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We’ve all seen legal dramas where the plaintiff walks into the courtroom wearing a neck brace. Their lawyer tells them to act like they’re in pain so they can get as much money as possible. The jury listens to their story and awards them hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the real world, it doesn’t work this way. Yes, you may have to testify. And, yes, you may be awarded damages. However, as a car accident attorney in Louisiana will tell you, lawsuits usually involve a lot more than what you see in the movies.

If you get into an accident, you will probably suffer some sort of injury. Even if the accident is minor, you still need to go to the hospital. They can check you out and see if you’re hurt. You could have suffered internal injuries or a traumatic brain injury.

One of the most common car accident injuries, however, is whiplash. And, yes, you may need to wear a neck brace for a few days. But there’s no way you’ll still need one come trial. Whiplash heals itself in a few weeks – not a few years.

If you’ve been in a car accident and are wondering if you have a claim, you need help. Call and talk to an experienced car accident attorney in Louisiana right away.

What is Whiplash?

You get whiplash when your neck is stretched too far in any one direction. For example, if your car is hit from behind, your body will be jostled forward. This can cause your neck to be stretched too far in front of you. Or, you get broadsided and your entire body is thrown about the car. This can easily cause whiplash.

Whiplash can be very painful. Following symptoms can be caused by whiplash:

  • Pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Neck stiffness
  • Inability to turn your head from side to side
  • Headaches and neckaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Tingling up and down your arms

If you experience any of these things following your Louisiana car accident, you need to see a doctor. At the hospital, they’ll do the necessary tests to determine if you have any injuries. These include:

  • MRIs
  • X-Rays
  • CT Scans
  • Ultrasound
  • Physical Examination
  • Neurological Examination

The problem is, none of these will prove you have whiplash.

Your Car Accident Attorney in Louisiana Knows Whiplash is Hard to Prove

It can be very difficult proving that you have whiplash. This is because there’s no diagnostic test that will show you have the injury. It’s not something that’s going to show up on an x-ray or CT scan.

The only way a doctor can diagnose whiplash is by listening to your symptoms. If they know you’ve been in a car accident, they’ll know to check for whiplash. They’ll make a notation in your chart, listing your complaints. They’ll also make a diagnosis. They understand that your attorney is going to have to use medical records to prove your injuries.

The other problem is that juries don’t tend to believe people who say they have whiplash. They don’t understand how someone could have an injury that doesn’t show up on any medical tests. They figure you’re just trying to milk the insurance company for a few thousand dollars.

How Much is a Whiplash Claim Worth in Louisiana?

Usually, if someone gets into a car accident, whiplash isn’t their only injury. In fact, most car accident lawyers in Lake Charles would be reluctant to take a case like this. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Whiplash is difficult to prove so the odds of winning in court are not that great
  • Even if you can prove you have whiplash, this kind of claim is only worth a few thousand dollars
  • Juries tend to disbelieve people who claim to have suffered whiplash

Most people who file a car accident claim are demanding significant damages. If they have a claim for whiplash, it’s probably in addition to several other injuries.

Contact a Skilled Car Accident Attorney in Louisiana

Proving whiplash can be difficult. A lot of insurance companies and juries think it’s a fake injury. They don’t believe that an injury so minor could cause any real damages. This is why you should call our office. We know how to prove whiplash. Our attorneys have been handling these types of cases for years.

There is no rule that says you need to hire an accident lawyer in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In fact, you can certainly handle your case on your own. But if you want to increase your chances of recovery, contact our office today.

Usually, when we think of post-traumatic stress disorder, we think of people who were in the military. This is because veterans are typically the kind of people who suffer from PTSD. However, anyone involved in a tragic accident can suffer from PTSD. And, regardless of the cause, PTSD can have long-term and a significant impact on your life.

A lot of people look at PTSD as a psychological disorder suffered from people who can’t handle the stresses of normal life. That isn’t what it is at all. It is a mental disorder. However, it can bring on physical symptoms as well. And, it has nothing to do with the stress of normal life. It is almost always precipitated by a terrifying or dangerous event.

Personal injury lawyers in Lake Charles represent clients suffering from PTSD more than you may think. Some of the accidents that could cause PTSD include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Fires
  • Falls from great heights
  • Attacks and assaults

If you or your loved one have been the victim of any sort of accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in Louisiana right away. They have the experience necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition. It’s caused and triggered by a terrifying event. It can actually be caused by witnessing a scary event. You don’t have to actually be involved in it.

The symptoms of PTSD are varied but they often include:

  • Inability to sleep
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Inability to leave the house
  • Flashbacks
  • Dangerous dreams

For most people, only certain things trigger their PTSD. For example, if you’re in a car accident on a certain street, you may not be able to drive by that street. Or, if you’re involved in a house fire, you may have anxiety when watching news stories about a fire.

The symptoms of PTSD can be short-term or long-term. Many people suffer from it for the rest of their lives. While the symptoms may get better over time, they normally don’t ever go away completely.

There’s no rule that says which kinds of accidents can cause PTSD. Every person is different and every case is different. Your lawyer will need to work closely with your doctors to prove you actually have the disorder.

How Will Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Lake Charles Prove PTSD?

It can be very difficult for your Louisiana injury lawyer to prove that you have PTSD. Convincing a jury that you have an injury that they can’t see is always hard. Thankfully, there are ways your attorney can demonstrate that you’re suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The best way to do this is to have a clinician diagnose you with the disorder. You will have to see an actual psychiatrist to do this. Simply having a counselor testify that they believe you have PTSD won’t be sufficient.

You can also submit other types of evidence to prove that you’ve been injured. This includes:

Just because you can prove PTSD doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get damages.

What Kind of Damages Will You Receive?

If your attorney is able to prove that you have PTSD, you may be entitled to damages. The amount of your damages will depend on how serious your PTSD is. Some of the damages your lawyer will demand include:

  • Medical bills and future medical bills –There is a good chance you’ll need to get treatment for your PTSD. This can be expensive. The defendant should have to cover these bills.
  • Lost wages – If you can’t work because of your injury, you might miss a lot of time from work.
  • Permanent Disability –Your PTSD may prevent you from working at all. If this happens, you’ll end up on disability. This means you’re going to earn a lot less than you would have if the accident never happened.

If you’re in a very serious car accident in Louisiana, you may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) This is a condition suffered by people who experience any sort of traumatic event. It can be short-term, but often times, it can last the rest of your life.

Most of us think of war veterans when we hear the term PTSD. It’s a condition suffered by people who fought overseas. There are also a lot of people who suffer horrific crimes or other tragedies who end up suffering from PTSD.

When someone has PTSD, they tend to relive the trauma over and over again. The littlest things can trigger their anxiety and send them into a panic. People who are in very serious car accidents can suffer PTSD just like war veterans or crime victims.

If you or your loved one are suffering from PTSD after a car wreck in Lake Charles, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer. They can review your case and let you know if you’re entitled to damages.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?

People suffering from PTSD don’t always show their symptoms right away. It could be months or even years after your car crash that you notice there’s something wrong. That’s why it’s important that you contact a doctor if you notice any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Experiencing the traumatic event over and over, sometimes in the form of flashbacks
  • Being emotionally numb and avoiding people, places or things that remind them of the traumatic event
  • Problems with sleeping, concentrating and periods of heightened anxiety

In addition to these symptoms, victims of PTSD will also experience some of these other issues:

  • insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Agoraphobia
  • Dissociative reactions
  • Intense psychological distress

While there are various treatments for PTSD, such as medication and therapy, there is no one size fits all solution. It may involve a lot of trial and error.

What is the Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

There are some options for car accident victims experiencing PTSD. Your Lake Charles auto accident attorney will make sure you get the medical care you need.

Some of the possible treatments for PTSD include:

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy: With this therapy, you’ll be forced to talk about the event that led to your PTSD. You’ll be asked to write about it until it doesn’t feel so uncomfortable to discuss it.
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy: You’ll be asked to identify the things you’re avoiding due to your PTSD. Slowly, over a period of time, you’ll be asked to confront these things. You’ll also learn breathing techniques that can help you deal with the stress that accompanies your PTSD.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: This therapy teaches you have to distract yourself from the negative thoughts you have when dealing with the trauma. It also teaches you how to associate positive things with the negative experiences.
  • Stress Inoculation Therapy: With this treatment, you really just learn alternate ways of dealing with stress.
  • Medications: As a last resort, your doctor can prescribe medications to help you deal with the anxiety caused by PTSD.

If you’re dealing with PTSD caused by a car accident in Louisiana, you need to contact a Lake Charles auto accident attorney. Your attorney can pursue the other driver to make sure they pay for your injuries.

Do Judges and Juries Believe in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

One of the problems with PTSD is that a lot of juries and even judges don’t believe it’s real. There’s no diagnostic test that can prove you have it. A lot of people are suspicious when people claim they have PTSD.

There are some people who exaggerate their symptoms in order to sue people. They also tend to claim they’re suffering from PTSD so they can go on disability. They figure, that way, they won’t have to work and can collect long-term disability payments.

Because there is no way to really prove you have it, juries are very skeptical of claims of PTSD. They may think you’re exaggerating your symptoms. Or, they may look at you and think you look fine. Juries tend to not believe in things they cannot see.

If you get into a car accident, you may suffer some pretty serious injuries. You may end up in the hospital for days or even weeks. You might be out of work for a while too. The last thing you’ll want to worry about is getting fire for needing to take time off to recover. A lot of people ask whether you can get fired for needing time off due to a car accident in Louisiana. The technical answer is no – your employer can’t fire you for this reason. However, they can fire you if you’re not able to do your job.

Louisiana, as is most other states, is an at-will state. This means you can be fired pretty much at any time, for any reason. As long as your employer gives a reasonable reason for letting you go, there’s nothing you can do.

You may be able to collect unemployment, but is that your only right? Not really. If you’ve been terminated following your serious car accident, you should call a Lake Charles car accident lawyer right away. They can review your case and let you know what rights you may have.

How Much Time Off is Too Much Time Off?

Some car accidents are more serious than others. You may end up with injuries that require surgery and physical therapy. You may not be able to do your job. If you’re going to miss a significant amount of work, you’ll need to have a discussion with your employer.

If you’re only going to be out a week or two, you can probably arrange to use your vacation time. But if you’re going to miss weeks or even months, your employer is not going to be happy. And, while they may pretend to be accommodating, don’t think they’re pleased with the situation.

Unfortunately, your employer doesn’t have to give you the time off. They can tell you that, once your personal time is used up, you’re required to be back in the office. If this happens, you risk being fired if you don’t show up as scheduled.

What Are Your Options?

You don’t have many options when it comes to arranging for the time off you need after your Louisiana car accident. This is why it may be a good idea to consult with a Lake Charles auto accident attorney right away. They can help negotiate with your employer or give you advice on what to do next.

The best option would be to request leave under the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act.) Under this act, you may be able to request unpaid time off from your job while you recover from your injuries.

Most employers do offer their employees FMLA protection. As long as they have more than fifty employees, they have no choice. Under the FMLA, if you qualify, you can take up to twelve (12) weeks of time off from work to take care of an immediate illness or medical issue.

The other option would be to request a leave of absence. During this time, you can apply for short-term disability. You may even have supplemental insurance such as Aflac. Your Lake Charles car accident lawyer can help you apply for this coverage.

What if You Do Get Fired?

If you get fired because of your car accident, you may or may not have a claim for damages. Quite frankly, wrongful termination cases are some of the hardest to win. This is because you’re an at-will employee.

If you’re fired as a result of your car accident, you can always apply for unemployment benefits. Under unemployment, you only get about 2/3 of your average weekly wages. And, unemployment only lasts for so long.

The defendant should be liable for the wages you lose. Your Lake Charles injury lawyer at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC will demand that you be compensated for the difference between what you would’ve earned at your job and what you receive on unemployment.

Unemployment will run out after a few months. This means, at some point, you won’t have any income. You’ll need to pursue the defendant for any future lost earnings or actual lost wages. Your Louisiana car accident attorney will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

There are all sorts of reasons why you might lend your car to someone. One of your kids may need it to go to work. Your neighbor may ask to use it while their car’s in the shop. We don’t think twice about it. As long as they promise to put gas in the car, we don’t mind. What we don’t think about is what we’ll do if someone else crashes your car. Your Lake Charles car accident lawyer sees this happen all the time. It doesn’t matter who’s driving your car. Accidents happen.

When someone borrows your car and gets into an accident, you may worry that your insurance won’t cover the damage. This is a common misconception. Your auto insurance actually follows the car – not the driver.

This means if someone else crashes your car, your insurance will cover the claim. This could be good news or bad news – it depends on how you look at it. Your Lake Charles car accident attorney can help you deal with the insurance company.

Your Insurance Cover the Vehicle – Not You!

If someone else crashes your car, your insurance should cover the damages. The general rule is that insurance follows the car, not the driver. This means that it doesn’t matter if the person driving your car has insurance or not. As long as you have insurance on the car, you should be fine.

When you think about it, if someone borrows your car, they probably don’t have a vehicle of their own. This means they won’t have insurance. Why would someone pay for car insurance if they don’t have a car?

Most people do follow the rules. If someone drives, they usually carry auto insurance. While Louisiana car accident lawyers do handle cases where the other driver isn’t insured, this doesn’t actually happen all that often.

So, the good news is, any injuries caused by someone driving your car will be covered by your insurance. The bad news is, this means your rates will go up.

What if the Driver Has Their Own Insurance?

Odds are, the person driving your car does have auto insurance. You may wonder why they can’t just file a claim against their own policy. That would be cheaper for you. However, it doesn’t really work that way.

