Baton Rouge Car Accident Lawyers
If you have been hurt in a car accident, you are probably already struggling with the burden of medical bills, vehicle repairs, and missed time from work. The physical pain and emotional trauma of crash injuries only add to your stress. Then there’s the looming challenge of fighting with a large insurance company over the compensation you need to move forward with your life.
Let the experienced Baton Rouge car accident attorneys at Murphy Law Firm take on that challenge for you. When you put your trust in our personal injury law firm, you gain an ally who understands Louisiana car accident laws and who will fight aggressively for maximum compensation for you.
You can’t always avoid a car crash. But you don’t have to be a victim twice. Protect yourself from deep-pocketed insurance companies that try to offer you a fraction of the compensation you need to recover. Contact our dedicated car accident injury attorneys today to schedule a free case consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Attorney Peyton P. Murphy is a Baton Rouge native who feels strongly about protecting the rights of local residents who get hurt in car accidents caused by the negligence of others. Peyton and the rest of our legal team at Murphy Law Firm refuse to let insurance companies take advantage of auto accident victims. Our motto is: “Don’t be a victim twice!”
As an auto accident victim, we realize that you may have many questions. We provide answers to several frequently asked questions below. To learn more about your legal rights and options and to discuss how we can help you to seek a maximum financial recovery, contact Murphy Law Firm today. We will provide a free consultation.
The answer depends on whether you have left the scene of the crash. If you are still at the crash site, make sure to take these steps:
- Call the police and report the crash. An officer and emergency medical responders should arrive to secure the scene, treat the injured and prepare a crash report.
- Ask for the other driver’s insurance and contact information. Of course, you should provide your own information to the other driver as well.
- Take photos. Use a camera or a cell phone. Get shots of the vehicles, debris and surrounding area. You should also get photos of your injuries and/or your passenger’s injuries.
- Get eyewitness contact information. Because people who see a crash typically leave the scene shortly after police arrive, you should not delay getting their contact information.
If you have left the crash site, you should do the following:
- Seek medical treatment. You need to get checked for injuries for the sake of your health. For the sake of your claim, you need to ensure that you document all of your injuries.
- Order a copy of the crash report. You can contact the agency that responded to the crash such as the Baton Rouge Police Department or East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, or you can order a copy from the Louisiana State Police.
- Gather all of your documents. Keep copies of your medical bills, car repair bills, insurance company letters or e-mails and any other documents related to your auto accident.
- Contact an attorney. An attorney can immediately investigate your crash, deal with insurance companies and pursue compensation you deserve for your physical, emotional and financial harm.
Yes, under Louisiana law, you generally have one year from the date of the accident in which to file a personal injury lawsuit in court. Most states call this time limit the “statute of limitations.” Louisiana calls it a “liberative prescription.” If your loved one died in a crash, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit within one year after the death occurs. If you fail to meet the deadline that applies to your case, you could lose your right to pursue compensation. So, you should contact an attorney as soon as you are ready and able to take legal action.
If you get into a car accident that another driver caused, you can expect that driver’s insurance company to contact you shortly after the crash and offer to settle any claim you may have. However, you should not accept any settlement offer until you speak with a lawyer first.
An experience auto accident lawyer can investigate and analyze your case. The lawyer may also consult with experts. The lawyer can then determine whether the settlement offer fully and fairly compensates you. If not, the lawyer can work with the insurance company to arrive at a just settlement amount or take your case to trial.
Keep in mind: Insurance companies want to protect their profits. Your lawyer wants to protect you.
Louisiana is a comparative fault state. Under this doctrine, each party’s fault, including your own, must be determined in a personal injury claim. Each party will be held responsible for his or her degree of fault. So, if you were partially to blame for your accident, your recovery would be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault assigned to you.
For example: Let’s say you suffer $1 million in damages in a car accident. If you were 20 percent at fault, your recovery would be reduced by 20 percent. The most you could recover would be $800,000.
Insurance companies try to use Louisiana’s comparative fault law to shrink a car accident victim’s financial recovery. You should work with a lawyer who will stand up to the insurance company and fight for every penny you are owed. This is what we mean at Murphy Law Firm when we say, “Don’t be a victim twice!”
In a car accident, you can expect the at-fault driver’s insurance company to make a preliminary determination of fault. However, you should hire a lawyer to conduct an investigation and make an independent determination of fault. To make this determination, the lawyer will review evidence such as:
- Accident scene photos
- Eyewitness statements
- Cell phone or surveillance camera footage
- Vehicle inspections
- Electronic data recorder (“black box”) data.
