If you were hurt in a car accident, you are likely in pain, missing work, and feeling overwhelmed by medical bills and doctor’s appointments. You may also be frustrated because your accident was caused by another driver’s careless mistake that never should have happened. After a wreck, your life can change in the blink of an eye. A lawyer can help you get your life back.
Don’t deal directly with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you don’t have an attorney, they will try to get you to settle for less than you deserve. The New Orleans car accident lawyer team at Morris Bart, LLC is here to help you pursue compensation that will cover all of your accident-related costs. For a free, no-risk consultation, contact us today at (504) 613-4771.
Can You Sue Someone for Hurting You in a Car Accident?
Anytime you are involved in an auto accident, there is the potential for bodily injury, emotional trauma, and damage to your property. Ideally, whoever is at fault will have adequate insurance coverage, and you can file a claim with the insurance company that will cover all your costs.
Sometimes the insurance payout is insufficient to cover your expenses, especially if you’ve been in a major accident that left you in pain and unable to work. Thankfully, you have the right to sue the at-fault driver or their insurance company to try and recover additional funds.
Although you always have the right to file a lawsuit, not every case is winnable. To establish the strongest possible case and increase your odds of success, you and your New Orleans car accident lawyer will need to prove:
- The at-fault party had a duty of care to act in a way that would keep you safe
- The at-fault party acted in a reckless or dangerous manner
- This unsafe behavior caused the accident
- The accident caused your injuries or other damages
New Orleans Car Accident Claim Types
Louisiana state law gives car accident victims three avenues to receive compensation through civil courts, and your claim must fall into at least one of these categories. Knowing which applies to your case will help guide your lawsuit’s strategy.
This is one reason why you need a knowledgeable car accident attorney in New Orleans, LA. Claim types include:
If you lost a spouse, parent, child, sibling, or grandchild in a collision, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit under Louisiana law. This would allow you to seek compensation for burial and funeral costs, lost wages, medical expenses, and loss of consortium from the at-fault party.
Defective car parts can cause an accident if, for example, your tire blows out suddenly or another driver’s brakes fail. Malfunctioning automobile components like an airbag that doesn’t deploy or a faulty seatbelt latch can also lead to more severe injuries in a crash.
The most common car accident claim category is negligence. This means the person at fault for your accident and injuries neglected their duty of care to ensure your safety. Some examples include a driver who is intoxicated or texting while behind the wheel.
Our experienced legal team will work to build the strongest possible case, digging for evidence to prove fault and back up your claim of wrongful death, product liability, or negligence.
We understand the rules that need to be followed in these lawsuit types, so we know how to keep your case in compliance with all applicable state laws and deadlines.
Who Is Liable for Your Car Accident?
Here in Louisiana, civil courts determine fault using the concept of pure comparative negligence. For example, a car accident could be caused by more than one person or company under this system. Each entity is liable for a share of the damages based on their percentage of the blame.
This means that multiple parties could owe you compensation for your losses. However, it also means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, the courts could still rule in your favor and award you a portion of the damages you seek.
For example, the court determines that you and another driver named in your lawsuit share equal blame for an auto accident that cost you $20,000. They can order the other driver, who was 50% responsible, to pay for 50% of your losses, or $10,000.
Damages You May Recover After a New Orleans Car Accident
Every case is different, so you can’t get an estimate of what your case may be worth until a car accident attorney in New Orleans, LA, has examined your evidence. However, some types of recoverable damages that victims may recover in car accident cases include:
- Medical expenses
- The cost of physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Future wages if you can no longer work
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
If your loved one did not survive the accident, your family’s loss might entitle you to specific damages associated with a wrongful death lawsuit, including:
- Loss of support and protection
- Loss of benefits and wages previously provided by the deceased
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses
While uncommon, some people are also able to recover punitive damages. This is intended to punish the defendant for their behavior and discourage them from behaving that way again.
Our Case Results Speak for Themselves
Here are some of the case results we’ve gotten for our clients in New Orleans:
- $852,845 for one client who was in a car accident that left them with neck and back pain and facial fractures when they were already using crutches due to hip surgery
- $475,000 for a client who has neck, back, and shoulder herniations resulting from a car accident.
During your first consultation with us, we will go over the specifics of your case and give you an estimate of what your potential award may be.
How a Car Accident Lawyer in New Orleans Can Help?
There are a number of ways our lawyers can help your case. On top of gathering evidence to build a strong case, we will also take the burden of proving liability off of your shoulders. This will give you peace of mind while allowing you to rest and heal from your injuries. We can also help you with your settlement or jury trial.
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Insurance Companies and Car Accident Settlement Offers
Usually, the insurance claims adjuster representing the driver who hit you will attempt to give you the smallest possible settlement. They do this to protect their employer’s profits. They may act friendly and supportive, but this is to lull you into a sense of false security. The truth is, they are trying to get you to make statements that will reduce your settlement.
You can learn more about what kind of questions insurance companies ask after a car wreck?