When you get auto insurance, it’s based on two things: the car you drive and your driving record. If you don’t have a history of accidents or tickets, your insurance should be low. And, the more your car is worth, the more you’ll pay.

An insurance company writes a policy based on these things. So, if someone borrows your Mercedes and crashes it, they may cause $20,000 in damage. However, they drive a ten-year old Honda. They car may be worth about $3,000. The insurance company isn’t going to cover a claim that large when the driver only paid for coverage on a $3,000 car.

However, there are situations when the other driver’s insurance will kick in.

When Will the Driver’s Insurance Kick In?

There is one main situation in which the driver’s insurance will have to pay for some of the damages. If your policy limits are exceeded, then the other policy will have to cover the rest.

For example, let’s say your policy limit is $50,000. The person borrows your car and causes over $100,000 in damages. This included property damage and medical bills. Once your policy limit is reached, there is still another $50,000 that has to be paid.

The person driving your car’s insurance will have to kick in. Their policy will have to be used to cover the rest of the damages. Your car accident lawyer in Lake Charles can help deal with the insurance companies to make sure this happens.

Many of us have been in a car accident at some point in our lives. For the most part, car accidents are minor. They don’t cause serious injuries. We can walk away from them frustrated, but with an interesting story to tell.

For other people, car accidents can be much more serious. They end up in the hospital with very bad injuries. They may be out of work for weeks or even months. By the time they recover from their injuries, their entire lives have changed.

Depending on the type of accident you’re involved in, you could be back to work in days. Or, you may find out you aren’t able to work ever again. If this is the case, the defendant may be liable for your permanent disability.

Your Lake Charles auto accident attorney will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. If you end up permanently disabled after your accident, you may be entitled to quite a lot of money.

What Kinds of Accidents are the Most Dangerous?

Most accidents are nothing more than fender benders. They cause some property damage but the people involved walk away with minor injuries. They submit their claims to the insurance companies and wait for their checks.

Other accidents are a lot more dangerous. They cause serious injuries. Some of the types of accidents that are more serious include:

  • Head-on collisions
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Wrong way accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Speeding

These accidents involve cars going at a fast speed. They also involve reckless driving. People who are drunk have no appreciation for how poorly they’re driving. And people who crash into cars head-on clearly have no control over their vehicle.

The injuries caused in these accidents are quite severe. They can leave their victims laid up for weeks or months. Some victims are never able to live a normal life again.

What Kinds of Injuries Can Leave You Permanently Disabled?

If you suffer whiplash or broken bones in your accident, you’ll be back on your feet in no time. It’s the people who suffer more long-term injuries that end up permanently disabled. Lake Charles accident lawyers handle these types of cases all the time.

Certain injuries, by their very nature, can leave their victims disabled. These injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Head and neck injuries

If you suffer any of these injuries, you may end up permanently disabled. If this happens, your Louisiana injury lawyer will demand that you be compensated.

What Damages Do You Get if You Become Permanently Disabled?

It can be hard to calculate permanent disability benefits. It’s not an exact amount. First, your attorney will estimate how much you would’ve earned had you continued to work after your accident. Second, they’ll determine how much you’ll receive on disability.

Your lawyer will calculate the difference between these two figures. Then, you’ll estimate how many more years you would have worked. Most judges will use 65 as the average retirement age. You’ll multiply the difference in income by the number of years you would’ve continued to work.

For example, let’s say you were earning $100,000 per year before the accident. You’ll only earn $30,000 a year on disability. This is a difference of $70,000 per year. If you were 30 years old at the time of the accident, you would’ve worked another 35 years.

So, you’d multiple the $70,000 by 35 years. In this example, therefore, your Lake Charles accident lawyer will demand that you receive about $2.5 million. Now, you probably won’t receive this much. However, this is the amount your attorney will demand in your initial complaint.

Most car accident cases in Louisiana settle out of court. This means your lawyer is going to negotiate a settlement with the defendant’s lawyer. So, the $2.5 million will more than likely be reduced to a much lower figure. This is the risk you take with a settlement. You exchange a lower amount of money for a guaranteed payday.

Contact a Lake Charles Auto Accident Lawyer Today

If you get into a car accident in Louisiana, you’re going to need to contact a Lake Charles car accident lawyer. Your lawyer will review your case and let you know what it may be worth. They’ll also answer any questions you may have.

Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case.

People get into car accidents every day. Thankfully, most of these accidents don’t cause very serious injuries. Most drivers can walk away from their car accident unscathed. For other drivers, it’s not that easy.

The seriousness of your injuries really depends on the type of accident you’re involved in. Some accidents are naturally more dangerous than others. Some of the more serious types of crashes include:

  • Head-on collisions – In these accidents, cars are usually driving at very high speeds. One driver, for some reason, crashes into the other driver head-on. The crash isn’t expected. Nobody can see an accident like this coming. The drivers and passengers in both cars usually sustain very serious injuries.
  • Drunk Driving – Nobody should drink and get behind the wheel. With the advent of rideshare companies, there’s no reason why anyone should drink and drive. Because drunk drivers don’t realize how dangerous their actions can be, they don’t drive as carefully as they should. When they lose control of their car and crash into someone, the results are disastrous.
  • Truck Accidents – Some of the deadliest types of accidents are trucking accidents. Tractor trailers are just so large, passenger vehicles don’t stand a chance against them. The other problem is trucks are usually on the highway. They tend to be going pretty fast when they do get into an accident. The impact of this type of crash is tremendous.

If your loved one was involved in any of these types of accidents, they’ll have sustained some pretty serious injuries. They may not survive their injuries. If this happens, your family needs time to grieve. But they also deserve compensation for their loss.

Car accident lawyers in Lake Charles, Louisiana have the experience necessary to handle these types of cases.

What is a Wrongful Death Suit in Louisiana?

If someone dies as a result of their car accident injuries, their family will have a claim for wrongful death. Wrongful death cases are filed when someone’s negligence causes the death of another person.

In order to prove wrongful death, your Lake Charles car accident lawyer will have to prove the following:

  • The other driver had a duty of care – This is not difficult to do. All drivers owe people on the road a duty of care. They are also required to obey all traffic laws. If they fail to do this, they may be found liable for your injuries.
  • They have to breach this duty of care – Just because your loved one died in the accident doesn’t necessarily mean the other driver breached their duty of care. In order to show that someone breached their duty, you have to prove that they acted unreasonably. For example, if someone was drunk driving, that is proof that they breached their duty of care.
  • Your loved one suffered an injury – Obviously, if your loved one passed away, they must have suffered an injury.
  • The accident is what caused their injuries – There are cases where someone dies, but the accident isn’t what caused their injuries. For example, let’s say your spouse had a problem with drugs. They had taken a lethal dose of heroin minutes before the car accident. If the defendant can prove that it was the overdose and not the car crash that killed your spouse, they won’t be held liable.

Your Lake Charles car accident lawyer will work hard to prove the defendant was negligent. If they can do this, you’ll have a good chance of prevailing in your wrongful death lawsuit.

What Kinds of Damages are Involved in a Wrongful Death Suit?

If your loved one dies in a car accident, you may have a claim for damages. Your Louisiana auto accident attorney will work hard to get your family the compensation they deserve.

In Louisiana, you’re entitled to the following types of damages for a wrongful death claim:

  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Medical expenses related to the accident
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Value of household services your family has lost
  • Pain and suffering of the decedent
  • Loss of care, guidance and support suffered by the family

Your attorney will fight to get you as much as possible.

If you get into an accident, you’ll probably think the other driver was at fault. Lake Charles accident lawyers rarely meet clients who think they’re responsible for their crash. Even if someone thinks they be partially at fault, they’re not going to want to admit it. When you first meet with your car accident lawyer, they’ll help you file your claim against the other driver’s insurance. Hopefully, your claim will be paid right away. If so, you’ll get your check within a week or two. However, if your claim is denied, your lawyer can file an appeal. The success of your appeal really depends on the reason your claim was denied.

Some of the reasons your claim may have been denied include:

  • The driver’s insurance policy had lapsed for non-payment
  • The insurance company thinks you were at fault
  • They don’t believe you were injured
  • Also, you have a history of filing car accident claims
  • The driver wasn’t listed on the policy

For some of these reasons, there’s nothing your lawyer can do to get your claim paid. No insurance company is going to pay a claim on a canceled policy. If they did, they’d go bankrupt in no time at all.

If your claim isn’t paid, your car accident lawyer in Lake Charles will have no choice but to file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Your Case Will Probably Settle Before Trial

Just because you filed a lawsuit doesn’t mean you’ll go to trial. More than 95% of all car accident lawsuits are settled long before trial. Nobody wants to go to court. It is expensive and time-consuming.

Plus, you take your chances in court. There’s no guarantee that you’ll win. This means both sides are usually eager to settle. But there’s also no guarantee that the insurance company will want to settle. They may strongly believe that you were at fault.

Your Louisiana auto accident attorney is going to work hard to get your case settled. They’ll also reach out to the insurance adjuster and see if there’s a chance of getting your claim paid. Even after you file suit, your lawyer will try to negotiate with the defendant’s lawyer.

What Happens if Your Case Goes to Trial?

If your lawyer is unable to settle your case, you’ll have to go to trial. This means you’ll have to submit evidence to prove your case. A judge, or, in some cases, a jury will listen to your case. Each side will have a chance to put their evidence in front of the court.

This evidence may include some of the following things:

  • Testimony from witnesses who saw the crash
  • Doctors who can testify to your injuries
  • Statements made by the drivers at the scene
  • The police report
  • Any experts, such as an accident recreation specialist

This evidence is intended to prove fault. Your lawyer will have to prove the following four (4) things:

  • The other driver had a duty of care
  • They breached this duty
  • You were injured
  • Your injuries were caused by the accident

If your lawyer is unable to prove these four things, you may not win in court.

What Could Cause You to Lose in Court?

For the most part, if the other driver was at fault, you should be able to recover in court. There are things that can affect your case. If the judge or jury doesn’t believe that the other driver caused the crash, you won’t be awarded damages.

Some of the things that can cause you to lose your case include:

  • Lack of evidence
  • You never called the police so there is no police report
  • Also, you never went to the hospital
  • You had a pre-existing condition
  • Lastly, you fled the scene of the accident

Usually, your lawyer will be able to prepare your case to make sure these things didn’t happen. However, a lot of this depends on what you did immediately after the accident.

If you don’t like the outcome in court, you do have the right to appeal. Usually, civil cases are appealed by the defendant. However, if you aren’t satisfied, your lawyer can file an appeal. Just keep in mind – you usually can’t introduce any new evidence at the appeal. So, you’re really asking the court to make a decision based on the same information they already have.

Most car accidents are pretty minor. The drivers walk away with nothing more than a few bumps and bruises. They may have to get their cars repaired, but that’s the worst of their concerns. For other people, the results are not so minor. Some car accidents are very severe. So severe in fact, that it leaves its victims with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) This is a very serious mental disorder that impacts people who survive very traumatic events.

People who suffer PTSD as a result of a car accident typically have a legal claim against the other driver. PTSD can also be quite debilitating. Some people are never able to work again. Others aren’t even able to lead normal lives due to their heightened anxiety.

If you’ve been involved in a tragic accident and are now suffering from PTSD, call a car accident lawyer in Lake Charles.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that affects people who were involved in, or witnessed, a tragic disaster. This can include a car accident. When the circumstances are so extreme as to shock the conscience, some people react in a very extreme way.

Some of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder include:

  • Experiencing the traumatic event over and over, sometimes in the form of flashbacks
  • Being emotionally numb and avoiding people, places or things that remind them of the traumatic event
  • Problems with sleeping, concentrating and periods of heightened anxiety

Some people with PTSD suffer from other problems, such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Agoraphobia
  • Dissociative reactions
  • Intense psychological distress

Most people who suffer from this disorder do so for years. Some people never recover from it. As you can imagine, this can have a significant impact on their lives. And, sadly, there aren’t many effective treatments for PTSD.

Is There Any treatment?

For people with PTSD, there aren’t a whole lot of treatment options. It’s not like someone with a back injury who can corrective surgery. Physical therapy isn’t going to cure someone’s PTSD. If they’re lucky to have their issue properly diagnosed, the best victims can hope for is counseling to try to minimize the effects of PTSD.

Some of the possible treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder include:

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy: With this therapy, you’ll be forced to talk about the event that led to your PTSD. You’ll be asked to write about it until it doesn’t feel so uncomfortable to discuss it.
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy: You’ll be asked to identify the things you’re avoiding due to your PTSD. Slowly, over a period of time, you’ll be asked to confront these things. You’ll also learn breathing techniques that can help you deal with the stress that accompanies your PTSD.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: This therapy teaches you have to distract yourself from the negative thoughts you have when dealing with the trauma. It also teaches you how to associate positive things with the negative experiences.
  • Stress Inoculation Therapy: With this treatment, you really just learn alternate ways of dealing with stress.
  • Medications: As a last resort, your doctor can prescribe medications to help you deal with the anxiety caused by PTSD.

If you’re dealing with PTSD caused by a car accident in Louisiana, you need to contact a Lake Charles auto accident attorney. Your attorney can pursue the other driver to make sure they pay for your injuries.

PTSD Can Be Debilitating

If you have PTSD or know someone who does, you know how serious it can be. It can be debilitating. A lot of car accident victims with PTSD are unable to work. They can’t even carry out day to day functions.

