Our Personal Injury FAQ
Why won’t the insurance company pay me what I'm owed? If the other driver was at fault, why do I have to pay my own medical bills? Who pays for my rental car after my car was totaled? We answer questions like these and many more in our personal injury FAQs. If your question is not covered here, give us a call at 985-590-6182.
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What Are The Safest Days And Times To Drive?
Ever wonder if some days or times are safer to drive than others? If you are like me, there are days I come up and tell my wife: “It seems like all the bad drivers are on the road today!” Is that a coincidence? Turns out it is NOT!
Be extra vigilant on Friday and Saturday!
According to the National Safety Council (Injury Facts), the number of fatal crashes is more frequent on weekends, peaking on Saturday. The number of nonfatal crashes is higher on weekdays, peaking on Friday. For both fatal and nonfatal wrecks, the peak time of day was 4 p.m. to 7:59 p.m., but vary depending on the time of year. In general, less fatal crashes occur in the morning and increase later in the day and into the evening hours.
Travel in March, not in October.
During the COVID pandemic, crash statistics were largely sporadic given people’s jobs, crazy store hours, lack of school, etc. Now that things are getting back to normal, so are crash statistics. Typically, less miles are traveled in January and February and steadily increase through July. As a result, traffic deaths were lowest from January to March and elevated from May through October.
Increases in fatalities during COVID.
You would think that with fewer people on the road during the COVID pandemic, the rate of crashes and fatalities would have decreases. Surprisingly, this was not the case. In fact, in 2020 the number of crash deaths increased by 8% despite an 11% decrease in the amount of miles driven. In 2021, the number of deaths increased by an additional 11%.
Researchers blame the increase in traffic deaths in 2020 to three factors: (1) An increase in alcohol-impaired driving; (2) an increase in speeding; and (3) an increase in unrestrained vehicle occupants.
Let this be a lesson to all of us that just because there may be fewer people on the road, whether it be on a Sunday morning or during a pandemic, we should never let down our guard while driving!
Have You Been Injured In An Accident And Searching For A Personal Injury Lawyer?
No matter what day or time your accident happened contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Why It Is Important To Accurately Report Injuries To A Medical Provider After A Car Wreck?
I get it. After a car wreck, you may be shaken up and achy, but you just don’t have time to go to the doctor. “I’ll just take some Motrin and rest.” You have a full-time job, kids to pick up from school, and just not enough time to deal with your own injuries. “Hopefully I’ll feel better after a few days.” If this is you, I understand. But just know that if you don’t take time to properly document your injuries soon after an accident, the insurance company probably won’t give you credit for them later, even if you are really hurt and things get worse later.
Insurance companies don’t take your word for it.
If your injuries are not documented in black and white in a medical provider’s records, the insurance company will not consider them in the adjustment of your insurance claim. It doesn’t matter if you have been dealing for months with persistent back pain. As the insurance company sees it, if your injuries weren’t bad enough to cause you to seek medical treatment, they aren’t serious enough to compensate.
When you go to the doctor’s office, urgent care, the chiropractor, or to the emergency room, you will have several opportunities to document your injuries. First, you will likely be asked to fill out patient forms, including a review of your current symptoms. It is important to accurately complete these forms and list ALL of your current symptoms.
When you meet with the medical provider or their staff, it is also important to describe ALL of your injuries, even if some seem minor in comparison.
When the insurance company reviews your medical records, they should evidence all of the injuries you are claiming were caused or aggravated by the wreck. The medical records will corroborate your reported injuries and help prove your claims.
Make sure to list everything bothering you.
It is human nature to downplay our own injuries. It is also typical for us to leave out what we may think to be minor symptoms when other, more major problems are bothering us. For instance, if you suffer a right shoulder dislocation, your focus will be on that and you may fail to mention that your left ankle is also swollen.
In a personal injury case (like a car wreck), it is important to list ALL of your symptoms to a medical provider, even if they seem minor. That’s because if minor symptoms get worse over time, the insurance company may not believe that they are related to the car wreck if those symptoms were not documented soon after the accident. For instance, if you report low back pain for the first time six months after an accident, the insurance company will have a hard time relating it to the wreck since it wasn’t documented soon thereafter. This is the case even if you had low back pain immediately after the wreck and either didn’t see a doctor or failed to report it.
Take pictures of your injuries.
It is true that a picture can say a thousand words. If you have visible injuries, such as bruises, bumps, scrapes, road rash, stiches, or other wounds, take as many pictures and videos of them as necessary. Do this during your entire healing process so that you can have a record of your injuries. In some cases requiring wound care, photos can be important to prove the amount of effort that went into cleaning and dealing with your injuries, and any permanent scarring you may have.
Keep a diary.
