Knowing what you need to do to take legal action can be crucial in the aftermath of an accident. There are several reasons for this, including that every state outlines a deadline for filing a lawsuit, which generally begins on the date the injuries occurred. If you are seeking compensation after an accident, you’ll want to follow these steps to filing a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana before this window closes:
- Seek medical attention for your injuries
- Consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you
- Compile evidence related to the accident and your resulting injuries and damages
- Estimate the value of your case
- Enter negotiations with the liable party and their representatives
- Submit the paperwork to initiate a lawsuit with the courts
When you work with our lawyers, we can handle most of these tasks for you so you can focus on recovering and other priorities without worrying about your legal case.
Start By Seeking Medical Treatment
A critical step to filing an injury lawsuit in Louisiana is to see a doctor. Getting a diagnosis and receiving treatment are essential to your health and establishing a connection between your injuries and the accident.
A doctor will document your injuries in your medical record and give you a treatment plan for recovery. You will need to follow your treatment plan to support your case against the liable party. Then, these records of your injuries and treatment can become part of your case.
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Legal Representation Can Help You Through the Process
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you complete the steps of filing your lawsuit. An attorney understands what the legal process entails, so you get peace of mind knowing that you’re not missing anything. When you choose our firm, we can handle any questions of liability, build evidence, and work toward getting you the best outcome possible.
Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claim
You or your personal injury lawyer will need to investigate the facts surrounding the accident carefully. Gathering evidence is vital to determining who is liable for your damages and building a compelling lawsuit.
The specific evidence you need to gather will depend on your injuries and the type of accident. For example, the kinds of evidence you may need include:
- Pictures or video of the accident scene, including the surrounding areas
- Surveillance video from nearby businesses that may have captured the accident when it happened
- Witness testimony
- Documentation proving your injury and losses
- Accident or police reports
- Expert statements to support the amount of compensation you’re requesting
According to La. Civ. Code Art. 3492, you generally have one year to bring a claim after an injury accident in Louisiana. However, note that exceptions may reduce this timeline. Acting quickly can ensure you don’t lose your opportunity to recover compensation.
Calculating an Accurate Value of Your Injury Claim
Another pivotal step of a personal injury lawsuit is determining the value of your claim. Many injury victims may not be aware of all the types of compensatory damages available to them. You and your attorney can discuss how the accident has affected your life – including your career, finances, and relationships – and collect evidence to prove these damages.
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Negotiating with the Other Party
Negotiation involves weighing the various offers a liable party sends you and presenting counteroffers to reach a settlement that both parties are willing to accept. However, a common pitfall for injury victims is to take the first offer. Often, this is a low-ball offer, which may not cover your current and future damages.
To start negotiations, your attorney will notify the liable party’s insurance company of your claim and how much you are asking for with a demand letter. The insurer will then make a counteroffer, and the process will repeat until you either accept a settlement offer or the case goes to trial.
While most cases resolve with a reasonable settlement offer during the negotiation phase, sometimes it’s necessary to take the case to court.
Preparing Your Personal Injury Case for Trial
If you can’t reach an acceptable settlement agreement, your attorney can advocate for you at trial. Going to court requires additional steps:
- Filing a complaint with the court
- The defendant filing an answer
- The discovery process to gather testimony and depositions
- Presenting your case in court
- A jury considers contested issues and makes a decision
- A verdict is issued
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Personal Injury Case in Louisiana?
The time it takes to settle a Louisiana personal injury case will depend on the following:
- The facts of your case
- The severity of your injuries
- Any questions about liability
- The quality of evidence
If the facts of your case are straightforward and there are no disputes about liability, you could settle your injury case in a matter of weeks or months. However, it could take longer to resolve if more complicated issues are present in your case.
Morris Bart, LLC Can Help You file a Louisiana Injury Lawsuit
Our attorneys at the Morris Bart law firm know every step of filing a personal injury case in Louisiana. We will help you understand each aspect of the process so that you know what to expect along the way.
If you have been hurt in an accident in Louisiana, call (800) 537-8185 to schedule a free consultation and learn about how we can help.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
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