If this happens to you, your lawyer may be able to get you compensation for your injuries. Some of the damages you can claim include:

  • Medical Bills – If you have to undergo long-term treatment for your PTSD, the defendant should be held responsible. You’ll be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, both past and future.
  • Pain and Suffering – If you are suffering from PTSD and other physical injuries, you may be entitled to pain and suffering.
  • Lost Wages – If you’re unable to work as a result of your PTSD, your Lake Charles accident lawyer can demand compensation for lost wages.

Contact a Lake Charles Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Louisiana, you need to call a Lake Charles car accident lawyer. Your lawyer can review your case and let you know what it may be worth. They can also answer any questions you may have.

Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case.

If you think about it, nobody is ever 100% at fault in an accident. Everyone can think of something they could’ve done differently to avoid the crash. Maybe you didn’t react in time. Perhaps you looked away from the road for a split second. Determining fault in a car accident in Louisiana is never easy. Even if there are witnesses to the crash, they all see different things. You can even look at a video of the accident, and you may not be sure who hit who. This is why the law in Louisiana has something called comparative negligence. This basically means that your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Some states prevent you from filing a lawsuit even if you’re only partially at fault. The good news is, Louisiana is not one of them.

Your Lake Charles accident lawyer knows how comparative negligence works. They’ll do their best to prove that the other driver was at fault. Just keep in mind – there is a chance that comparative negligence can affect your case.

Why Does Louisiana Have Comparative Negligence Anyway?

Every state has some law that deals with both parties being at fault. This is because it’s almost impossible to prove that one part is 100% at fault. Except in limited circumstances, both parties can usually be found partially at fault.

Some of the exceptions to this rule include:

  • Drunk driving accidents – It’s hard to hold a driver partially at fault when they’re hit by a drunk driver. One driver decided to drink and get behind the wheel. The other driver simply was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It would be very hard for a car accident lawyer in Lake Charles to prove that the sober driver was at fault.
  • Head-On Collisions – When one driver hits the other head-on, it’s difficult to blame both drivers for the crash. Whether the driver lost control of their car or was doing something they shouldn’t have been doing, they’re probably going to be found 100% at fault.
  • Passenger Injuries – A passenger will almost never be found to be at fault. There could be very unique situations where the passenger is held liable. For example, if they grabbed the steering wheel and directed the car into a telephone pole, they may be at fault. But, generally speaking, passengers are innocent victims.

The other reason for this rule is that, without it, the courts would be clogged with lawsuits. Both parties to an accident may believe the other is at fault. Rather than deal with separate lawsuits, the court will simply determine both parties’ levels of fault.

Comparative negligence allows the court to assign blame to both parties. They can resolve damages in one lawsuit.

How Does Comparative Negligence Work?

The way comparative negligence works is the court assigns a percentage of fault to both parties. For example, one driver may be found to be 80% at fault. This means the other driver is 20% at fault.

Here is how this impacts your case:

Let’s say you were found to be 20% at fault. You sued the other driver for $100,000. The court is going to discount your claim for 20%. So, instead of getting $100,000, you’ll get $80,000.

If the judge find that you were more than 50% at fault, you won’t recover at all. In fact, if you’re more than 50% at fault, the other driver can file a counter-claim for damages.

Your Lake Charles car accident lawyer knows how this rule works. If they think you’re more than 50% at fault, they’ll tell you upfront. It doesn’t make sense to file a lawsuit if you caused the accident. You’ll be lucky if the other driver doesn’t file suit against you.

Louisiana follows the comparative negligence standard that so many other states follow. This means that, even if you’re partly at fault, you can still sue, you just won’t get full damages.

Car accidents happen every day. You see them on the way to work or school. Two cars idling on the side of the road, waiting for the police to come. Or you see an ambulance speeding by, knowing they’re probably on the way to an accident scene.

If someone’s injured in a car wreck, they have the right to demand compensation. Whether this means they file an insurance claim or a lawsuit, the goal is to be reimbursed for your losses. There’s no reason you should pay out of pocket for these sorts of losses.

If the accident was the other driver’s fault, you have to contact a Lake Charles car wreck lawyer. If you’re lucky, the other driver’s insurance company will pay your claim right away. When this happens you’ll have your check within a matter of days or weeks.

However, your insurance claim may be denied. If this happens, your Louisiana car accident lawyer will have to file a lawsuit on your behalf. This lawsuit will demand that you be compensated for the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability

Depending on how serious your injuries are, you could be looking at several thousand dollars. Some of these cases even carry damages of over a million dollars. Your Lake Charles car wreck attorney is going to work hard to get you every penny you deserve.

How Much Will Your Damages Be?

There’s no way to know exactly how much your damages will be. It really depends on how bad your injuries were. A rear-end accident, for example, probably won’t be worth as much as a head-on collision.

Let’s take a look at how each type of damages are calculated in a car accident case.

Medical Bills:

You’re entitled to compensation for present and future medical bills. Your Louisiana car wreck attorney will have a doctor testify as to any future medical care you may need. This could include surgeries or physical therapy. These things will be expensive. Your personal health insurance isn’t going to want to cover these expenses. Your lawsuit will also have to cover any third-party coverage already provided. So, if your insurance company or the State paid for your treatment, they have to be reimbursed. This can easily add up to over $100,000.

Lost Wages:

If you miss a lot of time from work, you have the right to be reimbursed for lost wages. You also have a right to be compensated for any future lost wages caused by the accident. Depending on how serious your injuries, this could be anywhere from $50,000 to millions of dollars.

Property Damage:

If your car is damaged in the crash, you’ll be entitled to the costs to repair it or replace it. These damages would be limited to the actual replacement value of your car.

Pain and Suffering:

If your injuries were severe, pain and suffering may make up the lion’s share of your damages. For very serious cases, this can range anywhere from $250,000 to millions of dollars.

Will Your Settlement Be Eaten Up by the Bankruptcy Court?

If you’re in the middle of a bankruptcy at the time of your accident, your settlement proceeds may be considered assets. However, technically, your bankruptcy petition only includes debts and assets acquired up to the date you file bankruptcy.

Keep in mind, your creditors will argue that your settlement proceeds should be counted as assets for bankruptcy purposes. The trustee may make this same argument. Your Lake Charles car wreck lawyer will work with your bankruptcy attorney to try to keep this from happening.

What may happen is the settlement can be counted as pending assets for bankruptcy purposes. The court may require that you change your Chapter 7 bankruptcy to a reorganization under Chapter 13. If this happens, the trustee will demand that you use your settlement proceeds to pay back your creditors.

Keep in mind, however, that the only proceeds that can be considered income is the net amount you receive. The court won’t count the proceeds used to pay your attorney or medical bills as part of your assets.

Call an Experienced Lake Charles Car Wreck Lawyer Right Away

If you’re in the middle of a bankruptcy and get into a car accident, you need to contact a Lake Charles car wreck lawyer immediately. Your lawyer can work together with your bankruptcy attorney to protect your settlement proceeds.

Call today and schedule your initial consultation. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.

Nobody likes to go to the hospital. Who wants to sit in the emergency room all afternoon when they should be at work? The thing is, if you get into a car accident, you really have no choice. You need to go to the hospital, whether you want to or not.

After a crash, your adrenaline is pumping. You may not think you’ve been hurt. Then, after a few hours, everything starts to set in. You start to think something may be wrong. You debate going to the hospital but figure you can wait until the next day.

There are a few problems with this. First, you need to make sure you’re okay. You have no idea if you’ve been injured, and you could have a brain injury or internal injuries.

Second, you need to get checked out by a medical professional. You’re going to need medical proof for your Lake Charles car wreck lawyer. He won’t be able to prove your case without this.

Finally, if you don’t go to the hospital right away, the defendant will argue that something other than the crash caused your injuries. If a day or two goes by, he’ll claim that something else happened in the meantime and it was this intervening factor that caused your injuries.

This is why it’s always better to just go to the hospital. If there’s nothing wrong with you, the doctors will have you in and out in no time. And, if you are injured, the doctors will provide the necessary treatment.

You Have No Idea if You’re Injured

Even if you feel okay after the accident, you have no idea whether you’re injured or not. There are a lot of injuries that are invisible. You could have internal injuries and you’d have no idea. You usually don’t feel these types of injuries until it’s too late.

There are some injuries that don’t appear right away. The only way to detect them is to have the necessary tests done in the hospital. Some of these tests are:

  • X-rays
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan

A doctor at the hospital can do these tests to determine the extent of your injuries. The doctor can also treat you for these injuries right away. Some of these injuries can be fatal if not treated right away.

You may feel good at the scene and then realize something’s wrong a few hours or days later. Some injuries don’t really present themselves until much later. The problem is, once this happens, it may be a lot harder to treat these injuries.

Your Lake Charles Car Wreck Lawyer Needs Proof of Your Injuries

If you get into a car accident, you’ll have to submit a claim to the other driver’s insurance company. If they pay your claim, great. You’ll have a check within a week or two. However, if they deny your claim, you’re going to need to call a Lake Charles car wreck lawyer.

Your car accident lawyer is going to need to prove you were injured. The best way to do this is by using medical records. If you don’t go to the hospital, he won’t have these medical records. It will be your word against the defendant’s.

When you go to the hospital, the doctor will make notes about your injuries. He’ll also include copies of any tests that are done. This information can be introduced in court to prove you were injured. Your lawyer can also use this information when he negotiates a settlement with the insurance adjuster.

If you wait a day or two to get treated, you’re creating a new problem for your Louisiana injury lawyer. The longer you wait to get treated, the more likely the defendant is to say you weren’t hurt. He’ll say that something other than your car accident caused your injuries.

For example, let’s say you were in an accident on Friday afternoon. You don’t go to the hospital until Sunday night. The defendant’s lawyer will argue that something happened Friday night or on Saturday that caused your injuries. This is hard to overcome.

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how frustrating it can be. Even if there are only minor injuries, it can still be life altering. A lot of people are tempted to just exchange insurance information with the other driver and go about their day. This is a big mistake.

We understand that the last thing you want to do is hang around and wait for the police. It seems as if everything moves in slow motion following a car crash. But calling the police is one of the most important things you can do.

If you need to file suit against the other driver down the road, the police report will be critical. It has a lot of important information that your Louisiana car accident lawyer won’t be able to get on his own.

The cops also conduct a thorough investigation. They may find things that help prove the other driver was at fault. If you don’t call the police, you’ll never get this information.

One of the first things Louisiana car accident lawyers tell their clients is to always call the police after a crash. There’s no good reason not to do this.

Why Would You Agree to Not Call the Cops?

If you get into a fender bender, the other driver may suggest that you not call the police. They promise to give you all their information. They show you their insurance card and you show them yours. You figure you’ll file your claim against their policy and get paid.

There are so many things that can go wrong if you do this. You have no idea if the other driver is giving you accurate information. You also have no idea what he’s going to tell the insurance company. If he tells them his own version of what happened, your claim won’t be paid.

If the other driver asks you not to call the police, there could be several reasons for this:

  • The car he’s driving is stolen
  • He has active warrants
  • He’s under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • He has no insurance
  • His license is suspended or revoked
  • He’s in the middle of the commission of a crime
  • He knows he’s at fault

You have no idea if any of these things are going on. This is why you need to call the police. They’ll do a thorough investigation to see if any of things are present. This is why you can’t agree to not call the police.

The Police Report Contains Valuable Information

If your insurance claim is denied, you’re going to need a Lake Charles auto accident attorney. Your attorney can appeal your claim. He can also try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance adjuster.

If the adjuster refuses to pay your claim, your Louisiana car accident lawyer will have no choice but to file a lawsuit. In order to win your case, your lawyer will have to prove the other driver was at fault. In order to do this, he’s going to need the information contained in the police report.

Some of this crucial information includes:

  • Names and contact information of all witnesses
  • Pictures of the accident scene
  • Description of road conditions
  • Statements made by the drivers
  • Statements made by witnesses
  • Insurance and license info for both drivers
  • Records of any tickets issues
  • Notations if either of the drivers were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash

All of these things could help prove your case. If you don’t call the police, your lawyer may not be able to obtain any of this information later on. For example, once witnesses leave the scene, you can’t go back and talk to them. If you have no idea who they are, they’re of no help at all.

If you know someone who’s been through a tragic accident, you may have noticed they’re not the same afterwards. A lot of people simply can’t fully recover from the physical and mental anguish caused by a car accident. A Lake Charles car accident lawyer knows this, and they may be able to help.

Some people don’t believe PTSD is a real issue. There are even people in the medical field who doubt the legitimacy of the condition. But for people suffering from PTSD, it’s very real.

PTSD stands for a condition known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s something that affects people who’ve been through traumatic events. They’re unable to let go of the anxiety caused by the event and carry it with them for most of their lives.

PTSD can impact a person’s career, social life and personal life. It can be debilitating for some. Depending on how serious an accident is, it could cause PTSD. This is especially true for people who are already dealing with anxiety disorders before the crash.

If you’re suffering from PTSD after a car accident, you need to call a Lake Charles car accident lawyer. He can help prove your injuries and get you the compensation you deserve.

What is PTSD?

As mentioned above, PTSD is a condition caused by traumatic events. Some people who suffer through a tragedy are unable to function normally. They’re plagued with periods of anxiety and trauma caused by their PTSD.

Some of the symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Pervasive thoughts
  • Avoiding any situations similar to the car accident
  • Fear of driving
  • Purposely avoid driving by the area where the crash took place
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Negative thoughts

If someone is suffering from PTSD, they may be unable to work. They can’t carry on normal social lives. This can be very disruptive.

The only real treatment for PTSD is therapy and possibly medication. It’s rarely something that time will heal on its own.

