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Car Accident Lawyer Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, LA Car Accident Injury Attorneys
Confusion, shock, and even pain from your car accident injuries tend to blur the moments following a car crash. The brain races from one thought to another, and it can be difficult to think calmly. What happened? Is everyone all right? What do I do?
Motor vehicle accidents are stressful for everyone involved. Between placing phone calls to 911, dealing with insurance companies, medical bills, repair shops, towing companies, and even sometimes rental car agencies, you need to make sure you are legally protected. That’s why guidance from a knowledgeable and skilled motor vehicle accident attorney is vital.
You need a Baton Rouge car accident lawyer to help ease your worries and confusion. At Joubert Law Firm, our car accident attorneys understand this is a challenging time for you, and navigating insurance companies and the legal system to get the money you deserve is just another burden you don’t need. Let our experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyers carry this burden and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
We offer a free consultation, and our firm represents you on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we are able to recover compensation for you. Contact our car wreck attorneys today at (225) 777-8853 to get started on your claim.
Types of Car Collisions
Our daily routines typically require us to spend a considerable amount of time in a vehicle. Whether that’s traveling to work, school, the store, or any variety of locations. The fact is, each time you get behind the wheel, the chance of being involved in an automobile accident increases.
Typically, another motorist’s negligence or reckless driving is what causes these often preventable car accidents. Depending on the circumstances leading up to the wreck, a Baton Rouge car accident can occur in several different ways. Some of the most common types of auto accidents we see include:
This is a common type of accident involving a single vehicle. Single-car accidents may be caused by any number of things, including drunk driving, mechanical issues, bad weather, hitting an object in the roadway, speeding, and driver fatigue.
Most traffic accidents are rear-end collisions, as they make up about 29% of all wrecks according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). A rear-end collision occurs when a car crashes into the vehicle in front of it. Typical causes of rear-end accidents are tailgating, sudden stops, and a distracted or inattentive driver.
A T-bone or side-impact accident happens when one vehicle hits the side of another, essentially forming a “T” shape. These accidents often occur when a driver drives through a traffic light or stop sign or fails to yield the right-of-way.
Widely considered the most dangerous type of car accident, head-on collisions involve two vehicles hitting each other as they move toward each other. The momentum carrying both vehicles forward increases the strength of the impact and, as a result, often increases the severity of injuries to accident victims.
These accidents are frequently caused by inattentive or drunk motorists and excessive speeding. Serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, and wrongful death may result from head-on collisions.
A low-speed crash typically happens at speeds slower than 10 miles per hour. While the involved vehicles generally don’t sustain much property damage, the driver and passengers may still receive minor injuries and a personal injury lawsuit may still be warranted.
A sideswipe collision happens when two vehicles moving next to each other make contact from the side. This type of accident may occur when a driver changes lanes or doesn’t check the road before merging into traffic.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Many people find the consequences of a vehicle collision haunt them for years after the accident. People who were severely injured in car accident cases may still suffer chronic pain decades later due to someone else’s negligence, even with the help of advanced medical treatments and medication. Although each vehicle collision is unique, some of the common injuries we see in these types of crashes include:
- Broken bones
- Amputation injuries
- Scars and disfigurement
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Reaggravated injuries
- Neck, back, and spine injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Wrongful death
You shouldn’t have to deal with the legalities of your personal injury case when you’re already dealing with the stress and anxiety of trying to work with an insurance company that is delaying or denying your claim. That’s why, at Joubert Law Firm, our experienced team of Baton Rouge car accident attorneys work hard on your behalf so you don’t have to suffer any extra and unnecessary burdens. We’ll evaluate all evidence, gather accident reports, reconstruct the scene of the collision, negotiate settlement offers, consult with medical expert witnesses, prepare your case for trial, and aggressively represent you at trial, if necessary.
What To Do After A Car Wreck
The first thing to do when you’re involved in a traffic collision is moving your vehicle out of the way of traffic. Then, immediately call the police to report the accident. They’ll come to the accident scene, take statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses, and write up an accident report. If possible, you should also gather your own evidence from the scene. Take photos, collect contact details from the other driver and witnesses, and exchange insurance information.
It is also important that you receive medical care as soon after the accident as possible. Initially, you may not think the wreck injured you, but adrenaline rushing through your body after a collision can mask the pain for several days. You may have injuries that you overlook. Medical records are also important for building personal injury cases. When you wait to seek medical help, the insurance company may argue you were not hurt in the traffic accident, which may impair your ability to recover financial compensation for your lost wages or future medical expenses, among other costs.
During this time is also when most people discover that their insurance is not there to help them as they may have originally thought. Rather, your insurance adjusters will try to pay out as little as possible for car accident claims. If your or the other driver’s insurance provider asks you to make a recorded statement, do not. They’ll use it against you later if you file a personal injury claim. Instead, the best thing you can do after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence is to speak with a Baton Rouge car accident lawyer.
At the Joubert Law Firm, we help clients understand their rights and responsibilities following automobile accidents. If you’ve suffered injuries and the insurance company offers a settlement offer that is far too low, your car accident lawyer will take the next step to protect you and negotiate for a better settlement. We’ll also provide you with a free case review and determine whether you have a viable claim.