We provide a diary to all of our clients so that they can document their injuries, treatment progress, doctor appointments, missed work, and general wellbeing during their recovery. Keeping a diary is a good idea, as it is important to memorialize how you are feeling in the moment, rather than trying to remember those details months or even years later.
Have You Been In An Accident And Not Sure What To Do?
If you were shaken up because of an accident and not sure what to do contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Does Flattmann Law Accept Every Case?
At Flattmann Law, we accept about 8% of the calls we receive. That means, for every ten phone calls we get inquiring about a car wreck or personal injury, one of those callers may become our client.
Why so few? We take pride in the quality of representation we provide in each and every case we accept. We make sure the cases we take have merit, are serious, and result in good relationships with our clients.
Does the case have merit?
The key factor in any personal injury case is liability, or who is responsible for causing an accident or incident. Sometimes this is straightforward, like when a car is sitting at a red light and gets rear-ended by a driver who is texting. But sometimes, liability is not as straightforward, like when a crash happens at an intersection and two people both swear that they had the green light. Sometimes, a caller may not understand that their own actions caused or contributed to an accident and that they may be liable.
When we consider a case, evidence regarding liability plays a huge role in our decision whether we can represent a client. Even if we can’t take a case, we make sure to let the caller know the reason.
Does the case involve injuries?
At Flattmann Law, we represent clients who have suffered serious injuries as a result of car wrecks, including family members of loved ones who have died as a result of major accidents. One thing we discuss during a potential client’s phone call is whether the person was injured because of the car accident. If the answer is yes, we discuss their medical history, including any future treatment.
If a caller has not suffered a legitimate injury, we will not be able to represent them. However, in those cases, we still try our best to point that person in the right direction concerning their rights against the at-fault insurance company.
In some cases, the caller may not realize just how badly they are injured. They may say that they are “okay” and then go on to describe how they have been suffering with all kinds of injuries they didn’t have prior to the accident. Something is definitely wrong and the last thing they want to do is resolve their car wreck claim before getting checked out by their doctor.
Our Firm Is About Quality, Not Quantity
At Flattmann Law, we take pride in the way we handle each and every one of our clients’ cases. Unlike many larger firms, our success does not depend on taking and settling as many cases as quickly as possible. Through the course of our representation, we form close relationships with our clients. If we take a case, that means we will do everything we can to obtain a favorable outcome for our client. We will exceed the expectations of our clients.
We review cases BEFORE taking them:
Some large law firms have a very low bar when it comes to accepting cases and will “sign up” nearly every call they get. It’s only after they get around to reviewing the substance of the case a few weeks later when they conclude that the case does not have merit and end up dumping (terminating) the case. At Flattmann Law, we have even gotten calls from clients whose cases were dumped by accident by another firm. Yikes! At our firm, we do our research before entering into a contract with a client to handle their case.
Have You Been In An Accident And Need An Attorney That Values Quality Over Quantity?
If you are looking for a personal injury firm that values quality of representation over quantity of cases contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
How Do I Know If It Is Worth It To Call A Personal Injury Lawyer About My Car Wreck Case?
“I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, but I just don’t know if I need to hire you or not.” We hear this from potential clients on a consistent basis.
How do you know if your case is “worth hiring an attorney?”
If you are wondering if you need an attorney for your car wreck case, they answer is “most likely, yes.” We have an inherent sense of knowing if we are getting in over our heads, and a car wreck claim is no different. It may start out simple enough – calling the insurance company to report claims, getting the police report, going to the doctor. But it can soon become overwhelming and confusing. Medical bills start coming in, your health insurance company is asking about the accident, insurance adjusters want to take your “recorded statement,” and your car repair and rental are not going as smoothly as you thought.
All the while, you are trying to go about your normal life, but you have this nagging car wreck claim to deal with, sooner or later. If this sounds familiar, you probably need to hire a skilled personal injury lawyer to help.
Were you injured or “still don’t feel right” due to an accident?
If you were injured or received medical treatment because of a car accident, things like medical bills and insurance coverage can get complicated quickly. Understanding the types of insurance claims you have and your rights to recovery are also important.
Sometimes an insurance company will offer a quick settlement, typically along the lines of “medical bills” and a certain amount of additional money. Here’s the problem: Are they talking about your full medical bills, your out-of-pocket deductibles/copays, or how much your health insurance paid? Also, what about future medical bills that might pop up? How do you know how much they may cost? If you have any of these concerns, it may be a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer.
A quick call can help answer your questions.
Believe it or not, in the first 30-seconds of a conversation with a potential client, we can usually tell if we would be of service to them. A quick phone consultation can typically help answer important questions about your case, even if you don’t end up hiring us. “Is this right?” “Is the adjuster being reasonable?” “How long does that normally take?” “Why are they being so difficult?” These are all common questions we can likely answer during a short initial phone call.
We are 100% not pushy.