Some of the treatments for PTSD include:

  • Cognitive processing therapy
  • Prolonged exposure therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  • Stress Inoculation Training
  • Medications

The main goals of these treatments are to help the patient:

  • Improve their symptoms
  • Teach them skills to deal with their issues
  • Restore their self-esteem

All of these treatments cost money. The defendant can be held responsible for the costs of this care.

What Kinds of Car Accidents Could Cause PTSD?

When you think about how terrifying some car accidents can be, it makes sense that they could cause PTSD. Imagine being involved in an accident where a tractor trailer drives your car off a highway. Or think about how scary it would be if you were trapped inside a burning vehicle.

The question isn’t really how can car accidents cause PTSD. The question is how do so many car accident victims walk away unscathed. The number of people that are able to pick up after a devastating car accident is amazing.

Louisiana car accident lawyers understand this. They represent clients who suffered devastating tragedies. These clients aren’t always able to pick up and move on. Some of them are traumatized for life.

What Damages Are Associated with PTSD?

If you’re suffering from PTSD as a result of a car accident, your lawyer will demand certain damages. These damages will include:

  • Medical bills – You may experience a large amount of medical bills due to your PTSD. Your doctor or therapist can testify as to the future medical care you may need. The defendant should be held liable for these expenses.
  • Lost Wages – If you miss a lot of time from work because of the accident, you’ll be entitled to damages.
  • Property Damage – You’re entitled to recover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
  • Pain and Suffering – This is where your PTSD may come into play. The defendant may have to compensate you for the mental and physical anguish caused by the accident.

Your Lake Charles car accident attorney will make sure you’re compensated for all of these things.

If you get into a car accident, you may suffer some pretty serious injuries. It depends on how bad your accident was. Some accidents only cause minor bumps and bruises. Others leave their victims in the hospital for weeks or months. They may need surgery and physical therapy.

For some accident victims, they are not able to work after their car crash. The injuries are just so serious, they aren’t able to fully recover. No matter how much treatment they receive, they just aren’t able to work ever again.

When your Lake Charles car accident attorney files your claim, he’ll demand that you be compensated for your injuries. Some of the damages included in your lawsuit are:

  • Medical bills – You’re entitled to receive reimbursement for all the current and medical bills you incur. Your doctor can testify as to how much care you’re going to need in the future. The defendant should be held responsible for this.
  • Lost Wages – If you sustain serious injuries in your car accident, you’ll have to miss a lot of time from work. You could be out of work for weeks or even months. The defendant will be held liable for these lost wages.
  • Future Earnings – If you’re unable to make the same kind of money because of the accident, the defendant will have to compensate you for this. Your attorney will help determine how much you’re entitled to.
  • Property Damage – You’ll be eligible to receive compensation to cover the money it costs to repair or replace your vehicle.
  • Pain and Suffering – If your injuries are serious enough, you’ll receive pain and suffering. These damages are intended to compensate you for the physical and mental anguish caused by the accident.

If you’re unable to work as a result of your injuries, you may have to go on disability.

How Do You File for Disability?

If you’re unable to work after your car accident, you may have to file for disability. Anyone who’s been through this process knows it can be frustrating. In fact, 70% of first-time applicants are denied disability. This is why it’s in your best interests to have your Louisiana car accident attorney help you through the process.

In order to qualify for disability, you need to prove two things. First, you have to show that you’re not able to work. Second, you have to prove that you need the money.

As to the medical basis for disability, your Lake Charles lawyer has to show the following:

  • A medical or mental impairment that can be documented by a medical professional
  • The impairment is so severe that it interferes with your ability to carry out day-to-day activities, including a job.
  • The diagnosis for your impairment will last for at least one (1) year

You’re also going to need to prove that you don’t have the assets to survive without working. This means you’ll have to show that:

  • You can’t currently be working and earning a normal income
  • To receive SSI, you must have less than $2,000 in assets
  • If your assets total more than $2,000, you must qualify under SSDI

Your Lake Charles auto accident attorney can help file your claim for disability. He can also help you file an appeal if necessary.

The Defendant Must Compensate You for the Difference in Income

You won’t earn as much on disability as you would if you were working full-time. Your lawyer will have to show the difference between what you earned before the accident versus what you’re receiving on disability.

Most people on disability only receive a couple thousand dollars a month. Let’s say, to be generous, that you’ll receive $30,000 a year on disability.

Prior to the accident, let’s say you were making $60,000 a year. That’s a loss of $30,000 per year.

Let’s also look at your age. Most people work until they about 65 years old. So, if you’re only 40 at the time of your accident, you would’ve worked for another 25 years.

If we multiple the e multiply the number of years you would’ve continued to work (25) by the yearly loss ($30,000) we come up with $750,000.

Your Lake Charles car accident lawyer will demand that you receive $750,000 plus inflation. This will have to be part of your car accident settlement.

A lot of people manage to escape car accidents with just minor injuries. They may have a few bruises and cuts. They may have suffered a broken bone or two. These types of injuries heal over time. And, in most cases, the victim fully recovers. They’re eventually able to return to work and resume a normal life.

The same isn’t true for the less fortunate. In very serious accidents, the victims suffer injuries that aren’t so easily treated. They may undergo a series of surgeries and rounds of physical therapy. It may just not be possible for them to ever resume a normal life. For these people, the future will be forever changed.

When your Lake Charles car accident lawyer files suit against the other driver, he’s going to demand the following types of damages:

  • Medical bills: You’re entitled to recover both current and future medical bills. Your doctor will testify whether you need long-term medical care. If you do, your lawyer can have an expert testify about how much this medical care will cost. The defendant and his insurance company need to compensate you for these expenses.
  • Lost Wages: If you’ve missed time from work because of your injuries, you will demand compensation for them. Your lawyer can submit timesheets to show how much time you’ve missed. If you can no longer do the same work you did before, you can demand compensation for the difference in your earnings.
  • Property Damage: If your car is destroyed in the accident, the defendant will have to cover the repairs. If your car is totaled, he’ll be responsible for the value of the car.
  • Pain and Suffering: This may be the largest part of your damages. This is especially true if your injuries were very serious. Pain and suffering represent the mental and physical anguish caused by the accident.

The other type of damages your Lake Charles auto accident lawyer will demand is disability.

How Do You Prove Disability in a Car Accident Case?

Most people eventually recover from their car accident injuries. They get the medical care they need and shortly thereafter resume their normal lives. This means they return to work. Some may not be able to do the same work they did before the accident. They may have to find a different type of job. But most people are able to work once they recover from their injuries.

This isn’t the case for all accident victims. Lake Charles accident attorneys handle cases where the plaintiff is never able to work again. Their injuries are just so severe they have no choice but to go on disability.

For most people, working full-time is going to earn them a lot more than they’ll make on disability. For example, let’s say you make $75,000 a year as a mechanic. If he gets into a car accident and can’t work again, he’ll have to go on disability. He’ll only make about $30,000 a year. This is a difference of about $45,000 a year.

For this plaintiff, the lawyer will demand that he be compensated for this difference. He’ll figure out how many years he would’ve worked had he not gotten hurt. He’ll multiply that number by the $45,000 per year loss. This amount represents the damages he deserves due to his permanent disability.

In order to prove that you are permanently disabled, your Lake Charles auto accident lawyer will rely on the following things:

  • Expert testimony by doctors who have examined you and declared you disabled.
  • Confirmation from the state that you’re receiving social security disability benefits.
  • Tax records showing what you used to make
  • Your own testimony about your inability to work full-time

The defendant will claim that you are able to work. It’ll be your lawyer’s job to show that you cannot.

Most of us have been involved in a car accident at some point in our lives. Usually, these are minor fender benders. We get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic and get hit from behind. Other accidents are much more serious. We can end up in the hospital for days or even weeks. We may need surgery and physical therapy. It all depends on how serious our injuries are. And this depends on the type of accident we’re involved in. One of the most serious injuries you can sustain in a car accident is a traumatic brain injury. This is caused when you suffer a severe blow to the head.

Most people who suffer a traumatic brain injury eventually recover. Some are not so fortunate. There are a lot of people whose lives are forever changed by a traumatic brain injury (TBI). They may never work again. Some can never drive again. A lot of their prognosis depends on the treatment they receive at the outset. The doctors may know pretty early on how their patient is going to recover – if they recover at all.

If you’ve suffered a TBI, you’re going to need a Lake Charles auto accident attorney. He can help get you the compensation that you deserve.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Some people who get in a car accident have no idea that they’re hurt. It could take days or weeks for an injury to show up. You may think you’re absolutely fine. Then, a few hours or days later, it creeps up on you. You may start showing some signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury.

Some of these signs and symptoms include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness and blurred vision
  • Memory loss
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty sleeping

You may not notice these symptoms yourself. If you’re in a car accident, it’s important that you go to the hospital right away. The doctors can run the necessary tests to determine if you’re suffered this type of injury. If the hospital doesn’t keep you overnight, you should stay with a friend or family member. It’s never a good idea to be by yourself following an accident. You could have a concussion or TBI, or even internal injuries. You want to make sure there’s someone there to see if you start to exhibit any of these signs and symptoms. If you do, you need to go to the hospital right away.

How Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Affect Me Long-Term?

Most car accident injuries can be treated within a day or two. Yes, you may need surgery. You may even need physical therapy. But, for most people, they’ll recover in a reasonable amount of time. You may be out of work for a week or two. You may even take a few months to recover. But, in time, you’ll be back to work and living your life. For people with a TBI this isn’t always the case.

Some TBI victims never fully recover from their injuries. You may never be able to drive again. You may not be able to do the same kind of work you did before the accident. In fact, you may never work again.

TBI victims also find that the can’t enjoy life the same way they did before. They may not be able to play their favorite sports, or have the same kind of social life they used to have. They may even end up on medications that change their ability to live life like a normal person.

People with TBI more often than not end up with life-changing issues. They may need long-term medical care. They may need neurological specialists and psychologists. Or possibly speech and occupational therapists. It can be a very long recovery period.

Most car accidents are pretty minor and don’t cause severe injuries. We see people on the side of the road all the time dealing with a fender bender. We’ve even been in these kinds of accidents ourselves over the years.

Often times, a car accident causes nothing more than a nuisance. They’re minor inconveniences that interrupt our lives. We get our car fixed and submit our insurance claims. We don’t really think about it much beyond that.

But other times, car accident can cause some pretty serious injuries. These injuries can keep us out of work for weeks or months, and can even cause permanent disability.

The reason a car accident attorney in Lake Charles will always say to go to the hospital is to see if you have injuries. You may think you’re fine after a car accident, but you could have internal injuries that you don’t even see.

It’s important that you always go to the hospital and seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident. You need to make sure you’re okay. You also need medical documentation to prove your injuries down the road.

Your Car Accident Attorney in Lake Charles Handles All Types of Injury Cases

When you contact your car accident attorney in Lake Charles, let him know what kind of injuries you suffered. Your attorney is going to work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. The more serious your injuries, the more compensation you’ll receive.

Some of the most common types of injuries in a car accident include:

  • Whiplash – When your car is hit by another car, it may jostle your head about. Your neck can get stretched beyond its normal range, causing strain and pain. The term for this is whiplash.
  • Back Injuries – Back injuries can be very painful and can also cause long-term issues. You may need to get surgery, undergo physical therapy, or go to the chiropractor. Back injuries usually keep you out of work for some time.
  • Airbag Injuries – Airbags are supposed to keep us safe. It’s their job to protect us from the impact from a car accident. The airbag keeps you from being thrown through the windshield, which may prevent serious injuries. However, it can also cause damages to your face, neck and chest. You may suffer facial lacerations, bruises or broken bones.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries – A spinal cord injury is the scariest type of injury you can suffer. It can cause total or partial paralysis, and can lead to nerve damage. A spinal cord injury will impact you for the rest of your life. You’ll need surgery, and may even be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. At a minimum, you will require long-term treatment and therapy.
  • Head and Brain Injuries – Some of the most serious injuries are head and brain injuries. When you get rear-ended, it throws your head forward. Your head may hit the steering wheel, and you may suffer a skull fracture or internal bleeding.
  • Wrist and Arm Injuries – When we get into a car accident, it’s natural to try to brace your body against impact. We put our wrists out to keep our face from smashing into the car. However, this can lead to serious wrist and arm injuries. The number of people that break their wrists in a car accident is surprising. Broken wrists require surgery, and you’ll be out of work for several weeks at least.

Some of the signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory issues
  • Ringing in the ears

If you think you may have a traumatic brain injury, you need to get to the hospital. There are certain tests the doctor needs to do to determine the extent of your injuries.

No matter how minor or severe your injuries, you need to rely on an experienced car accident attorney in Lake Charles.

Some car accidents only cause minor injuries. If someone bumps into your car at a red light, you may not get hurt. The same is true for cars that crash during bumper-to-bumper traffic. However, many other accidents cause some pretty serious injuries.

If you’re in an accident, the first thing you need to do is call the police. They’ll come out and fill out a police report. They’ll investigate the scene and try to determine who is at fault.

The next thing you need to do is seek immediate medical treatment. You could have internal injuries or a traumatic brain injury. Never assume you’re okay. You need to get checked out at the hospital no matter what.

If your injuries are serious, you may need surgery and physical therapy. This could keep you out of work for quite some time. In fact, it could even leave you disabled.

Your Lake Charles car accident attorney will make sure you get compensation for your injuries.

Your Lake Charles Car Accident Attorney Will Help You File an Insurance Claim

Once you’ve been cleared from the hospital, you need to contact a Lake Charles car accident attorney. He can review your case and help figure out who the responsible parties are. Then, he can help you file a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy.

