Car Wrecks in Louisiana
Did you know that the average person will be in 3-4 motor vehicle accidents in their lifetime? And sadly, motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death and injury in the entire world. We don't say that to scare you – it's just a fact of life. At some point, even if you're doing everything right, you could be involved in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver.
If this happens to you, you need to know there will be serious obstacles that can make it difficult for you to get the medical care, vehicle repair, and compensation you need to get back on track after something that wasn't your fault.
This is where having a personal injury lawyer handle your claim can make all the difference in the world. Want to talk to someone about your case? Give us a call or send us a message, and we will be happy to tell you what you should do next at no cost to you.
I Have Insurance. Why Would I Need a Lawyer?
All drivers in Louisiana are required to have at least a minimum amount of liability auto insurance, but what most people don't realize is that the insurance they pay for is really for other people.
In other words, if you cause a wreck, your liability insurance will pay for the person you injure to get medical care and get their vehicle fixed up to your policy limits.
Your own car insurance will not pay for your injuries or damage to you car unless you pay for additional coverage, and many people opt out of that additional coverage. So unless you have those additions to your insurance policy, your own insurance will not do anything to help you if you're in a wreck, except pay for the damage you cause so that you don't have to.
Read on to find out why having a lawyer is important for getting what you need to recover from a car wreck that was not your fault.
The Person Who Hit Me Has Insurance. Do I Still Need a Lawyer?
If the world worked the way it should, then no, you wouldn't need a lawyer. But unfortunately the insurance companies that take our money every month and promise to protect us do not play fair.
Insurance companies are businesses, and like most businesses, they care the most about their bottom line. In other words, they want to keep us much of the money we pay them every month, and they do that but using really sly and tricky strategies to keep people from getting the compensation they have the right to receive.
So even if the person who caused the wreck has insurance, you should not rely on the insurance company to tell you everything you need to know. We wrote a whole book about tricks used by insurance companies which you can read here, but here are a few of the things you can expect:
1. They will get in touch with you almost immediately to see how you're doing. They will seem nice, but what they are trying to find out from you is how hurt you are and if they can get you to say something they can use against you later. In this situation, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you to deny y
What If I Don't Want to Sue Anyone?
We hear clients say all the time that they don't want to "go after" anyone when they know what happened was an accident. While we think this is very noble and goodhearted, that's not exactly how it works.
In Louisiana, all drivers are required by law to have a minimum amount of auto insurance. This is required because people deserve to have a way of being made whole after being hurt by someone else.
So if someone causes a wreck and you are injured because of it, you deserve to be compensated for it so that you can get back to your life as it was before the crash.
If you are really uncomfortable with the idea of "suing" someone, you don't have to worry.
The first step of an injury case is to make a claim against the other person's insurance company. In a lot of situations, a settlement agreement can be worked out with that insurance company before a lawsuit is ever filed. If that insurance company refuses to pay what you deserve for your damages, the next step would be to file a lawsuit. Again, though, in many cases, you are asking the person's insurance company to pay you for your damages, not the person directly. And this is why we pay for insurance...so that we do not have to come out of pocket to compensate another person if we accidentally cause them harm.
In some situations, the other driver has no insurance even though it is legally required. If this is the case, there still may be a way for you to pursue compensation through your own insurance company or a third party.
What if It Was Partially My Fault?
Louisiana is a comparative fault state which could impact the outcome of your car accident claim if the crash was partially your fault.
In Louisiana, victims who are partly at fault for a car accident can still recover compensation for their injuries from the other parties that were also at fault for the crash. However, these victims are not entitled to the full amount of compensation since they are partly responsible for the accident. Instead, their compensation will be reduced to account for their share of fault. The amount their compensation is reduced will depend on the role they played in the accident.
For example, say you were 20% at fault and the other driver involved in the crash was 80% at fault. You were entitled to $100,000 in compensation for your injuries. But now, the compensation you are awarded will be reduced by 20%, to $80,000. You are no longer entitled to this 20% of compensation since you were 20% liable for the accident.
So, these laws make it possible for victims to pursue compensation even when they were partly to blame for a crash. But, the laws will impact how much compensation you are awarded for a car accident you were partially responsible for causing.
How Can A Car Accident Lawyer Help With My Case?
A number of obstacles may arise in a car accident claim. The at-fault party's insurance company may deny that their policyholder is responsible for the crash (this happens often). The insurer may even try to blame you for the accident. Even if the insurer does not dispute liability, they may question the severity of your injuries in an effort to reduce the value of your claim. Insurance companies could also pressure you to settle for less than what you deserve or delay negotiations so you cave in and accept their first offer. You may not even know that the offer you are accepting is unfair if you don't know how to calculate the value of your claim.
Dealing with the stress of negotiating with an insurance company can be overwhelming. This is especially true for car accident victims who are still recovering from serious injuries they sustained in the crash. This is too much for one person to handle on their own. Fortunately, help is available.
If you aren't represented by an attorney, the insurance company may get away with these unfair tactics. But if you seek legal representation from the car accident attorneys at Blase Inzina Injury Attorneys, we will not allow the insurance company to get away with paying you less than what you deserve.
How Much Time Will I Have to Take Legal Action After A Car Accident?
Each state has its own statute of limitations for personal injury cases. These laws limit the amount of time that car accident victims will have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party that caused the crash. In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for car accident cases is one year. This means you must file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party within one year from the date the accident occurred in order to recover compensation for your injuries. Once this deadline passes, you could lose the right to seek justice and take legal action against the at-fault party.
One year is not a lot of time, especially if you are recovering from serious injuries sustained in the crash. Don't wait until it's too late to secure compensation–contact the car accident lawyers at Blase Inzina Injury Attorneys as soon as possible to get started.
Seek Legal Representation From the Car Accident Attorneys You Can Trust
Have you been injured in a car accident in Lafayette? The auto accident lawyers at Blase Inzina Injury Attorneys know what it takes to get victims the compensation they deserve. That's why you should turn to our team for help as soon as possible after a crash.
Prior to becoming a personal injury attorney, Blase Inzina defended local insurance companies in car accident cases. This experience gave him unique insight into how insurance companies work—and what it takes to beat them at their own game. Now, he uses this experience to ensure his clients are fully compensated for their car accident injuries.
Let us review your case and explain your legal options during a free consultation. To schedule your free case evaluation, contact our law firm by calling (337) 347-7177 or submitting your information using the form on this website.