Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer

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Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents happen every day throughout Louisiana for many reasons, often leaving those involved with severe injuries and complex questions concerning liability for their damages. If you were recently injured in a car accident, it is vital to consult a Louisiana car accident lawyer you trust as quickly as possible. They can provide the guidance and support you need in this challenging situation.

Experienced Legal Counsel for Car Accident Claims in the State

The Murphy Law Firm offers compassionate, responsive, and client-focused legal representation for all types of car accident claims. From our office in Baton Rouge, we serve clients throughout the state and represent them in their recovery efforts following damaging vehicle accidents. If you cannot come to us, we can come to you to help you build your case and understand your legal options after a damaging car accident.

Our goal for every client we represent is to maximize their recovery in the shortest possible timeframe. We know that no two cases are exactly alike and that every injured plaintiff will have unique needs and concerns. We take time to get to know our client, listen to their story, and make sure we fully understand how their recent car accident has impacted their life and their family. We strive to help every client make clearer sense of their legal options in this situation.

When you choose our firm to represent you in a car accident case, you can get the answers you need to your most pressing legal questions. We can address any concerns as they arise throughout your proceedings so you can feel more confident about your legal situation. Your recovery may require filing an auto insurance claim and pursuing a personal injury suit, and you can rely on us for support through all of your recovery efforts.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

In Louisiana, the fault rule applies to all vehicle accidents, meaning it will be necessary for you to prove fault for your recent accident before you can recover any compensation for your damages. It is possible for one or more parties to share fault for a car accident, and various forms of evidence may be essential to your case when it comes to accurately establishing liability and holding the correct parties accountable for your damages.

Most of the car accidents reported in the state result from “negligence,” a legal term used to define a failure to act with reasonable care in a specific situation, or a failure to meet a specific duty of care. For example, speeding would be a violation of a driver’s duty of care to abide by posted speed limits. This would also be technically illegal, and excessive speeding could lead to criminal charges for an at-fault driver who causes an accident at high speed.

Some of the most common forms of negligence that can cause car accidents in the state include:

  • Distracted driving. Any type of distracted driving puts the distracted driver, the other occupants of their vehicle, and other drivers around them at severe risk. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents throughout the United States each year, and texting while driving is one of the most commonly cited forms of distracted driving in the state.
  • Speeding. It is illegal to break the speed limit, but it is relatively common to see drivers moving a few miles faster than posted speed limits to maintain the flow of traffic. However, speeding is inherently dangerous because it reduces the time and distance a driver has to slow down or stop to avoid a collision in some situations. Accidents at higher speeds have a greater chance of resulting in severe or fatal injuries.
  • Moving violations. The traffic signs and signals on the road are meant to help drivers predict the actions of other drivers and maintain the flow of traffic. When drivers neglect these signs or engage in moving violations, they can easily cause accidents. Illegal turns, failure to yield the right-of-way, and running red lights or stop signs are a few commonly cited moving violations that cause accidents in the state.
  • Vehicle malfunctions. Drivers are required to keep their vehicles in good working order. If a driver notices any malfunction, they are expected to have the issue fixed as quickly as possible. Liability for an accident could fall to a driver who failed to take proper care of their vehicle or to a mechanic who performed faulty maintenance on a vehicle.

While most vehicle accidents reported throughout the state happen because of negligence, they may also occur because of illegal misconduct behind the wheel. One of the most common examples of this is intoxicated driving. It is illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

When a driver causes an accident by breaking the law, they not only face liability for the damages they inflicted on others but also criminal prosecution from the state. Their penalties are likely to increase significantly if they inflicted any great bodily harm on others, and the injured victim may be eligible to receive punitive damages alongside their other claimed compensation. Your attorney can advise you as to how any such factors may influence your specific case.

Proving Liability for Your Car Accident in Louisiana

While you may know how your accident happened, you will need to gather evidence to support your claim and firmly prove liability for your damages. In most car accident cases, various forms of evidence come into play, such as photos of the scene of the crash, vehicle computer data, and drivers’ cell phone records. An attorney could help their client secure footage from nearby traffic cameras if any were situated around the scene of the crash.

Immediately after an accident, if you believe you can do so safely and without aggravating your injuries, taking photos of the surrounding area, the damage to your vehicle, your injuries, and the positions of the vehicles involved in the crash on the road can be very beneficial to your case. Report the accident to 911 and wait for first responders to arrive and remember not to say anything that could be construed as an admission of fault.