Usually, insurance companies will pay a claim for medical bills and lost wages. However, there are times when they may deny your claim. The insurance company may deny your claim for any of the following reasons:

  • A cancelled or lapsed policy
  • The driver was not insured under the policy
  • The insurance company doesn’t believe you were really hurt
  • They don’t think the accident is what caused your injuries
  • They believe you are at fault for the accident

The insurance company may deny part of your claim if it exceeds the driver’s coverage.

Chances are, if you need multiple surgeries, you may end up physically disabled. This means you won’t be able to return to work. Your disability could even be permanent. This will mean the defendant is liable for a significant amount in lost wages.

How Will Your Lake Charles Car Accident Lawyer Calculate Damages?

If you end up permanently disabled, your Lake Charles car accident attorney will have to demand compensation. In general, plaintiffs in car accident cases are entitled to the following types of damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages and income

For your case, your lawyer will still demand these different types of damages. You’re entitled to compensation for past and future medical bills. You’re also entitled to the money you’ve lost from being out of work.

When you become disabled, the other two types of damages can be quite significant. Instead of just lost wages, your attorney is going to demand compensation for lost income. You’ll be entitled to the difference between what you would have earned at work and what you’ll get on disability.

So, let’s assume that you’re 30 years old. You earn $70,000 per year. You would have worked another 35 years before you retired. We’re not even going to account for raises or inflation in this example.

On disability, you’re going to receive about $35,000 per year. This is only half of what you would’ve earned had you not gotten injured.

The difference will be about $35,000 per year for about 30 years. This comes out to be just over a million dollars. This is going to be more than the other driver’s policy covers. Therefore, you’ll have to pursue the driver personally for these damages.

Your Lake Charles Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You File for Disability

Not only will you have to file your claim against the other driver. You’re going to have to apply for disability. Depending on your work history, this claim will be for either SSI or SSDI.

The main difference between the two is SSDI is for people who’ve worked full-time for years. SSI is for people who are indigent and have no income.

To qualify for either type of disability, you have to prove that your disability will last at least one (1) year. Your Lake Charles car accident attorney can help you do this. He’ll work with your doctor to get the certifications necessary to qualify for disability.

Call and schedule a free initial consultation with a Lake Charles car accident attorney right away. You are going to need to focus on getting well. Let your attorney handle the legal side of things.

Most people think that PTSD can only affect people in the military or law enforcement. However, PTSD can happen to anyone. Anyone who is subjected to a traumatic event can suffer from PTSD.

More and more, lawsuits include a claim for PTSD. People suffer long-term effects from things like plane crashes and car accidents. Nobody can judge how someone else will react to a serious car accident.

Between the impact itself and the injuries sustained, it’s not surprising that some people suffer from PTSD after their accident. It may be surprising that more people don’t experience it. When you think about how scary a car accident can be, it makes sense that people are traumatized afterwards.

If you or a loved one are suffering from PTSD after a car accident, you need a car accident lawyer in Lake Charles.

What is PTSD?

A lot of people aren’t really sure what PTSD is. It sounds like something to do with a mental issue. However, it’s a bit more complex than you may think. PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a form of serious anxiety that follows a traumatic event.

People suffering from PTSD have very intense and disturbing thoughts about their car accident. They tend to relive the event over and over again. Each time, they react as if they’re experiencing it for the first time.

Some of the symptoms of PTSD are:

  • Pervasive thoughts
  • Avoiding any situations similar to the car accident
  • Fear of driving
  • Purposely avoid driving by the area where the crash took place
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Negative thoughts

If you’re experiencing any of these feelings after your car accident, you should seek professional help. You may benefit from therapy or counseling. You may even need to take medications to help with your condition.

Your Car Accident Lawyer in Lake Charles Knows that a Car Crash Can Cause PTSD

A lot of people don’t realize that single-incident trauma can cause PTSD. You may feel like you’re reliving the event over and over again, have an intense fear of driving, and may not be able to ride in a car as a passenger either.

The fear of getting into another crash can be quite severe. You could suffer flashbacks. You may think you hear the glass crunching and metal hitting metal in your sleep. This can cause severe anxiety.

The other thing that PTSD can do is cause extreme nervousness. You may be afraid to leave the house. There is really no limit to the issues PTSD can cause. If another driver is responsible for your accident, they should be held accountable.

Thankfully, PTSD Can Be Treated

The good news is, PTSD can be treated. You shouldn’t be forced to live with PTSD for the rest of your life. However, this doesn’t mean it’ll go away all together. You could suffer long-term consequences as a result of your crash.

There are possible treatments for PTSD. Some of these treatment methods include:

  • Learn how to manage your PTSD – You can use different tricks to manage your PTSD. Therapists can teach you how to recognize when your PTSD is acting up. This can help you address it as soon as it shows up, rather than letting it consume you.
  • Coach yourself into not responding to symptoms – Once you learn how to recognize the signs of PTSD, you can train yourself to not respond to them. You’ll never make the symptoms go away all together. But you can find a way to numb yourself to their effects.
  • There is medication that can help – If you are having a hard time dealing with your PTSD, you can request medication. Medication may help you deal with the symptoms. Usually, doctors will prescribe general anxiety medications to help treat your PTSD.

Even if you can treat your symptoms, your life will forever be affected by your PTSD. If this is caused by a car accident, the other driver should be held responsible.

There are all types of car accidents. Some involve distracted drivers. Others are rear-end collisions that don’t cause very serious injuries. And then there is the head-on collision. They can be the most serious type of accident.

The injuries sustained in a head-on collision can be deadly. The fact that a car comes barreling toward another one head-on is downright scary. Usually, these accidents involve cars that are speeding or out of control. This just compounds the severity.

If you think about, the kind of person who hits you head-on can’t possibly be driving carefully. Unless they’ve lost control of their car, there is no good reason for driving this way. This means that, more often than not, the person who hits you head-on will be liable for your injuries.

If you’ve been involved in a head-on collision, you need a Lake Charles car accident attorney. Your attorney is familiar with the causes of head-on collisions. They will help prove that you’re entitled to compensation.

Your Lake Charles Car Accident Attorney Knows the Causes of Head-On Collisions

Car accident attorneys handle all sorts of cases. Some are fender-benders that involve minor injuries and property damage. Others are quite serious. Some of the more serious kinds are head-on collisions.

Given how dangerous they are, it’s important to look at what causes these accidents. If you know what causes head-on collisions, you can get a better handle on proving causation. And proving causation is what gets you paid.

Most head-on collisions involve negligence. This makes them just like every other accident case. You have to prove that the defendant breached their duty of care toward you. The elements of a negligence case are:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care
  • They breached this duty
  • You have injuries
  • Your injuries were caused by their breach

Every driver owes people on the road a duty of care. They have to obey all traffic laws, be mindful of how they drive, and be considerate to other drivers on the road.

If they breach this duty, they will be held liable for your injuries. This breach could involve:

  • Driving drunk
  • Distracted driving
  • Poorly maintained car
  • Speeding

Your Lake Charles car accident attorney will fight to prove the other driver is responsible for your accident.

What are the Different Causes of Head-On Collisions?

The 4 most common causes of head-on collisions are:

  • Distracted driving – When people are paying attention to their cell phones, they can’t possibly pay attention to the road. It takes just 2-3 seconds to lose control of your car. If you’re not looking at the road, you can cross into oncoming traffic. The causes you to crash, head-on, into an unsuspecting vehicle.
  • Speeding – When people are driving too fast, they can’t stop or merge when they should. This means that when they do try to avoid hitting a car in front of them, they end up driving into your lane. They don’t realize that the lesser of two evils would have been the rear-end collision.
  • Drunk driving – When people drive after drinking or using drugs, they have no idea what they’re doing. Their coordination is off. So is their perception. They may think they’re merging into a turn lane when they’re really merging into oncoming traffic. The result is your car getting slammed into full speed ahead.
  • Losing control of the car – There are times when a head-on collision is a genuine accident. If a car’s brakes fail or something goes wrong with their steering, they can lose control of their car. Although it isn’t technically their fault, you can still file a claim against them. You shouldn’t suffer because their car isn’t working properly.

If any of these things causes your head-on collision, you may be entitled to compensation.

When Louisiana auto accident attorneys talk about the types of damages you can demand after a car accident, they usually mention permanent disability. In addition to things like medical bills and lost wages, you may have to demand compensation for disability.

If you’re in a really bad car accident, you’ll suffer some pretty serious injuries. You may be out of work for quite some time. In fact, if your injuries are bad enough, you may not be able to work ever again.

For some people, this may not be that big of a change. For example, if you didn’t work before the accident, it won’t matter so much that you can’t work after your accident. Or, if you’re already retired, you really can’t make a claim for lost income anyway.

But for most people, becoming disabled will have a huge impact on their finances. People on permanent disability don’t receive that much money. For most, the benefits they receive on disability could be less than half of what they made working full-time.

If this happens to you, it’s important that you hire an experienced car accident lawyer in Lake Charles. They’ll fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

What Types of Damages Do Louisiana Auto Accident Lawyers Demand?

People get into car accidents all the time. If you’re lucky, your car accident will be minor. The only thing bruised is your ego. For others, however, the accident can leave them in bad shape.

You may need surgery or physical therapy after your crash. Or, you might suffer a traumatic brain injury that leaves you permanently disabled. For the most part, your Louisiana car accident lawyer will demand the following:

  • Medical bills – You have no idea what kind of medical bills you’re going to experience. When you think about the doctor copays and prescription costs, it can be staggering. This doesn’t include the fees for things like surgery and physical therapy. The defendant should be held responsible for these bills.
  • Lost Wages – If you miss a significant amount of time from work, you can demand lost wages. Your Lake Charles accident lawyer will submit copies of your timesheets and tax returns. This will show the court how much you’ve actually lost in wages, tips and commissions. The defendant may be liable for these losses.
  • Property Damage – Chances are, if you get into a wreck, your car is going to need some repairs. Your car may even be totaled. Either way, the insurance company should have to cover these expenses.
  • Pain and Suffering –Nobody can say just how much pain you are in. The best person to explain your pain and suffering is you. You can demand that you be compensated for all the mental and physical anguish you’ve suffered.
  • Permanent Disability – Hopefully, you’ll be able to return to work within a few weeks or months after your crash. But if you can’t, your attorney can help you file for disability.

How Will Your Lake Charles Accident Attorney Prove Your Disability Damages?

If you are declared disabled after your crash, you may be entitled to certain damages. Your attorney will show the court how much you earned prior to the accident. They’ll compare this to the amount you’re receiving on disability.

Once you determine the difference in earnings, your attorney will multiply this amount by the number of years you would have worked. For example, if you’re 30, your lawyer will subtract 30 from 65, the average retirement age. Then, they’ll multiple 35 times the difference in earnings.

You may not get as much as you’re hoping. There’s a good chance that your case is going to settle. This means you’ll probably get less than your full demand. Your attorney will make sure that the settlement is fair and covers your medical bills.

When you hear people complain about back pain, you probably tune them out. After all, how bad can it really be? Back pain goes away after a few days. All you have to do is pop a few pain pills and go about your business. If you’ve ever injured your back in a Lake Charles auto wreck, you know how wrong this is. Not only does a back injury cause tremendous pain, but it also lasts the rest of your life. Even if you get back surgery, you may never be the same.

While most people who get into a car accident suffer some kind of injury, most don’t suffer long-term injuries. People who suffer whiplash, for example, are as good as new in a few weeks. Or, someone who breaks their leg will be off their feet for a month or two, but then they’ll be back to normal.

For people who suffer serious back injuries, things aren’t so easy. Back injuries can affect you for the rest of your life. It can keep you from working. It can even make things like driving a car difficult.

If you hurt your back in a car accident, you should contact an experienced Lake Charles auto wreck lawyer. They’ll fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

What Kinds of Back Injuries are Caused by Car Accidents?

If you get into a serious car accident, you’ll probably suffer more than a few bumps and bruises. Some of the injuries caused by car accidents include:

  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones and bruises
  • Lacerations and contusions
  • Facial disfiguration

Any one of these can put you out of work for weeks or even months. But back injuries can last a lifetime. Often times, the doctors don’t want to risk surgery if they don’t have to. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be in any better shape after the surgery than you were before. And, depending on what kind of injury you’ve suffered, there may not be any type of surgery that can help.

Some of the more common types of back injuries caused by a car accident include:

  • Bulging discs
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Pulled muscles
  • Nerve damage

For some of these injuries, you can get surgery. If you’re lucky, you’ll be back on your feet in no time. Other people aren’t so lucky.
What Kinds of Damages Can Your Lake Charles Auto Wreck Lawyer Demand?
If you suffer a serious back injury, your lawyer is going to demand damages. They’ll include these damages in your insurance claim. If the insurance company isn’t willing to pay or settle your claim, your lawyer will have no choice but to file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Some of the damages your attorney will demand include:

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages
  • Property Damage
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Permanent Disability

With back injuries, a lot of accident victims end up on disability. This means that you won’t be able to work full-time. Instead of earning your full salary, you’ll be receiving disability benefits. These benefits are a lot less than what you were used to making.

You’ll also be in a lot of pain with a back injury. This means you may be entitled to pain and suffering. These damages tend to make up the lion’s share of your claim.

Back Injuries Can Impact the Rest of Your Life

If you sustain back injuries in your Lake Charles car accident, it’ll affect you for the rest of your life. People who hurt their back in these types of accidents tend to suffer the rest of their lives.