Once you accept an inadequate settlement amount from the insurer, you cannot go back later and try to receive more money. Therefore, it’s crucial that you understand the total value of your claim. An attorney can help you by evaluating your case and estimating what type of settlement offer would truly cover your costs now and in the future.
Your Personal Injury Case and Trial
Your attorney will attempt to negotiate with the insurance company for the other driver first, seeking a settlement that is fair to you. If we can reach a fair agreement without going to court, this is usually the best-case scenario for all parties involved. Unfortunately, however, some insurance companies will refuse to negotiate a settlement.
If this happens, our team will not hesitate to represent your interests in a court case, and we will stand by your side throughout the process. We can also establish whether the other driver was entirely at fault. Establishing fault is essential because Louisiana is a comparative fault state.
According to Article 2323 of the Louisiana Civil Code, if you are found partially at fault for an accident, the damages amount you can recover will be reduced by the degree to which you were negligent.
Do You Need a Police Report to File a Claim?
You can file a claim without a police report, but it may be challenging to prove your case without this crucial piece of evidence. In Louisiana, you are only legally required to contact the police after an accident that involves:
- Drunk driving
- Bodily injury
- Property damage over $500
However, you should report even minor crashes to the New Orleans Police Department in case your injuries are more severe than they seem. The police will document the accident and conduct time-sensitive field sobriety tests if needed to determine whether the other driver was under the influence.
The details in the official police report serve as definitive proof of the circumstances of your accident. If you don’t have the paperwork in hand to document the other party’s actions, it’ll be your word against theirs, and you could end up with no compensation.
How to File a New Orleans Police Report
The best time to file your police report is to call while you are still on the scene of the accident because:
- The details will still be fresh in your mind
- The police will be able to meet you at the location of the accident.
- Any evidence collected, including photos, eyewitness accounts, and sobriety tests, will be the most accurate and compelling.
If your accident occurs inside city limits, call the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) as soon as possible to report the crash. If you are outside the city limits, you should call the local department near you or the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Once the report is ready, you will be able to request a copy from the department with whom it was filed. You may be required to pay a small fee when picking up a copy of your police report.
Our Client Testimonials
We appreciate our clients’ testimonials because everything we do is for you. When our clients are satisfied, we know we are making a difference in people’s lives. Here’s what our clients are saying about us:
- “I am ecstatic with all the great hospitality and help that Morris Bart and all the agents here have provided.” – Joshua
- “I will highly recommend anybody who gets into a car accident to hire Morris Bart.” – Tinesha
- “I really appreciate the service and the way you treat your clients.” – David O.
- “My attorney did a great job, and I couldn’t have had a better experience.” – Ansley
- “Everything was wonderful. I smile every time I see the commercial on TV.” – David C.
How Long Your Personal Injury Claim Will Take
If the insurer representing the driver who hit you accepts that its driver was at fault, your car accident case may be completed in a few months. However, if the insurer does not accept blame for its client, the case can take far longer. The severity of your injuries will also impact how long the process takes.
Some insurance companies prefer to come to a settlement during negotiations, which will allow the case to conclude more quickly than if the negotiations fail and the case go to court.
How Long You Have to File a Claim
There is a statute of limitations that provides a deadline for filing your lawsuit. According to Louisiana Civil Code (CC) §3492, those who have suffered injuries because of another person’s negligence have up to one year to begin the process of filing a personal injury claim.
Generally, once this one-year deadline has passed, you will not be allowed to file a civil suit. Exceptions to this rule include:
- Your injury was not apparent at the time of the accident.
- You were a minor at the time of the accident. In that case, the clock begins ticking on your 18th birthday, and you have until you turn 19 to file.
Waiting too long to act is one of the most common mistakes made after a crash. Our team recommends that you start the process as early as possible after the accident, so we can interview witnesses while the facts of the case remain clear to them.
When you choose to hire us, we will keep your case moving forward, meeting all of the required deadlines and helping you receive the fairest possible award in the shortest amount of time.
The Cost of Hiring a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer
At Morris Bart, we work on a contingency fee basis in personal injury cases, which means we do not charge any money up front to victims seeking to retain our services. Instead, we only receive payment upon reaching a successful settlement or court award. Our fee is a percentage of the final settlement.
If you choose to hire us, but we cannot win a judgment in your favor when the case concludes, you will not owe us anything.
Contact Morris Bart to Seek Compensation for Your Injuries
After suffering injuries in a car wreck in which you were not at fault, you may find the insurance company for the other driver is contesting who is liable for the crash. For example, the insurer may argue that you made a mistake while driving, meaning both you and the other driver are equally at fault. This would reduce your potential settlement.
As your New Orleans car accident attorney, part of our job is to present the facts in the case to counteract the argument that the insurance company is making. We will provide evidence that you did nothing wrong, meaning you should be eligible to receive the fairest possible settlement.
After you suffered an injury in a car crash, contact a New Orleans car accident lawyer right away to protect your right to receive damages.
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