Witness testimony could also prove crucial to your case. If anyone saw your accident happen, your Louisiana car accident lawyer can help you secure their statements to further strengthen your claim against the at-fault driver. In some cases, an attorney may consult with various expert witnesses who can provide professional insights into the most complex aspects of a case, further helping their client prove liability for the incident.

It is important for the injured claimants to remember that if they bear any fault for causing the accident, they face a diminished recovery under the state’s pure comparative fault rule. Whatever fault percentage is assigned to them will be the percentage of their case award they lose as a penalty. If you are concerned that you bear partial liability for your recent accident, your attorney can potentially help you minimize any fault percentage assigned to you.

Filing Your Auto Insurance Claim After an Accident

Every driver in the state is required to have auto insurance that meets minimum coverage requirements for bodily injury liability and property damage liability. When a driver causes an accident, their insurance pays toward the resulting damages. Additionally, having car insurance is essentially a prerequisite for filing a claim after a car accident. If you do not have insurance and wish to claim against a driver, you face a diminished recovery due to your lack of coverage.

Dealing with any auto insurance carrier can be challenging without an attorney’s help. Most insurance company representatives are trained to look for any ways they can justify the smallest possible settlement offers or deny claims whenever possible. Some will attempt to take advantage of desperately injured claimants, sometimes engaging in bad-faith tactics. However, they are less likely to do so if they see that a claimant has legal representation.

Your Louisiana car accident lawyer can deal with an auto insurance carrier on your behalf, making sure they handle your claim in good faith and that they deliver a fair settlement offer. They can address any disputes the insurance company raises against you, and if you cannot fully recover your damages through auto insurance alone, your attorney can advise you of the next steps to take with your recovery efforts.

Filing a Personal Injury Suit for a Car Accident

The objective of a personal injury claim is for the injured party to prove liability for their damages and collect compensation for them. This intends to make the injured party as whole as possible again after being harmed by someone else’s negligence or illegal misconduct. Success with a personal injury claim in Louisiana will require proving fault for the injury and proving the full extent of the resulting damages.

When you choose the Murphy Law Firm to represent you in a personal injury case, we can gather the evidence needed to prove fault for your personal injury and then prove the extent of the damages the at-fault party caused, seeking as much compensation as state law allows for your damages. You may be eligible to claim more than you initially expect. The damages a plaintiff may be able to claim with their personal injury suit are likely to include:

  • Property losses. An auto insurance claim may yield compensation for vehicle repair costs, but any property losses that won’t be covered by insurance can be cited as economic damages in a personal injury suit.
  • Medical expenses. The majority of personal injury claims pertain to physical injuries. If a defendant physically injures you, they are liable for the cost of all the medical care you will need to fully recover from your injuries.
  • Long-term medical treatment. Some car accidents result in long-term or permanent damage, and victims will require extensive ongoing rehabilitative treatment to reach maximum medical improvement from their injuries. You can claim the cost of projected future medical expenses you face because of your car accident.
  • Lost wages. When you cannot work due to the injuries you suffered in your recent accident, the at-fault driver is liable for the income you cannot earn during your recovery.
  • Lost earning power. When you have been permanently disabled by a car accident and cannot return to the workforce for an extended time, the at-fault driver is liable for the income you would have otherwise been able to earn in the future. Your Louisiana car accident lawyer can help you accurately calculate these projected damages.
  • Pain and suffering compensation. In addition to seeking compensation for your economic losses, you also have the right to claim compensation for the non-economic damages you suffered from your accident. Your attorney can help you determine an appropriate amount of compensation to seek from the defendant that reflects the physical pain and psychological distress you experienced because of your accident.

While you might be able to assess a few of your immediate damages on your own, an experienced attorney can be essential for accurately calculating projected future damages you can claim from the at-fault driver and determining a reasonable amount of pain and suffering compensation you should seek with your claim.

If the at-fault driver broke the law in causing your accident, you may be able to recover punitive damages and/or restitution alongside your other claimed losses, further enhancing your total recovery. Ultimately, you have the greatest chance of maximizing your recovery with an attorney’s help, no matter what your car accident case entails.

Resolving Your Claim

There are many possible ways to resolve a car accident case in Louisiana. If your damages can be covered by the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy, an insurance claim maybe all that is required to secure the compensation you are owed for your damages. Filing this claim and recovering a suitable settlement offer will be much easier with an attorney’s help.