Is Louisiana a Fault or No-Fault State?
Louisiana is a “fault” state. This means that a driver who causes an auto accident may be held liable for injuries and damages while the other driver can file a lawsuit or insurance claim against the at-fault driver.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Louisiana
With car insurance, the required liability amounts get split into three numbers. The numbers are 15/30/25 in Louisiana and refer to per person bodily injury liability, per accident bodily injury, and property damage liability.
To protect themselves and others in an accident, drivers are required to purchase minimum liability insurance with the 15/30/25 coverage amounts. That is $15,000 per injured person for up to two people and covers a total of $30,000 for one accident. An additional $25,000 takes care of property damage.
While you’re only required to have the minimum amount of vehicle insurance, you could be deemed personally liable and sued if your own insurance company doesn’t cover everything. These amounts are the minimum mandated by Louisiana.
How Negligence Affects Your Baton Rouge Car Accident Claim
Negligence plays the biggest role in determining whether you can recover compensation for your Louisiana car accident case. Negligence occurs when a driver uses less care than a reasonable person would in the same situation and ends up harming another person. In this case, they are deemed responsible for any damages caused.
For a successful outcome in a Baton Rouge car accident lawsuit, your personal injury lawyer must prove that the following elements of negligence existed:
- Duty – The other driver owed a duty of care to you.
- Breach – The other driver violated that duty and harmed you.
- Causation – Your injuries would not have occurred if the other driver hadn’t breached their duty.
- Damages – There is evidence of your injury and the loss you suffered.
Pinpointing the cause of your Baton Rouge car crash helps determine who is liable and works to hold them accountable. However, Louisiana uses comparative negligence to assign fault to the involved parties. This means more than one person may be responsible. As such, if the injured person is assigned part of the fault, their damages are reduced by that amount. For example, if you’re given 10% of the responsibility for the accident, your claim for damages gets reduced by 10%.
Will I need to pay any money upfront to get my personal injury started?
No, you will not need any money to get your case started or to initially meet with an attorney. We handle most cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid unless you recover money.
What is a deposition?
A deposition is a statement given under oath, usually done in a lawyer’s office before a court reporter. Witnesses called to testify in a deposition answer questions posed by attorneys representing both parties in a case. The court reporter produces a written transcript of everything said at the deposition and the witness can read and sign the transcript, swearing it to be an accurate rendition of the testimony given under oath.
What documents should I bring with me when I meet with a lawyer?
The more information you are able to gather for your attorney, the easier it will be for your attorney to determine whether your claim will be successful. You should supply any documents that might have a bearing on your case, including, but not limited to, collision reports, photographs and medical records. If you have not collected any documents, do not worry because your lawyer will be able to obtain them.
What Damages Can I Get for My Car Wreck Injuries?
Often, insurance companies make a quick initial settlement offer covering only the victim’s immediate and current expenses. These offers do not cover all the victims’ current and future medical needs and costs. Accepting a lowball offer usually means the injured victims end up paying for some of their medical care out of pocket or even going without necessary treatment.
When you hire a Baton Rouge car accident lawyer from Joubert Law Firm, you protect yourself from getting shortchanged. Your legal professional will perform a full assessment of your case to determine the value of your claim, so all of your economic and non-economic damages are considered.
Economic losses include financial loss, such as lost wages, medical costs, and damage to your vehicle. Non-economic damages don’t have a specific dollar amount attached to them. Rather, these damages include things like emotional distress and pain and suffering.
What Factors Affect How Long It Takes To Settle a Car Accident Case?
A car accident claim’s settlement time is as unique as your particular case. As a result, there are many elements that may impact the process, and it can take a few months up to even a few years for your claim to payout.
Factors affecting the settlement timeline include:
The insurance companies involved – yours and the other driver’s – impact the time it takes to complete your claim. Insurance providers may question your claim or deny it outright. Some companies engage in bad faith practices to keep plaintiffs from collecting a fair settlement. This includes denying coverage, pressing you to take an initial offer, or ignoring your phone calls.
If there is a question about who is responsible for the wreck, the process can take longer. The process also lengthens if the drivers share fault. When comparative negligence is applied, there are more steps to complete.
The Extent of the Injuries
Injuries received in a Baton Rouge auto accident range in severity from scrapes and bruises to head trauma and permanent spinal injuries. Your medical treatment continues until you reach the point where your condition can no longer be further improved. This is known as maximum medical improvement (MMI). Your Baton Rouge personal injury attorney makes sure your case doesn’t settle until the potential costs of your current and future medical expenses are made evident.
Whether a Lawsuit is Filed
Most claims settle outside of court. However, if the parties disagree about the claim or insurance denies it, mediation or arbitration may be the next move. If that doesn’t work, your personal injury attorney may recommend you sue the at-fault driver. A lawsuit is another way to gather compensation for your damages when a settlement cannot be reached.
Also, impacting the timespan of your case is the number of liable parties involved. For example, you could sue a vehicle manufacturer if a defective car contributed to the wreck. You may also sue that government entity if struck by a city or state vehicle or if the roadways were faultily designed.
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