The lawyer may also consult with an expert in accident reconstruction. The expert can make a determination and explain his or her analysis in a report.
If you and the other driver’s insurance company agree on who was at fault in a crash, it will help settlement negotiations. However, if you and the insurer disagree, a jury may ultimately be the one who determines fault. Your lawyer should be prepared to present the strongest case possible to the jury.
Louisiana requires drivers to carry liability auto insurance. This insurance pays for the property damage and bodily injury that a driver causes in a crash. However, many drivers on our roads lack this coverage. In fact, a few years ago, the Insurance Information Institute estimated that nearly 14 percent of Louisiana drivers lacked the required coverage.
If an uninsured driver causes your auto accident, you may be able to file a claim through your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy. Unless you rejected this coverage in writing, you should have it. A lawyer from our firm can review your policy to determine if you are covered.
Generally speaking, a UM claim pays for all of your damages that an uninsured driver causes (up to your policy limits), while a UIM claim pays the difference between what the at-fault driver’s insurance covers and your total damages (again, up to your policy limits). You could also file a UM claim if you suffered injuries in a hit-and-run accident.
In addition to UM/UIM, you may have other options available to you. For instance, you may also carry medical payments coverage, comprehensive and/or collision coverage. If your injury occurred while you were working, you could potentially file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Additionally, you may be able to file a claim against parties other than the at-fault driver. For instance, if the driver was working at the time of the crash, you could sue the driver’s employer.
Your lawyer should work hard to uncover every possible source of compensation for you. This is what Murphy Law Firm means when we say that we will pursue a maximum recovery for you.
If neither you nor the other driver has insurance, then you will have limited options. You won’t be able to file a claim through the other driver’s liability policy, and you will have no UM/UIM or other coverage available to you.
You could file a claim against at-fault driver and try to collect your recovery through the driver’s personal assets. However, in most cases, a person’s assets won’t fully cover your losses. If the driver was “on the clock” when the driver caused your crash, you could potentially sue the driver’s employer.
Keep in mind: Under Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” law, an uninsured motorist cannot collect the first $25,000 in property damages and the first $15,000 in bodily injury damages, regardless of who caused the crash.
While your ability to recover funds through an auto insurance claim or lawsuit may be limited, keep in mind that options such as workers’ compensation benefits or even Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits may be available to you.
If you suffered injuries in an auto accident as a passenger, you may have many routes you can take. For instance, you could file a claim against the driver of another vehicle who caused the crash or against the driver of the vehicle you rode in. If you live in the same household as the driver, you could be covered under that driver’s insurance policy.
Even though the driver of your car may be a friend, you should not hesitate to bring a claim if you suffered serious injuries in the crash. Remember: You are not seeking a recovery from that driver’s personal assets but, instead, through that driver’s insurance coverage.
You really should never discuss your car accident or your lawsuit on Facebook. Additionally, you should probably stay away from Facebook and other social media sites entirely until after your case is over. Insurance companies can take anything you say or any pictures you post on social media and try to use it against you – even if the post or photo has nothing to do with your accident.
Yes, hiring an experienced car accident attorney to handle your case really does matter. A lawyer can make a major difference in your ability to recover full and fair compensation. As a study by the Insurance Research Council found several years ago, people who are represented by a lawyer receive insurance payouts that are, on average, 3.5 times higher than the payouts received by those without legal representation.
In reality, the insurance company will try to offer you only a fraction of the compensation you are entitled to receive. A lawyer, on the other hand, will work hard to maximize your financial recovery and to pursue the funds you need to move on with your life.
At Murphy Law Firm, we will charge no fees unless we obtain the settlement or verdict you are due. To learn more, call or reach us online today and allow us to review your case in a free consultation.
Types of Louisiana Car Accident Cases We Handle
Over the years, our skilled legal team has secured maximum car accident settlements and won satisfying jury verdicts for countless crash victims. Although each case we handle is unique, there are unfortunately some common causes of car accidents in Louisiana.
Louisiana State University maintains a database of car accident reports filed throughout the state. These reports show the most common causes of Louisiana car accidents are:
- Distracted Driving: Distractions in the form of cellphones and texting have gained significant media attention as a cause of car accidents, but distraction can take many forms. Eating, changing radio stations, using a GPS unit, looking for something in the vehicle, or simply talking to other passengers can all result in a driver failing to pay proper attention to the road — and causing a crash. If you were hit by a distracted driver, our dedicated Baton Rouge car accident attorneys will aggressively pursue the compensation you need to recover.