It is okay if we are not the right law firm for you or if you end up not needing our services. If we can provide assistance with a quick call or consultation to help you navigate your car wreck claim yourself, that would be great! While we may follow up with you to check on your progress, we will NEVER be pushy. Quite simply, we want clients who hire us to be completely comfortable in our representation of them.
Have You Been In An Accident And Don't Know If You Need A Personal Injury Attorney?
At Flattmann Law, we are not pushy. If we are not right for you, or if you don’t need us, we will tell you! If you have been in an accident and have questions about your car wreck claim contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Why Are Google Reviews Important When Choosing An Attorney?
Hiring the right attorney, especially in a major personal injury matter, is a very important decision. It can mean the difference between the monetary outcome of your case, the length of time your case will take, and your experience throughout the process. You want to make sure you are choosing an attorney who is qualified and has experience in the type of law you require. If you want real feedback from real people, be sure to check out the attorney’s reviews before making that call!
Advertisements are put out by marketers.
Google reviews are from real people!
Ever see the fine print disclaimers on the bottom of Lawyer advertising: “paid spokesman” or “dramatization.” Lawyer advertising is targeted (by the law firm’s advertising department) to catch your attention and embellish results and outcomes.
By contrast, google reviews are from real clients who are sharing their experience with the attorney or law firm. At Flattmann Law, we take great pride and are humbled by all of our reviews.
Reviews can reveal the type of cases the attorney handles.
Detailed reviews can be especially helpful in choosing the right attorney. If a lawyer’s reviews all talk about how great of a family law attorney they are, and mention nothing about car wrecks, then he or she may not be the right personal injury attorney for you.
Reviews can give you a sense of whether the attorney’s personality is right for you.
Lawyers can have strong personalities. Some clients want an attorney who seems angry and out for blood. Some would rather an attorney who is calm and under control. Some want someone in-between. A major personal injury case can take a long time. That means a long relationship with your car wreck attorney, and just like in any relationship, making sure you are comfortable with your lawyer is important. Reading reviews can give you a sense of the attorney’s personality and whether you will be comfortable with them throughout the course of your case.
Are You Searching For A Car Wreck Attorney Who Is Right For You?
If you have been in an accident and searching for a car wreck attorney who is right for you, check out our google reviews. When you are ready contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
How Long Does It Take To Settle A Car Accident Case?
How long will this process take? This is probably the most asked question we get from our clients. The answer…it depends. Insurance claims can take anywhere from a few weeks to several years to resolve, depending on a number of factors.
How significant are your injuries?
Typically, we do not want to settle an insurance claim before our client is either fully healed from their injuries or comfortable with their future medical outlook. Why? Because insurance claims are valued in part based on the types of injuries incurred and the amount of time it takes to recover from those injuries. Settling a case prematurely can sometimes limit the true value of an insurance claim.
Are there limits on the amount of insurance coverage available?
In Louisiana, the state requires drivers to have minimum car liability limits of 15/30/25. This means liability limits of $15,000 per person up to $30,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage. A majority of Louisiana drivers have minimum limits. Unfortunately, this means that if you are seriously injured in a car accident, the person who caused the accident may very well have only $15,000 in insurance coverage available to cover your medical bills and general damages, like pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. That’s not much considering that an ambulance ride from Hwy 190 to St. Tammany Parish Hospital alone can cost $3,000 and a hospital bill can cost another $2,000 to $8,000.
Why does this impact how long an insurance claim takes? If there is limited insurance available, the value of a major personal injury claim will quickly reach those limits. At Flattmann Law, we keep insurance companies informed about our clients’ injuries and treatment. As a result, when our clients’ claims reach policy limits, insurance adjusters often call us in an attempt to resolve those claims as quickly as possible.
In major injury cases, while it is good news if the at-fault party has high limits of liability coverage, it also means that the claim may take longer to resolve. In those cases, it is important for our clients to get to a point of maximum medical improvement before settling their case, and doing so can take time.
Are there questions as to who is responsible for the wreck?
Insurance companies are experts at trying to pass the blame to the injured victim of an accident. If the insurance company is refusing to accept responsibility (liability) for a wreck, we may have to take extra measures to prove our case. This can be anything from conducting interviews of witnesses to hiring crash reconstruction experts. Often, if an insurance company is refusing to accept liability, it requires the filing of a lawsuit and lawsuits can take a long time to finalize.
Have You Been In An Accident And Have Questions About How Long It Will Take Your Claim To Resolve?
If you have been in an accident and have questions about how long it will take to resolve your car wreck claim contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Why Did My Health Insurance Company Stop Paying For My Car Wreck-Related Medical Bill?
After a car wreck, it is generally a good idea to use your health insurance for medical treatment, including the hospital emergency room, general practitioner, orthopedist, and all other providers. That is because the at-fault party (or their insurance company) are not required to pay your medical bills as you incur them. Rather, those bills should be included in any settlement you may reach in the future. By going through your health insurance, you avoid racking up expensive medical bills and being directly responsible to providers.
