In this article, you will learn about:
- What to do if you have been in a car accident in New Orleans.
- How the car accident claims process is affected by underinsured and uninsured drivers.
- The role of liability in New Orleans car accident claims.
I Was Injured In A Car Accident Near New Orleans, What Steps Do I Need To Take If I Want To File A Personal Injury Claim?
If you’re looking to file a personal injury claim, the best first step is to contact an attorney.
Many people choose to contact an insurance company directly when filing a personal injury claim. While there is nothing wrong with this option, a skilled lawyer can almost always provide you with a better outcome. Attorneys are experienced in the claims process and know exactly what steps are necessary to file a successful claim that results in fair compensation.
As you’re looking for an attorney, here are some measures you can take to ensure that your case will have the best chance at a successful result:
Documenting Evidence At The Scene Of The Accident
It’s crucial to make sure that the facts of the accident are documented — ideally in a police report. However, when a police report is not reasonable or possible to obtain, an exchange of information will suffice.
Preserving the evidence of your case at the accident scene is frequently missed but incredibly important. You can do this either by contacting an attorney or by recording your memories of the events as soon as possible after the accident. However you choose to preserve the facts of your case, it’s best to do it when things are fresh, and everything can be well-recorded.
Documenting Medical Evidence & Getting Care
The next step is to figure out what your injuries are and what type of claim you have by obtaining a medical diagnosis. Whether you have suffered a minor or a major injury, the only real way to know what kind of claim you can pursue is by receiving a diagnosis from a doctor.
After you have been diagnosed, you’ll proceed to get the treatment you need and continue to be evaluated by a medical professional.
These pieces will provide medical evidence, which can then be put together with the facts of the accident to present your personal injury claim to the insurance company.
Because of the steps involved and the amount of evidence needed to prove a claim, the simplest way for an individual to create the best case is to contact an experienced attorney. A personal injury attorney can guide you through each step of the process and ensure that your claim is presented in the best light possible.
I Was Partially At Fault For My Car Accident In New Orleans, How Is This Going To Impact My Orleans Parish Personal Injury Claim?
It’s important to remember that “fault” or “liability” in an accident is only ultimately determined when necessary by trial in a court of law. In the claims process (or in the early stages of litigation), it may be necessary to estimate comparative fault, but a great number of factors go into that calculation.
This is why it’s so important to speak with an experienced attorney who can analyze the facts of your case. A keen understanding of the facts of your accident is crucial to rightfully determine who is at fault and in what percentage.
Louisiana is a comparative law state, which means that even if you’re partially responsible for an accident, you can still recover a percentage of damages from the other responsible party or parties.
So it’s essential to take a close look with an experienced eye at the facts of the loss and who might be responsible so that you can still recover damages for the portions of the accident that was not your fault.
If I Was Hit By An Uninsured Or Underinsured Driver In Jefferson Parish, Do I Have Any Chance Of Recovering Financially For My Injuries?
Whether you are able to recover damages from an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist in New Orleans largely depends on the terms of your insurance policy.
You’re not required in the state of Louisiana to have UM coverage. But, unless your insurance company obtains a proper waiver from you that denies this coverage when you purchase your policy, it is included.
I encourage all my clients and everyone that I come into contact with to add uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to their policy.
Roughly 10-15% of drivers in Louisiana are uninsured – and an even greater number of drivers are only minimally insured. So it’s important to have this additional coverage to protect you if you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Our firm can help by checking with your insurance company to see if you have that coverage. Additionally, we can help you submit a proper proof of loss, as this will trigger UM coverage.
For those who are concerned about premiums – there’s no need to worry. Making a claim on your UM coverage won’t increase your premium or cause your insurance carrier to drop you. Claims on UM coverage are different than at-fault claims against your carrier. What’s more, we will make sure that we have the opportunity to address any of your fears or concerns throughout each step of your claim.
If It’s Clear The Other Driver Was At Fault, Do I Still Need To Hire A Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney For My Car Accident Case?
To get the best recovery of damages possible, you will need a personal injury attorney. If you try to proceed against an insurance company on your own, they will likely use your inexperience with the claims process against you.
Insurance companies know that you are not expertly familiar with how claims are evaluated and what an appropriate amount of damages are for any given injury. Additionally, they know that you’re likely not familiar with the claims process and that it would be inadvisable to represent yourself in court if you needed to file a lawsuit against them.
Even when the other party is clearly at fault, either they or their insurance company may be unwilling to pay a fair and just amount in damages. And though many personal injury claims end in settlement, litigation is a vital negotiation tool, and it’s necessary to bring cases to court when a reasonable settlement agreement cannot be reached.
Unfortunately, an uninformed person could easily make many potential procedural missteps and pitfalls if they had to try to take the party that’s at fault to court on their own. Luckily, if you need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your damages, our firm is prepared to provide expert legal representation.
For more information on Auto Accidents Law in Louisiana, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (504) 384-7770 today.
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