- Impaired Driving: Whether due to alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescribed medications, driver impairment can cause serious harm. Although drunk driving accounts for the largest percentage of impaired driving accidents in Louisiana and nationwide, impairment from other substances — whether legal or illegal — can be just as dangerous. If you or a loved one were harmed by a drunk driver, you need to speak with our knowledgeable accident injury attorneys today.
- Road Conditions: Darkness, rain, ice, broken pavement, hidden signage, and other road conditions can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. The companies and agencies that are responsible for designing and maintaining Louisiana roads can be held liable if they fail in their duty to protect motorists. Our experienced auto accident attorneys understand the complexities of these types of cases, and we will gather all the evidence necessary to build a strong claim for compensation.
- Defective Auto Parts or Improper Maintenance: Even when a driver is using reasonable care and following traffic laws, an accident may occur if the vehicle was negligently maintained or repaired. Tire and brake failures, for instance, can lead to serious accidents that are not the fault of anyone involved in the crash. In these cases, our injury lawyers identify every potentially liable party that could be held responsible for compensating you.
It is crucial to work with an experienced Baton Rouge car accident lawyer after any crash involving negligence on the part of another driver or a third party. At Murphy Law Firm, our highly skilled injury attorneys will help you understand how Louisiana law applies in your specific situation, and we will demand full compensation from the at-fault party.
Schedule a free consultation with our team today to learn how we will make a difference in your case.
Why You Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may have a long road to recovery ahead of you. The insurance company adjusters may act like you can handle the claim on your own, without a lawyer, because they want that advantage over you. The truth is the insurance company has an army of lawyers working to protect its profits, and that means paying you as little as possible.
When you choose the experienced Baton Rouge car accident attorneys at Murphy Law Firm to represent you, you will be showing the insurance company that you mean business. Our attorneys will act immediately to:
- Launch an investigation into the accident. We will investigate the scene to gather as much evidence as possible. We will talk to law enforcement to obtain police reports, contact witnesses to get statements, and collect any other information that can help shed light on what happened. We will also talk to you about everything you remember. Our team will work with an accident reconstruction expert if necessary to piece together all the evidence and determine exactly what caused your crash.
- Thoroughly document your injuries and how they are affecting you. We will get copies of your medical records and work with our team of medical experts and life care planners to determine the long-term costs of your injuries. Insurance companies will often try to push for a car accident settlement before you have a good grasp of how serous your injuries are. Our attorneys will make sure you know how much compensation you will need to move forward with your life.
- Protect you from making statements that could hurt you. After your accident, you may need to speak to your insurance company. You also may be asked to speak to police. In both situations, you should tell the truth but stick to the facts. Our attorneys will make sure you understand your rights and will manage all future communication with the insurance company and the at-fault party.
- Develop a smart legal strategy tailored to your case. Every auto accident case differs, so you can’t trust that your case will end the same way a friend’s or co-worker’s case did. In addition, Louisiana has a number of laws that may apply in your specific situation, such as the “no pay, no play” rule that may bar people from receiving insurance coverage, up to the state minimum, from others in a car accident if they have no car insurance coverage of their own. Our Baton Rouge car accident lawyers have many years of experience handling all types of cases, and we will put our vast knowledge to work for you.
- Aggressively negotiate for a maximum settlement or take your case to trial. Although many cases end with full and fair car accident settlements, our skilled personal injury litigators have extensive experience successfully arguing cases before a judge and jury. We will not back down from a fight.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Our talented Baton Rouge car accident attorneys are ready to go to battle for you.
Don’t Be a Victim Twice! – Call Baton Rouge Car Accident Attorneys
After a car accident, you need to reserve your energy for healing from your injuries, taking care of your household and family, and ensuring that work, chores, and other necessities are addressed. You shouldn’t have to waste energy fighting with insurance companies to get the compensation you need.
Contact Murphy Law Firm today. Our attorneys have decades of experience fighting to protect clients who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. We are proud of the work we have done for our clients, and we are committed to providing the same respect, compassion, and aggressive representation for you.
Schedule a free consultation with our Baton Rouge car accident lawyers now. We do not charge anything to get started on your claim, and we do not get paid unless we recover compensation for you.