Your Health Insurance Carrier May Have A Claim For Reimbursement Out Of Your Settlement:
As discussed in other articles, it is very important to remember that your health insurance company likely has a claim for repayment of any medical expenses they paid out and will put their hand out for reimbursement out of any settlement you may get in the future. You may even receive a letter in the mail from your health insurance company asking about the wreck.
Why Is Health Insurance Refusing To Pay My Medical Bills?:
But why did your health insurance company refuse to pay or stop paying for car wreck-related medical bills? This usually happens for one of a few reasons.
First, if you ignored their letters asking questions about the accident, your health insurer may say that you are not cooperating with them under the terms of your insurance contract and will therefore refuse to pay for your medical expenses. That’s why it is important to keep them in the loop during your car accident claim.
Second, sometimes a health insurer will stop paying medical bills when they believe you have other (primary) insurance to pay for those bills. This may include medical payment (Med-Pay) coverage through your auto policy, or, if the accident is work-related, where workers compensation may be responsible for medical bills.
If your health insurer is refusing to pay for wreck-related medical bills, it is important to get in touch with them to understand why they are refusing to pay. If they incorrectly assume that you have Med-Pay coverage or that your claim is going through workers compensation, you will want to correct them.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident And Your Health Insurance Is Denying To Pay Medical Bills?
If you have been injured in an accident and are having trouble with health insurance paying medical bills contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Why Did I Receive A Clerk Refund Check After My Case Was Over?
Sometimes, our clients receive nice little surprises long after their car wreck lawsuit has been resolved. One of my favorite things to do is calling a client and letting them know that even more money is on its way to them.
During the course of a lawsuit, the Clerk of Court typically collects money each time a pleading is filed and creates a balance for each party. In a given lawsuit, there may be dozens of pleadings filed along the way.
Sometimes, more money is collected than the actual cost. For instance, if the Clerk estimates that they will need $100 for filing a Motion to Compel and the cost is actually $95, then a $5 balance will remain. This can build up.
At the end of a case, a Motion to Dismiss is typically filed, prompting the Clerk to make a final audit of any account balances. If that results in a credit, the Clerk issues a check to the party’s attorney for a refund!
When we receive a refund check from the Clerk, we immediately call our client to tell them. It’s their money, not ours! It is kind of like finding money in your pocket.
At Flattmann Law, We Offer Completely Free And Confidential Consultations!
Have you been injured in an accident and want a personal injury law firm that will help you every step of the way contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Why Is Texting And Driving So Bad?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”
Imagine driving down a football field with your eyes closed. Now imagine other vehicles coming toward you and people on the field. How confident are you that you can avoid hitting them?
“In 2020, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.”
Teens are the most susceptible to distracted driving, not only due to using their own cell phones while driving, but also because of passengers in the car. Teens also lack the experience of driving with distractions and can easily shift their focus away from the road.
So, What Can We Do To Limit Distracted Driving?
- Remember these statistics next time you feel the urge to reach for your phone.
- Use “hands-free” devices if you must make phone calls while driving.
- Encourage your passengers to do their part in limiting distractions for the driver.
- Parents need to lead by example for young drivers.
Were You The Victim Of Distracted Driving?
If you have been the victim of distracted driving and want a personal injury law firm that will help you every step of the way contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.
Why Is It Good News That More Than 50% Of All Car Accidents Occur Within 5 Miles From The Driver’s Home?
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, more than half of all accidents occur within 5 miles from the driver’s home.
So, why on Earth would this be good news? Because, since you know where you are most likely to be involved in a car accident, you can take action NOW to prevent it.
How? Train Your Mind To Be More Defensive While Driving
If you are like me, you likely take the same route every day to work, school, church, the grocery, etc. By now, you can probably drive to Target or Walmart without putting much thought into it. But imagine if you picked a week and made the conscious decision to really analyze your daily drives. Look around at every intersection, study the traffic lights, and here is the important part… imagine how accidents could happen around you. Do this every step of the way from the moment you pull out of your driveway to the time you park at Home Depot.
After your week of “conscious driving,” your brain will likely see things a bit differently while driving. You may anticipate the actions of other drivers more, stop just a split second longer at that busy intersection down the street, or drive a bit slower around that curve. And guess what? All of these minor actions add up and will make you a safer and more aware driver, even if you go back on auto pilot for those trips to the pharmacy.
Becoming a more defensive driver is a conscious decision you can make today and may just keep you from becoming another statistic.
Have You Been In An Accident Close To Home?
Have you been injured in an accident closeto home and want a personal injury law firm that will help you every step of the way contact us online or call our Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. Flattmann Law serves clients on the Northshore, including Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Folsom, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.