Louisiana Car Accident Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation with an experienced louisiana car accident attorney
Car accidents happen in the state of Louisiana every single day, and whether you are in a small town up north or in a big city like New Orleans, the consequences can feel overwhelming. Sometimes it is the thought of filling out what feels like endless insurance paperwork that haunts you, and other times it is serious injuries that resulted from the crash. Whatever it is, we are here to help. At Zinda Law Group our Louisiana car accident attorneys are ready work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve and put your life back on track.
When you call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312, you’ll be able to schedule your first, free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. We can offer professional advice on how to move forward in your claim and we’re happy to answer any questions.
louisiana car accident faq’s
So, you got in a Louisiana car accident, and now you are thinking about whether you can or should sue the other driver. It is our goal to make sure you are as informed as possible, which is why we want to answer a few common questions for you here. If you don’t see the answer that you are looking for, our office is only a phone call away.
What Kind of Compensation Might I Be Awarded?
Before you take the lawsuit leap it only makes sense that you understand what kind of costs you could recover if you are successful. The issue of damages can be complex, but an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney understands how to go about getting you the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Plaintiffs in these kinds of personal injury actions are generally eligible for two types of damages: general damages and special damages. Special damages compensate plaintiffs for specific monetary losses that they experience, meaning their out-of-pocket expenses. For example, this would cover the money you paid to get your car fixed or to get medical attention after the accident.
General damages refer to compensation for losses that are difficult or impossible to value in exact dollars. Examples of general damages are compensation for pain and suffering or mental anguish. These damages can be a bit more difficult to prove, but an experienced Louisiana personal injury attorney knows how to get you the most compensation possible.
In Louisiana, punitive damages—sometimes called exemplary damages—are allowed but only in some circumstances. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer—which can be the other driver or the manufacturer of the car, or both—for their behavior. In Louisiana a court can only allow punitive damages in circumstances where there was gross negligence, such as a drunk driver, or where the wrongdoer knew that their actions would be dangerous but proceeded anyways.
Louisiana, unlike other states, generally does not cap the amount of compensation that a plaintiff can be awarded. This means that there is no “ceiling” that might prevent you from getting the recovery you deserve, and at Zinda Law Group it is our goal to get you exactly that. This all might sound confusing but retaining a Louisiana car accident lawyer who is familiar with these kinds of complexities is the key to your success.
What Will the Claims and Lawsuit Process Look Like?
Although it can be an intimidating process, our attorneys will be by your side every step of the way. Generally, the first step that your attorney will take will be to talk with the insurance provider and see what they are offering. Insurance providers oftentimes prefer to pay settlement amounts in exchange for you agreeing to not take the case to court.
If the settlement agreement isn’t what you were hoping for, then your attorney can negotiate with them to see if they will agree to a higher number. If you still aren’t happy with what they send back, you can always take the case to trial.
Even if you do decide to take the case to trial, your ability to settle does not go out the window. Most cases settle before going to trial and the parties can reach an agreement as late as the day before it is scheduled to start. Your attorney can talk to you about the advantages and consequences of these options.
If you do go to trial, then your attorney and the defendant’s attorney will present their case to the factfinder, a.k.a. the judge or the jury. Ultimately, the fact finder will either find in your favor or not. If you are successful, then the factfinder will decide how much compensation you will be awarded.
What Do I Need to Prove?
To be successful in your lawsuit you need to be able to prove that the defendant was negligent. This means that you need to show that the defendant had a duty to act as a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances, they failed to do so, and their conduct was the cause of your injuries. In a lot of lawsuits that stem from car accidents, it is the other driver who was negligent, but sometimes it is other third parties, such as the car manufacturer. It can be tricky to identify who was at fault and to establish all of the elements of negligence, which is why a Louisiana car accident attorney can make a huge difference in your likelihood of success.
What If Part of the Accident Was My Fault?
Sometimes both drivers in a car accident are at fault. If that is the case in your situation, don’t worry just yet; Louisiana uses a comparative negligence standard for car accident cases. Basically, this means that if a jury was to decide that you, the plaintiff, bore some part of the blame, then the only thing that is impacted is the amount of damages you are entitled to. You can still sue; the compensation you are awarded will just be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault.
For example, say a jury was to find that you are entitled to $100,000 for your losses but that you were at fault for 20% of the car accident. In that case, the $100,000 would be reduced by 20%, and you would receive $80,000. Ultimately, however, the jury is the one who decides how responsible you are, if at all; this means that retaining an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney who can show the jury why you were innocent in the accident is worth your while.
How Long Do I Have to File Suit?
In Louisiana the statute of limitations for these types of actions is only one year. A statute of limitations is essentially a clock that starts ticking from the moment you get in the accident. Once that one year is up, you can no longer sue. If you try to sue the defendant after that time is up, then they will have an easy argument to get the case dismissed, and the court will likely grant that dismissal unless there is some rare extenuating circumstance. This is why it is always important to reach out to an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney sooner rather than later.
What to do after a louisiana car accident
Car accidents are sometimes impossible to avoid, but you can at least prepare yourself for what you need to do after you find yourself in that position. If you have been injured in a car accident, take these steps to protect yourself and your legal claim.
1. Seek Medical Attention. Even if at the time of the accident you feel like you are fine, or your injuries are minor it is always best practice to get checked out by a medical professional. Oftentimes car crashes result in injuries that are not obvious right away. The earlier you seek treatment the less likely a hidden injury will progress into something much worse.
2. If You Can, Move Your Car From the Road. Louisiana law requires that if your car is operable, you must move your car to protect your safety and the safety of others. Of course, if you are injured or starting your car would be dangerous, do not try to move it. If you can, you may want to take a picture of the arrangement of the cars for later on.
3. Notify Law Enforcement. In many states, including Louisiana, it is a law that you must report car accidents whenever an injury occurs or property damage has been incurred that results in over $500. Many insurance policies also require that you report the accident.
4. Gather and Keep Evidence From the Scene and the Following Days. Detailed evidence can be hugely beneficial to your case. This is why you should try to take photos of the accident scene and get the contact information of any witnesses. You should also try to keep receipts for any medical bills or car bills that you pay; you’ll need these later on when you need to establish damages.
5. Call Zinda Law Group. Remember, Louisiana’s statute of limitation is only one year. This means you have one year from the accident to talk to an attorney, navigate negotiations with the opposing side, and possibly file a case in court. It is never too early to secure a competent and diligent Louisiana car accident attorney by your side.
REACH OUT TO A LOUISIANA PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER TODAY
Our Louisiana car accident attorneys know that you have faced enough financial hardship already, which is why we promise to not charge you a dime unless we win your case. That is our “No Win, No Fee Guarantee.” Thus, you have nothing to lose by giving Zinda Law Group a call at (800) 863-5312 today for your 100% free initial consultation to talk about how we can help you turn your life around.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.