Some of the long-term effects of a back injury are:

  • You won’t be able to do physical labor or certain types of jobs
  • You may not be able to walk for long periods of time
  • You might not be able to play sports or other forms of recreation
  • Some people with back injuries can’t even drive a car
  • You’ll be in a lot of pain off and on for the rest of your life

If you’ve ever been in a car accident in Louisiana, you know how it goes. Nobody admits that the accident was their fault. They point the finger at the other driver and insists the accident wasn’t their fault. This makes sense. If you say the crash was your fault, you’re going to be on the hook for any damages caused in the accident. This includes any medical bills, property damages and other out of pocket expenses. Even long after the accident is over, the other driver is going to have their own version of what happened. They’ll claim that they’re entirely innocent. They’ll say that you hit them. Or, they’ll lie about how fast they were going. And, if they have a passenger in the car, their passenger is going to corroborate their story. This means your Lake Charles accident lawyer will have to prove that they’re not telling the truth.

In order for you to recover damages, you’ll need to demonstrate that the defendant is at fault. There are lots of ways to do this. However, once the insurance adjusters start battling about who was at fault, it makes it a lot harder to settle your claim. In fact, it may mean that you have to file a car accident lawsuit. Just because you file suit doesn’t mean you can’t settle. In fact, more than 90% of all car accident cases do settle long before trial. That’s why you need to call a car accident lawyer in Lake Charles. They’ll handle the legal side of things so you can focus on getting better.

The Cops Will Talk to Both Drivers

It’s really important that you call the cops immediately after your accident. They’ll come out to the scene and try to find out what happened. They’ll do a variety of things, including talking to everyone involved. They’ll also prepare a police report that your Lake Charles accident attorney can use to prove fault.

Some of the things the cops will look at when they arrive at the crash scene includes the following:

  • The road conditions
  • The positioning of the cars
  • Any tire tracks, skid marks or other clues
  • Any pictures or videos taken by witnesses or stationary cameras
  • Any inclement weather
  • The damage to the vehicles
  • Whether the drivers have valid driver’s licenses, registration and insurance
  • If anyone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • They’ll get statements and contact information for the drivers, passengers and witnesses

Once the cops make sure everyone is okay, they’re going to ask you to make a statement. You do have to talk to the police. You also need to tell them the truth. If you lie to the cops, it’s going to make your lawyer’s job harder later on. Tell them the truth. You just don’t want to offer any information that could hurt your case. It’s just like any other case. Anything you say can and will be used against you.

Don’t Talk to Your Insurance Company Alone

Within a day or two of the accident, you’re going to get a call from the insurance company. They’re going to want you to make a statement as well. They’ll let you know the call is being recorded. This is so that they can go back and use your words against you. Once they have the story from both drivers, they’ll try to determine who was at fault.

When this call comes, let the insurance adjuster or claims examiner know you have an attorney. Tell the you will wait and make your statement while your attorney is present. This way, you don’t say anything that can hurt your case. The adjuster also won’t be able to twist your words or ask misleading questions.

What Evidence Can Your Lake Charles Accident Attorney Use to Rebut the Defendant’s Story?

If the defendant lies about what caused the accident, your Lake Charles accident attorney will be prepared. They’ll submit evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault. Some of this includes:

  • Police report
  • Expert testimony
  • The defendant’s own statement
  • Pictures of the accident scene
  • Your mechanic’s expert opinion

Thankfully, most car accidents don’t end up on the evening news. They’re minor and, for the most part, the people involved walk away with minor bumps and bruises. Maybe the biggest bruise will be to their ago. But in other cases, as a Lake Charles car crash attorney can attest, people are not so lucky.

There are serious car accidents that happen in Lake Charles every day. People suffer serious injuries – they even die. Calling the police can make the difference between your accident claim being paid and your claim being denied.

This is why it’s critical that you call the police immediately after your car accident. They’ll come out to the scene complete a thorough investigation. They’ll also check to see if anyone was injured in the crash. If so, they’ll arrange for the victims to be taken to the hospital via ambulance.

In addition to doing this, the cops are going to prepare a police report. This report will contain valuable information that your car accident lawyer won’t be able to get any other way. And, this is the information you need in order to prove your case. Without it, you may get nothing. You don’t want to make your lawyer’s job any harder than it already is. Make sure you call the police right away so your lawyer can use the police report to prove your case.

What Information is Contained in the Police Report?

There is information in the police report that your Lake Charles car accident attorney won’t be able to get any other way. Some of this includes:

  • All the contact information for the other driver
  • Registration and insurance information
  • A statement regarding road conditions
  • Tickets and other citations issued
  • Photos or videos
  • The damage done to the cars involved in the crash
  • Address and phone number for witnesses

The odds of your lawyer being able to access all of this information without a police report is slim to none. Make sure you stick around so the cops can do their jobs.

Another thing the cops will do that your lawyer can’t do is check to see if the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. They can also ensure that the insurance and license information they provide is accurate. For all you know, the other driver could give you an insurance card that doesn’t even belong to them. They could also have a fake id.

Can You Win Your Case Without a Police Report in Lake Charles?

It wouldn’t be fair to say that you can’t win your court case without a police report. However, it is true that you’ll have a much harder time proving your case without this information. Juries and the courts trust police reports. So do insurance adjusters. They take the information contained in a police report as credible. That’s a lot different than the way they treat information submitted by your attorney or other witnesses.

There’s also a good chance that your Lake Charles car accident lawyer won’t be able to get their hands on the same information the police have. Witnesses don’t like to talk to lawyers. Also, once the accident scene is cleared, your lawyer won’t have access to any of this information. That’s why it’s crucial that you have the police report. It contains valuable information that you may never be able to get. And, even if your lawyer can get it, it will be very expensive and time consuming.

People who watch a lot of television think they understand how a car accident case really works. They think you can flash a neck brace and end up a millionaire. What they don’t realize is that it rarely, if ever, works this way. Most people are lucky to recover enough money to cover their medical bills. Very few people get rich off a car accident lawsuit. That isn’t the point of filing a Lake Charles car accident claim.

The point of filing a claim is to be made whole. It’s their job to make you whole. If you only suffered $10,000 in damages, you can only file a claim for $10,000. Now, where you may see some additional money is when it comes to pain and suffering. For some plaintiffs, these damages make up the lion’s share of their award. The general rule is that pain and suffering damages are equal to about three (3) times your medical bills. So that should give you an idea of what your case is really worth.

One thing to watch is an attorney who tells you they can guarantee you a certain amount of money. It doesn’t work that way. Nobody can ever guarantee that you’ll get a certain amount. In fact, they can’t guarantee that you’ll get a dime. It depends on a few things, including:

  • How serious were your injuries?
  • Did you suffer property damage?
  • Were you able to return to work after the accident?
  • Are you left permanently disabled as a result of the crash?
  • How bad was your pain and suffering?

Until your Lake Charles car accident lawyer can answer these questions, they’ll have no idea of what your claim is worth.

You Can Only Sue for Damages You Suffered

As mentioned above, you can only recover for damages you’ve actually suffered. Some plaintiffs suffer whiplash and expect their attorney to get the $500,000. A whiplash claim is only worth, at most, about $5,000. You can’t expect to get much more than that. Now, if you suffered other injuries on top of whiplash, you may be entitled to more money. It all depends on your situation.

Let’s consider the following example:

Someone crashes into your car head-on. You suffer a broken neck and a traumatic brain injury. You’re told that you’ll never work again. You will be on disability the rest of your life. You also totaled your brand-new car in the wreck.

You can sue for the following damages:

  • How much your car was worth
  • What you would’ve earned throughout the rest of your career
  • How bad your pain and mental anguish really was
  • The money you spent to get back and forth to doctor’s appointments
  • Any copays or out of pocket doctor’s bills
  • Lost wages

Your Lake Charles car accident lawyer is going to work hard to get you as much as possible. This means you have to cooperate. Make sure you answer your lawyer’s questions. Get the medical treatment that your doctor recommends. Show up for all of your depositions and court dates. Do what your attorney says so you don’t jeopardize your claim.

Your Lake Charles Car Accident Attorney Must Prove Your Damages

No matter how badly you were hurt, your Lake Charles injury lawyer still needs to prove damages. They’ll do this by submitting proof of your injuries. They’ll also have to prove that the other driver was at fault. If you don’t go to the hospital after crash, you won’t have any record of your injuries. This is why your Lake Charles car accident attorney advises that you go to the hospital immediately after your crash.

The best way to prove the defendant was at fault is with the police report. This is why it’s crucial that you call the police as soon as possible after your crash. They’ll provide a police report that contains valuable information that your lawyer won’t be able to get any other way. Even if they can get it, it’ll be expensive and time consuming.

If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know it goes. Nobody is ever going to stand up and say the accident was their fault. Both drivers are going to point to the other driver and say they caused the crash. This is only natural. Even new drivers know that if they admit to causing an accident, their insurance will go up. There’s also the chance that you’ll get a ticket from the police. So, when it comes time to file your car insurance claim, you can’t imagine why your claim would be denied. If you weren’t at fault, you shouldn’t have to worry about your claim being approved. You should just be able to sit back and wait for the insurance company to send your check. Finding out your insurance claim was denied can be infuriating. It can also be scary. If this happens, it’s time to call and talk to an experienced car accident lawyer in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Your car accident attorney will talk to the insurance adjuster and find out why your claim was denied. Depending on the reason, they can either submit additional information or appeal your claim. It really depends on why the insurance company denied it in the first place. Since your car accident lawyer has a lot of experience dealing with insurance adjusters, they can really help you when it comes to settling your claim.

How Can Your Baton Rouge Car Accident Lawyer Prove the Other Driver Was at Fault?

In order to get your claim approved, your Baton Rouge car accident lawyer will need to prove the other driver was at fault. To do this, they’ll have to demonstrate that the defendant was negligent. This requires that they prove the following four (4) things:

  • The other driver owed you a duty of care – This is easy. Whenever someone gets behind the wheel of a car, they owe all other motorists a certain duty of care. They need to obey all traffic laws. They also need to use common sense when it comes to public safety.
  • They breached this duty – You’ll need to prove that the other driver did something out of the ordinary. Perhaps they were texting and driving at the time of the crash. Or maybe they were speeding. It’s your lawyer’s job to prove that they actually breached this duty.
  • You were injured – If you don’t go to the hospital, you won’t be able to prove you were injured. The best way to prove your injuries is by submitting a copy of your medical records.
  • The defendant’s breach caused your injuries – It’s not enough that you were in a car crash. You have to prove that your injuries were a direct result of the other driver’s negligence.

Even if your attorney can prove these things, that is no guarantee that your claim will be paid. There’s always the chance that your claim will be denied.

Why Would the Insurance Company Deny Your Claim?

The only person who knows why your claim was really denied is the insurance adjuster. However, your attorney is very familiar with the reasons why they don’t pay claims. Some of the reasons why your claim may be denied, including:

  • The policy lapsed for non-payment
  • The owner of the car didn’t give the driver permission to use the car
  • They think you primarily caused the crash
  • You have a prior medical condition
  • They think your claim is false

Any of these reasons on their own are enough to cause your claim to be denied. However, as long as the policy was valid, your attorney can help you file an appeal.

Your Baton Rouge car accident lawyer will do their best to negotiate a settlement of your insurance claim. Their goal is to get you as much money as quickly as possible.

A lot of people have no idea how a car accident settlement actually works in the real world. First of all, plaintiffs usually don’t get as much money as they think they’ll get. By the time you settle your case, you usually have to compromise on the amount of money you demanded. And, by the time you pay all of the outstanding bills resulting from your Louisiana car accident, there isn’t all that much left over.

It’s important to keep in mind that your car accident lawsuit is meant to make you whole. It’s not meant to make you rich. The goal of filing a claim is to be reimbursed for any expenses you’ve experienced as a result of the crash. It’s also to make sure you’re fairly compensated for any pain and suffering the accident caused.

This article will give you a better idea of how a lawsuit settlement really works. It will also let you know how your settlement proceeds are distributed. This way, you have a realistic view of what may happen with your own car accident lawsuit.

How Do You Get Your Settlement Proceeds?

Typically, you won’t receive a large check that you can take to the bank and cash. Odds are, it’ll take some time for you to get your check. And there could be a few days before it clears your bank account. So, don’t plan any big shopping sprees just yet!

When you get your settlement check, it could be made out to you or your Lake Charles automobile accident lawyer. If it’s made out to both of you, then you’ll both need to sign the check in order for you to cash it. Your car accident lawyer will call you into the office to sign the check. They’ll also let you know how the car accident settlement proceeds will be distributed.

Your settlement arrangement may also call for a separate check to be made out to your medical provider. If your personal health insurance paid for your medical treatment, they’ll expected to be reimbursed. This will happen before you get your portion of the settlement proceeds. If there is no separate check to cover medical bills, you may have to wait for your lawyer to pay the third-party providers before you get your check. This process can take weeks or it can take months. It all depends on the facts of your case. You have to be patient. You need to remember that it may have taken months or years to actually settle your case. You can wait a few more days or weeks.

How Much Will Your Car Accident Settlement Be?

Your settlement will be for whatever amount you and your attorney agree to. Usually, if you end up settling your case, you’re going to get less than your original demand. For example, you may sue for $500,000. However, in an effort to get your money quickly, you may agree to settle for $350,000. Knowing how expensive it can be to go to trial, this isn’t a bad settlement amount. It also guarantees that you’ll get money. If you go to trial, there’s always the chance that you’ll lose and get absolutely nothing.

