley Presumption

An injured person’s ability to use the Housley presumption does not guarantee that any injuries will be found to have been caused by the accident. This is because defendants are able to rebut (or get around) the Housley presumption. They can do this by showing that “some other particular incident could have caused the injury in question.”

For example, a defendant may argue that an accident that happened after the accident at issue caused the plaintiff’s injuries. It would then be up for a jury to decide what actually caused the injuries.

Call a New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you have been injured in a car accident, truck accident, or other type of accident, call The Mahone Firm at (504) 564-7342 today. There is no charge to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney.

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