If you need to file a personal injury case, it is possible to settle the case outside of court as long as the defendant accepts liability for the accident. This path generally benefits the defendant by allowing them to minimize their legal expenses, saving them money compared to the cost of hiring defense counsel for lengthy litigation. However, settlement is only a viable option if all parties involved are willing to compromise on mutually acceptable terms.

Some civil claims can only be resolved through litigation, which can take several months to resolve, depending on the overall complexity of the case. During litigation, a judge and/or jury will hear arguments from both sides and consider evidence and witness testimony presented by both sides. The final outcome of litigation rests in the hands of the court, and it is possible for neither party to be satisfied by the outcome.

What to Expect From Your Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer

When you hire the Murphy Law Firm to represent you in a car accident case, you can rely on our team for support through every stage of your recovery efforts, from gathering the evidence you need to prove fault for the accident to showing the full extent of your damages and recovering compensation from the at-fault driver. Our goal for every client is maximum recovery in the most efficient possible manner.

During your initial consultation with our firm, you can ask your most pressing legal questions and hear our initial impression of your legal situation. We can explain the steps you will likely need to complete to recover from your accident, and we can help you develop a strategy that aims for maximum recovery.

When it comes to your auto insurance claim, we have years of experience dealing with the major auto insurance carriers in the area on behalf of our clients. We know the tactics they will use to try to avoid paying out a fair settlement, and we know how to encourage them to handle your case in good faith. You can rely on us to resolve any insurance-related disputes you face in the aftermath of your accident.

If you need to file a personal injury claim to fully recover your damages, trust our team to build a compelling case for you that seeks maximum compensation and encourages the defendant to seek a swift settlement. We can aim to settle your case outside of court if possible to reduce the time it takes for you to recover your damages, but we are fully prepared to represent you at trial if necessary to ensure a full recovery.

Ultimately, the right attorney can have a tremendous positive impact on the outcome of your recovery efforts following a car accident. The team at the Murphy Law Firm has successfully represented many car accident victims throughout the state and we are confident in our ability to provide the compassionate and results-driven legal counsel you need to reach a positive outcome to your impending case.

FAQs

Q: What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement?

A: The minimum car insurance requirement in Louisiana includes bodily injury liability coverage for a single person of at least $15,000, bodily injury liability coverage for multiple persons injured in a single accident of at least $30,000, and at least $25,000 to cover property damage. Drivers also have the option to purchase additional insurance, such as uninsured motorist coverage, which can help after an accident caused by an uninsured driver.

Q: What Is the State’s No Pay, No Play Law for Car Insurance?

A: Louisiana’s No Pay, No Play law for car insurance is meant to incentivize compliance with the state’s mandatory auto insurance policy. Under this law, if a driver who does not have auto insurance is hurt in a vehicle accident, they cannot receive compensation from the at-fault driver equal to the minimum coverage requirements for auto insurance. This means losing the ability to claim the first $15,000 of bodily injury damages and the first $25,000 of property loss damages.

Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Car Accident?

A: The amount of compensation you can claim for a car accident in Louisiana will depend on the scope and severity of your damages. State law dictates that the driver who caused your accident is liable for all economic damages resulting from the incident as well as compensation for the future damages you are likely to incur because of the accident. Additionally, you also have the right to seek compensation for your pain and suffering.

Q: How Are Pain and Suffering Compensation Calculated?

A: In Louisiana, pain and suffering compensation may be calculated in various ways. There is no specific formula that a plaintiff must use to determine how much pain and suffering compensation they can seek from the defendant who injured them. Your Louisiana car accident lawyer may help you obtain an amount based on the overall severity of your damages and/or the time it will likely take for you to fully recover from your injuries.

Q: Why Should I Hire a Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer?

A: You should hire a Louisiana car accident lawyer because you are more likely to succeed with your recovery efforts when you have legal counsel on your side. Your attorney can help you prove fault for your accident, file an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver, and then build a personal injury suit if insurance will not fully cover your losses. You’re more likely to maximize your total recovery if you have an attorney’s help with your case.

The Murphy Law Firm has years of professional experience representing victims of car accidents throughout the state, and we are ready to apply this experience to your case. If you believe another driver is responsible for causing your recent accident, we can help you hold them accountable. You have a limited time in which to do this, so contact our team today to schedule your free consultation with a trustworthy Louisiana car accident lawyer.

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