The other thing you need to keep in mind is that your Lake Charles accident lawyer isn’t going to encourage you to accept a lowball settlement. That’s why you hired a lawyer. If you represented yourself, there was the risk that the insurance company would try to take advantage of you. They’d offer you a low settlement and hope you were desperate for cash. They’ll also ask you to sign a settlement release. This release will preclude you from going back to the defendant for more money later on. Your Lake Charles accident attorney won’t let this happen. They’ll review anything the insurance company asks you to sign before you pick up a pen.

There is a link between car accidents and alcohol intake. Drinking alcoholic beverages have effects that lead to delayed reaction times and poor choices. Across the United States, 800 people are injured in a drunk driving accidents every single day. Drunk driving accidents often result in serious injuries.

If you or a loved one were injured in such an accident, the best thing to do is reach out to an experienced auto accident attorney in Lake Charles.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions are one type of car accident that can result from drinking and driving.

Head-on collisions occur when two cars that are driving down the road in opposite directions crash into each other while keeping their individual routes.

These are often called “frontal” accidents because they involve the front of the cars.

Wrong-Way Collisions

Wrong-way collisions are a lot like a head-on collision. When someone is driving on the wrong side of the road, they can cause a head-on collision.

Both cars also have the potential of crashing into objects that are not in motion because they try to swerve to avoid the collision.

Depth perception is often impaired when alcohol has been consumed. This is what can cause a drunk driver to turn into the wrong lane.

Rear-End Collisions

This is another type of accident that speaks for itself.

When one car is traveling behind another and fails to stop in time, they cause a rear-end collision. Delayed reaction times from drinking alcohol are typically to blame.

Pedestrian Related Accidents

Another car is not the only thing that a drunk driver can hit on the road. There are often instances where drunk drivers hit pedestrians trying to cross the road.

From delayed reaction time to being so distracted that they do not see the person, this can result in serious injury. This may even result in death if the driver is going too fast.

Injuries Resulting from Car Accidents

From minor injuries like bruising to major injuries like death, drunk driving accidents are nothing to joke about. Know your rights when it comes to your injury claims and contact a Louisiana auto accident lawyer.

  • Whiplash
    • Whiplash is common in an accident.
    • The neck and the head keep traveling forward after the initial impact. The force from the car suddenly stopping catches up to them. They are “whipped” back into place.
    • This causes strain on the muscles in the neck and shoulders.
  • Head Trauma
    • Head trauma can happen in several different ways during an accident. When the head goes forward and then backward it can cause a concussion.
    • If the head hits the steering wheel it can cause skull fractures or brain injuries to occur.
    • The placement of airbags has helped with these types of injuries, but they still happen.
  • Neck and Spinal Cord Injuries
    • The neck and spinal cord injuries can leave a victim disabled for the rest of their life.
    • Paralysis is often an outcome of accidents that cause trauma to this area of the body.
  • Chest and Abdominal Injuries
    • Seat belts and airbags were designed to keep us safe during an accident.
    • Unfortunately, these can actually cause injury in high impact accidents. Broken ribs can lead to punctured lungs. Other internal organ injuries can occur as well.
  • Injuries to the Lower Extremities
    • Most accidents cause trauma to the upper parts of the body, but in some instances, the lower parts of the body can become affected.
    • In a head-on collision, it is possible for the front end to crush the lower extremities. If injuries are bad enough, paralysis and amputation may occur.

Recently Released Fatality Rate for Louisiana

The National Highway Safety Administration Traffic recently released its statistics for deaths caused by drunk driving accidents.

This included accidents that had no blood alcohol content all the way through .15 and beyond.

Among all of the states, the total number of deaths in Louisiana from accidents was 768.

Of these accidents, 33% of them were alcohol-related. This comes down to one in three drivers being drunk when their wreck caused the death of themselves or another person.

Out of the 33% of drunk drivers, over half of them that caused a fatality while driving with a blood alcohol content of over twice the legal limit.

When you are in an accident, the state of Louisiana requires you to file an accident report. Form DA 2041 can be filled out online and emailed or printed out and mailed in. Instead of filling this out on your own, it is better to call the police after an accident to have them investigate and fill out the report.

After calling the police, you should also consider contacting an experienced Louisiana auto wreck lawyer.

When is it Required to Call the Police After an Accident?

Louisiana state law RS 32:398 outlines what needs to be done after an accident.

When an accident occurs that involves injury or property damage that is $500 or more, the driver must do the following:

  1. Report the accident to the local police department in a city setting. If in a rural setting or it cannot be determined the city limits involved, call the sheriff’s office or state police to report it.
  2. Give the other person all of your information. This includes your name, address, phone number, license number, and plate number.
  3. Make sure that you are collecting all of this information from the other party involved in the accident too.
  4. Make sure that you are providing the officer on the scene all of the same information that you just gave to the other person involved. They will need this for the accident form they are required to complete.

When an accident occurs that involves injury or property damage that is $100 or more, the driver must do the following:

  1. Send in a written report within 24 hours to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. If this is violated, the driver could spend up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $100.
  2. If the Department of Public Safety and Corrections determines that your reports are insufficient, they will require additional forms to be sent in with witness statements.

The officer that prepares the accident report is in charge of investigating the accident. The officer must also let both parties know that they need to report the following:

  1. The name and the address of the owner of the vehicle. This must also be included for the driver if different from the car owner.
  2. The license number of the cars involved.
  3. The name of the insurance companies that are used. This must also include the address, phone number, and the agent responsible for the policy.

The officer is responsible for doing the following with their accident reports:

  1. Every accident report must have the initials of the officer that investigated it. If the accident requires more investigation by other sources, their initials must be included in the reports as well.
  2. Once the investigation is completed by the officer, they must send the forms to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections within 48 hours.
  3. If this accident occurred within city limits, a copy of the accident forms must be sent to the city department that it involves.

The accident form and the investigation will be valuable components in a personal injury lawsuit lead by a Louisiana auto accident lawyer.

It’s a Smart Move to Call the Police After an Accident

The police officers in Louisiana are trained to investigate car accidents. When they arrive at the scene of an accident, they have a specific job to do.

It is important that you do not get in the way while they do what they were called to the scene to do. Their first obligation is to help protect those who are injured and call an ambulance if it is required.

After they have tended to those who are injured, they will secure the scene and begin getting statements. They will document all of the evidence and determine the fault of the accident.

It is at this time that they will issue citations or make arrests due to impaired driving if necessary.

You did your due diligence. You were in an auto accident in Louisiana and you filed your reports and sent in your claims. This also included your claim for personal injury. When the letter comes in the mail from your insurance company you are shocked to see that they have denied your car insurance claim. Can an automobile accident attorney in Louisiana help you appeal to their initial decision?

Why Was Your Car Insurance Claim Denied?

You make sure that you pay your premium every month for your car insurance policy. You have never filed a claim before with them so you are unsure as to why they may have denied your auto accident claim.

You Reached Your Policy Limit

When you selected your insurance policy, you selected the type of coverage you wanted on your vehicle. A lot of times we neglect to read the fine print of our coverage selection.

If the reason for your claim denial falls into this category, chances are the claim you filed exceeds the amount of coverage you selected, and it will not cover your claim. The other common denial in this category is filing a claim for coverage that you do not have.

You Violated A State Law

If you were under the influence at the time of the accident, your insurer will automatically deny your claim. Any violations of state law allow them to deny auto insurance claims.

If you were driving with a suspended license or under a lapsed insurance policy, they are not going to cover your damages either.

They may also deny the claim if they feel like the accident was avoidable.

Other Possible Reasons for A Claim Denial

The first thing you need to do after an accident if you are able to do so is gathering evidence. Take pictures of the scene, the positions of the vehicles, and take statements of anyone who saw the accident. This is your evidence for your claim.

If an insurer feels like you put off calling the police and reporting the accident, they may deny your claim. That is why having an officer take statements and file a report at the time of the incident is extremely important.

Not seeking medical attention after an accident and waiting for a prolonged period of time is also suspicious behavior in the eyes of insurance companies. They may not believe that the claim you are making is in conjunction with the accident you are trying to claim damages for. This will more than likely be when you need to get an experienced Lake Charles auto accident attorney to make your case.

A big claim denial reason is when the insurance company is investigating your claim and they feel as if you misrepresented yourself on your initial quote. Their perception is that you falsified information to get a cheaper car insurance quote. They will deny your claim because of this.

Your insurance agent is a fraud and your insurance carrier are not licensed in the state of Louisiana. This can be a hard thing to process as someone who has paid their premiums. You will have to file a completely different lawsuit for this issue.

The Appeal Process

If you feel that your car insurance company is denying your insurance claim without just cause, you can start the appeal process against their decision.

The first step you have to do is understand exactly why they denied your insurance claim. Did they have a valid reason for believing that it should not be paid out?

Next review all of the evidence that you submitted with the original claim. Are you missing any evidence that might have caused them to deny it? Make sure that you keep everything together so that it is easily accessible and organized.

You can write a letter to the appeals department of your insurance carrier. Make sure that you reintroduce all the original evidence and any that you might have left out the first time. Make sure that all of the accident reports, medical reports, and statements from all parties is included when you send it to them.

Make sure that in your letter you are laying out the evidence that supports the adjuster’s findings. If you don’t feel comfortable trying to take on your insurance claim denial bring it to a Louisiana automobile accident law firm.

Accidents are a naturally occurring thing in life. Sometimes we cannot stop them from happening. In a car accident, there are a lot of variables at play, and sometimes those variables are to blame for the accident. When a car accident is traumatic enough, it can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, it is important to get a Lake Charles car accident lawyer on your side.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

When something in your life causes an excess amount of stress and trauma, it can lead to what is referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD for short. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can cause strong anxiety and feelings that don’t go away and can sometimes cause panic attacks if introduced to the stimuli.

Examples of PTSD after a car accident are:

  • Constantly feeling uneasy, a feeling that just doesn’t go away
  • Inability to ride in or drive a vehicle due to excessive amounts of anxiety
  • Refusal to allow medical tests or procedures done due to horrific memories from the accident and the injuries sustained
  • Changes in mood and behavior-irritable all the time or angry
  • Constant worry that something bad is going to happen even if there is no indication that a threat exists
  • Inability to sleep due to nightmares of the event
  • Not feeling a connection with those people who share the event that causes your PTSD
  • Constant memories of the event that you cannot make go away or control the onset of

It is understandable to have normal feelings after an accident. Feelings of shock, anger, fear, guilt, or the inability to accept that it happened. Again, these are all normal feelings after a car accident.

Normal feelings that do not get better with time or with counseling, can be indications that you are suffering from PTSD after the accident. This is something that can hinder you from leading a normal life and participating in daily activities.

How to Cope with PTSD From a Car Accident

It is important to understand that if you have been involved in a serious accident that has caused you to experience PTSD, you do not have to try to handle it alone. There is no rule book on PTSD that says you must take on all the feelings and thoughts on your own. Finding a way to work through the feelings you experience is the first step to leading a normal life in the future.

  • Talk about it– Make sure that you are talking to friends, family, or to a counselor about the accident. In order to work through the emotions and the feelings, you are going to have to be able to recount it. Find peace with it. Share the way you felt when it happened, what was going through your mind, and how your feelings changed in the days after it.
  • Try to remain active– Exercising releases endorphins, and endorphins are a hormone that aids in happiness. Make sure that the exercises you are doing do not make any injuries you sustained in the accident any worse.
  • Visit your doctor– Your doctor can advise you what exercises are safe to do and can also refer you to other healthcare providers who specialize in the care you need outside of the regular medical field. They will be the ones who can help you find a great mental health professional to diagnose and treat the PTSD you may be experiencing after your accident. Their documentation will also be extremely beneficial in a lawsuit.
  • Get back into the normal swing of things– A traumatic accident can be devastating, and it can be hard to get back into normal habits and routines, especially if injuries make it hard for you to do so. Don’t give up though because the sooner you get back into the routines you had prior to the accident, the more like yourself you will feel. That is an important part of healing, getting used to doing the things you did prior to the accident and without fear.
  • Take control– After an accident, it can be hard to see a car, let alone be in a car or drive one. This is where you can take control of the situation and regain some of your life back. Getting in the habit of defensive driving can make you feel like you are more in control of your situation. Make sure you are wearing your seat belt and avoid distractions.

Going to the doctor can be stressful for anyone. It is even more stressful for those who have anxiety about going to the doctor. Doctors are the ones who are supposed to treat us and keep us safe and healthy. If you can’t trust your doctor who are you supposed to trust. Sometimes we have bad experiences with a doctor. The doctor may not have listened to us or they may have neglected to hear our symptoms. Whatever the case may be, if you feel that your doctor misdiagnosed a medical disorder, a Lake Charles attorney who specializes in failure to diagnose cases can help.

Misdiagnosis or Missed Diagnosis?

These two terms sound the same, but they are completely different when determining the actions of a doctor. Both are frustrating experiences all on their own, but the reality is that they happen a lot more frequently than you realize.

Misdiagnosis

If you are misdiagnosed by a doctor, it means that you had one illness and they told you that you had another.

For example, you go to the doctor and they tell you that you have the flu. They end up telling you to stay in bed and hydrate. The only thing that they can do is treat your symptoms.

Then you end up getting worse.

The reality was that you had pneumonia and required an antibiotic to clear it up. Now you are worse off than you were, and it could have been life-threatening if not caught in time.

Missed Diagnosis

If your doctor misses a diagnosis, it can be just as fatal as misdiagnosing. Something like heartburn in a female patient being treated as acid reflux. She goes home only to have had a heart attack. The doctor missed the diagnosis.

Often, many illnesses share the same symptoms so it can be hard for a medical provider to pinpoint the actual reason. Therefore, they should be doing tests to ensure that they are not missing something critical, like a heart attack.

What Can You Do If You Don’t Agree with A Diagnosis?

If you have seen your doctor for your symptoms, but you don’t seem to be getting better, you have options.

Go back to your doctor and express to them that the treatment protocol that they have prescribed is not working. You are not getting better. Make sure that you are sharing any new symptoms with them that you may be experiencing. New information may lead them to the true diagnosis.

After you have gone back to your normal doctor and you feel like there is no change or you are getting worse, seek a second opinion. There is nothing wrong with having fresh eyes look at the situation. Another doctor may have a different idea about how to treat you.

Give Differential Diagnosis A Try

Take control of your own healthcare by becoming an empowered patient. Doctors use a technique called differential diagnosis when trying to come up with a diagnosis based on all the information that they have in their hands.

They start with the symptoms that you have described, the tests that were run, additional input you have provided, and their knowledge of medicine and they create a list of potential illnesses. Once they have this list, they use the same information again to begin narrowing down the list.

This is something that you can do on your own as well. This does not mean go to Google and turn a common cold into the plague. This is merely a means of figuring out the next steps to take when addressing your symptoms and concerns with your doctor.

Once you have done your own research and have gone back to the doctor because of the same illness, ask them this:

“What else can it be?”

It is important for you to understand what their process was and compare it to your own. Between the two of you, it is possible you may come up with a diagnosis.

Some people think that they’re going to get millions of dollars in a legal settlement for their Lake Charles accident case. That simply isn’t true. You’re only entitled to receive compensation for injuries you’ve actually suffered. And, in order to get any money, your Lake Charles auto wreck attorney will have to prove your damages.

This sounds a lot easier than it really is. Not only does your attorney need to prove that the other driver was at fault. They also need to be able to put a dollar value on your injuries. This means they need to gather evidence to show what kinds of injuries you’ve suffered. This takes time. That’s why we recommend that car accident victims contact a skilled injury lawyer in Louisiana sooner rather than later.

Most people know the types of damages they can demand in their car accident lawsuit. This includes the following:

  • Medical bills and future medical bills
  • Lost wages and lost future earnings
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

Some of these are easier to prove than others. For example, if your car was damaged in the crash, you’ll take it to the mechanics. They’ll give you a bill for whatever it cost you to fix your car. If your insurance company paid to get your car fixed, the other driver’s insurance company will need to reimburse them.

For the other types of damages, it can be a lot harder to put a dollar value on your case. This is why it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced car accident lawyer in Lake Charles right away.

How Do You Put a Value on Lost Wages?

In order for your lawyer to prove lost wages, they need to submit documentation. This could include paystubs or timesheets. It can also require your lawyer to submit copies of your tax returns. Anything that shows the difference between what you earned prior to the accident compared to what you’re earning after the accident.

You can also demand compensation for the money you lost while out of work. As long as you missed more than a week or so, you can demand this compensation. Your attorney will submit proof of how much time you were out to recover from your injuries. The defendant should be liable for this money.

You Can Demand Reimbursement for Your Medical Bills

When it comes to your medical bills, you can demand two things: medical bills you’ve already experienced and future medical bills. Your lawyer can submit paperwork showing what you’ve paid out of pocket. This includes things like co-pays and deductibles. But it also includes money your primary health insurance has paid toward your treatment. For example, if your insurance company already paid out $100,000 in medical bills, they’re going to expect reimbursement when you settle your case.

You’re also entitled to future medical bills. If you are going to need future treatment, your attorney can get documentation from your doctors. They can sign a letter or affidavit stating what kind of treatment you’re going to need. Your attorney can also hire someone to put a value on this future treatment. This way, you can demand the defendant compensate you for this money. This isn’t as easy as it may seem. Putting a current value on future medical treatment can be complicated. This is why your lawyer will hire an expert to handle this for you.

If you’re involved in any sort of accident, you may end up having to file a lawsuit against the defendant. Hopefully, this won’t happen. In most cases, the defendant has insurance that can pay for your injuries. Unfortunately, not everyone carries insurance. And, even if they do, there’s no guarantee that their insurance company will pay your claim. Regardless of the situation, in Louisiana, you only have a certain amount of time to file your lawsuit. This is because Louisiana, like every other state, has something called the Statute of Limitations. This is a law that states how long a plaintiff has to file their lawsuit. It’s different depending on what kind of case you need to file. For a personal injury case, you only have one (1) year to file your lawsuit. This is one of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to timeframes for filing legal action.

This means that, if you are hurt in an accident, you need to call a local Louisiana car accident lawyer sooner rather than later. You can’t afford to waste any time. A year will fly by really fast, especially if you consider the time it takes for you to find out if your insurance claim will be paid.

There is No Wiggle Room When it Comes to the Statute of Limitations

Some people think their lawyer can work magic when it comes to their case. They don’t realize that the court has rules in place and that everyone has to follow those rules. When it comes to the statute of limitations, there are no exemptions. If you don’t file your case within a year, your case will be dismissed.

Your attorney is going to have to work hard to serve the defendant within the one year time frame. They’ll hire experts to track down the defendant if they’ve left town. Or, they’ll find someone who can accept service on behalf of the defendant. For example, if they own a business in your state, maybe your lawyer can serve their place of business. Or, if there is an insurance company involved, your lawyer can serve the insurance adjustor or their attorneys. They’ll do whatever they can to track down the defendant so that they can file your case in time.

What if You Miss the Statute of Limitations?
If you miss the one-year statute of limitations for some reason, you won’t be forgiven. The judge will dismiss your case. More than likely, the defendant’s lawyer will file a motion to dismiss. But even if they don’t, the judge may still deny your claim. You will not be given a second chance. Once your claim is dismissed for statute of limitations reasons, your case is as good as dead. There’s nothing your lawyer can do to fix this.

This is why Lake Charles car accident lawyers ask their clients to come see them early in the process. They need time to prepare your case. They have to gather evidence and submit motions to the court. If you wait more than a few months to retain a lawyer, they may not be able to get your case filed in time.

Even though the country has been going through a unique time, people are still trying to enjoy life as much as possible. It’s getting warmer out and, let’s face it – Louisiana is right on the water. People love to take their boats out on the weekend and enjoy some time on the water. Or, they rent a boat and go fishing with their friends. Once people are able to travel again, they’re bound to head to Louisiana since it’s one of the travel destination capitals in the United States. When they do this, they go on party boats or pay for afternoon excursions. And, just like people can get into accidents while in their car, the same thing can happen on a boat. Thankfully, a boat accident in Lake Charles is no more common than anywhere else.

However, a lot more people go out on the water in Louisiana than most other states. The other good thing about boat accidents is that, typically, they don’t involve as many people. Boats are pretty big. There’s a good chance that, if you’re on a boat that hits something, you may be fine. But there’s always the possibility that you could get hurt. When that happens, you need to call an experienced boat accident attorney in Lake Charles. There’s no way to really know right away how serious your injuries are. And, if the boat isn’t yours, you may not know who you need to pursue for damages. This is when your attorney can help.

Who Owned the Boat that You Were on at the Time of the Accident?

Deciding who you need to pursue for damages will depend on one thing – who owned the boat you were riding on? If the boat is yours, and the other operator caused the crash, you’ll treat it like any other accident. You’ll file a claim against their insurance company. If they refuse to pay the claim, or if it doesn’t cover your total damages, you’ll file a lawsuit against the operator and boat owner. If you were on a party boat, then you’ll have to take a different route.

If you are a passenger on a party boat, then you are a true victim. If you don’t own the boat, and you didn’t operate the boat, then you are entitled to damages. And, as cold as it may seem, it shouldn’t matter to you who pays your damages. As long as your medical bills and other out of pocket expenses are covered, it doesn’t matter.

You May Have to Sue More than One Party

If you didn’t own the boat involved in the crash, odds are, you’ll have to sue more than one party. You will have to sue the person who was operating the boat. If it was a commercial boat, then sue the company. Or, you may need to sue the management company. If the boat was owned by a friend or family member, you’ll have no choice but to sue them and their insurance company. As long as your damages are covered, that’s all that matters.

If you or your loved one are involved in a car accident, you’ll need to call an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lake Charles. Attorneys have years of experience getting clients the money they deserve. They know how the law works in Louisiana and they understand what they need to do to win. Car accident cases work like any other sort of personal injury case. Most of the time, your lawyer is going to have to prove negligence. Unless your lawsuit is the result of a crime or intentional act, this will be the case. Thankfully, your Lake Charles auto injury lawyer knows how to prove negligence.

Negligence means that somebody didn’t behave the way they should and, as a result, somebody is hurt. Negligence is the legal standard by which almost all personal injury cases are measured.

In order to prove negligence, your lawyer will have to prove four (4) things:

  • The other driver owed you a duty of care
  • They breached this duty
  • You were injured
  • Your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach

This may seem pretty straight forward. However, it’s not as easy as you may think. Car accident attorney spend years learning how to handle these types of cases. The good news is that your attorney will know what it takes to prove negligence. And, they know what it takes to prove your damages.

How Do You Prove the Defendant Owed You a Duty of Care in Louisiana?

When it comes to a car accident case, it’s not hard to prove the other driver owed you a duty of care. All drivers are required to obey all traffic laws. They also need to be careful while on the road. They have to take the safety of all other motorists into account. If they do something wrong, people can hurt or even killed. Sometimes, all your lawyer has to prove is that the defendant violated a traffic law. Some of the common violations that lead to a car accident in Louisiana include the following:

  • Speeding – If someone is driving above the speed limit, they put their own life and the lives of others at risk. The state sets the speed limit for a reason. There is research that shows how fast a car can go without a driver losing control. For example, the speed limit in residential neighborhoods is often 25 mph. This is because there’s a greater chance that a child or even an adult could be walking around. Plus, a lot of cars are pulling in and out of driveways in these neighborhoods. However, if you’re on a highway, the speed limit is going to be as high as 65 or 75 mph.
  • Texting and driving – Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Louisiana. People don’t realize that, when they take their eyes off the road for a few seconds, it’s like driving across a football field with your eyes closed. Anything can happen in the span of 2-3 seconds. This is why it’s against the law to text while you’re driving.
  • Drunk Driving – Clearly, it’s against the law to drink and drive. If you’re caught with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, you’ll be arrested and charged with DUI. Even if your BAC is lower than that, if you appear impaired, you can be charged as well. If this happens, the drunk driver will almost always be found to be at fault for the crash.

Once your Lake Charles car accident lawyer proves that the defendant owed you a duty of care, they’ll proceed to the other three (3) elements of negligence.

Once Your Lake Charles Accident Lawyer Proves Breach, You’ll Need to Prove Your Damages

The hard part about a negligence case is proving that the defendant breached their duty of care. Once your Louisiana accident attorney does this, they’ll move on to proving damages. It won’t be hard to prove that your injuries were caused by the crash. What else can explain your being hurt? What your attorney will need to do is put a dollar amount on your injuries. Your attorney will demand the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages and lost future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

Call today and schedule your free initial consultation. Let our experienced automobile accident law firm fight to get you as much money as possible. The consultation is free and you don’t pay a dime until you settle your case.

Boating and water accidents in Lake Charles are not as uncommon as you might think. Now that we are halfway through spring and summer is upon us, it’s important to discuss water safety. For anyone who’s spent a summer or two in Louisiana, they know how oppressive the heat and humidity can be. One of the best ways to stay cool is to spend some time on the water. Maybe that means you spend some time on a boat. Or perhaps you and your friends plan an afternoon of kayaking or canoeing. No matter how you plan on spending your time, just make sure you take safety into account.

Thousands of people are injured or killed in water-related activities every year. They’re all tragic because, for the most part, they were all preventable. Very rarely does someone die in boating or water accidents in Lake Charles that was 100% unavoidable. There are certain things you need to keep in mind if you intend to spend time on the water. This is especially true if you have children or pets with you on the water. We want to see our friends in Lake Charles enjoy their summer in a safe and responsible way. However, if something happens and you do need help, we are here for you. When it comes to boating or water accidents in Lake Charles, we’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Just call our office and schedule your free initial consultation.

Always Plan Ahead for a Day on the Water

If you plan on spending the day on the water, you need to be prepared. First, make sure you have safety equipment on board. Whether you’re on a boat or just in a canoe, always have a life preserver. Also make sure you have a flare in case you need to call for help. These are the sort of practical things that can make the difference between living and dying.

You also need to be smart if you plan on drinking alcohol. There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks on the weekend. However, if you’re driving the boat, then you can’t drink alcohol. It’s that simple. You’re putting the lives of your passengers and other people at risk. That’s not fair. And, even if you’re not operating a boat, you need to stay sober. If you get drunk while out on the water, you increase the chances of drowning or getting hurt.

Not All Water Accidents in Lake Charles Involve a Boat

We’re only weeks into the warm weather and, already, there are dozens of stories on the news about people drowning in kayak or canoe accidents. In fact, you may be more at risk while doing these activities as compared to fishing on a speedboat. It’s important that you have someone else with you on these adventures. If you’re alone and something happens to you, there’s nobody available to help you or call for help. You also need to make sure you’re trained in case something does happen. If you can’t swim, it may not be the best idea to go kayaking. Often times, kayaks flip over. If you haven’t been trained on how to get out of your kayak in this situation, then don’t go kayaking. The same goes for canoeing. If you aren’t sure how to handle a situation where you lose one or both of your oars, then it may be a good idea to stay on shore instead of risking a canoeing accident.

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