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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How Often Will You Review My Case?
At Flattmann Law, we review every single one of our cases on a DAILY basis. It is part of our culture and practice. If something can be done in your case to help move it along, we take action.
On each Monday morning of every week, the entire staff meets to discuss all of our cases and analyze them to see if anything can be done to move them forward. Depending on the case, sometimes the action is as simple as a phone call or email to a client to check on their medical progress. If a case is in litigation, perhaps it is time to send out written discovery, schedule depositions, or hire an expert witness. Out of our weekly meetings comes a constantly revised case list (or “to do” list).
The purpose of our weekly meetings is to make sure we are doing everything in our power to provide our clients with the best, most efficient, and effective representation possible. To use a volleyball analogy, “If the ball comes to our side of the court, we do our best to get it back over the net as soon as possible.”
Every morning of the week, we spend 10-15 minutes reviewing our case list in order to set action items for that day. One by one, we begin executing those items, constantly looking for new ways to push our clients’ cases forward. At Flattmann Law, we do not procrastinate. If something can be done to progress our clients’ case, we do it! We believe in being proactive, not reactive.
Have You Been Injured In A Covington Area Accident And Want A Law Firm That Truly Cares?
If you are looking for a law firm that truly cares about you and will do everything it can to move your case forward 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.
What Is The Difference Between Filing A Lawsuit In Louisiana State Versus Federal Court?
Not all car insurance claims become lawsuits. In fact, only a small percentage of insurance claims require the filing of a lawsuit. When a lawsuit has to be filed, however, sometimes a choice may be made between filing it in a Louisiana State Court or in a Louisiana Federal Court.
When a lawsuit has to be filed in Louisiana, a lawyer must decide upon the Court in which it may be filed. In a personal injury context, the decision is based on a number of factors including, but not limited it where the car wreck or incident occurred and the domicile of the parties, including the plaintiff(s) and defendant(s).
Louisiana has over 30 judicial districts around the State. Some of those districts may have 2 or more Courthouses. For instance, the 22nd Judicial District Court includes the St. Tammany Parish Courthouse and the Washington Parish Courthouse. In comparison, there are 3 Federal District Courts in Louisiana, namely the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts.
Most of the time, car wreck cases that happen in Louisiana and involve Louisiana residents will be filed in the Louisiana District Court where the accident occurred. However, accidents involving residents of different states (ie. if one driver is from Louisiana and one is from Mississippi), then the accident victim may have the option of filing suit in State or Federal Court. So, what’s the difference?
There Are Many Differences In How Cases In Louisiana District Courts and Louisiana Federal Courts Are Handled.
One of the main differences is that Federal Court cases are usually automatically assigned a trial date and case deadlines soon after being filed. In comparison, cases filed in State Court usually require one of the parties to file a Motion with the Court, requesting that the Court set a date for trial and pre-trial deadlines. In State Court, many judges require that the parties have completed the discovery process prior to requesting a trial date.
Another big difference is the way Motions are handled. In State Court, if a party files a Motion during a lawsuit, the Court sets a hearing date, and the parties submit written briefs and then argue before the Court. The Court then decides on the Motion. In Federal Court, Motions are typically submitted on the briefs alone, without the need for oral argument (unless one party requests it).
The process of deciding upon the proper Court in which to file a lawsuit can be complicated and typically requires legal strategy by a skilled trial attorney.
Have You Been Injuried In A Covington Area Car Wreck And Need A Skilled Trial Attorney?
At Flattmann Law, we handle cases in both Louisiana State and Federal Court. If you've been injuried and need a skilled trial attorney 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.
What Are The Dangers Of Driving With A Dog In The Car?
At Flattmann Law, we love our pets, especially dogs! To many, our dogs are part of our family, and it becomes common to bring our furry friends with us on the road. Whether it is in the back of a pickup truck or looking out the window of a car, we see dogs everywhere when we are driving. But it is important (for you, your pet, and fellow motorists) to remember some safety tips:
According to the American Automobile Association, over 80% of dog owners drive with their pets in the car. Only about 16% of them use proper safety restraints. Imagine a dog weighing 60 pounds. At just 25 miles per hour, the force of an impact from a car crash can cause an unrestrained dog to be projected forward at a force equal to 40 times its weight. Yikes! Do the math… Fido may make a 2,400 pound impact on your dash!
While I’m sure that old Hunter loves being in the back of your pickup and that Fifi and Fufu can’t get enough of the front seat, you never want anything bad to happen to your pets.
Reduce Pet Distractions:
Did Bruiser just leave a present in the back seat? I know it is hard, but there is really nothing you can do about it until you park. Don’t try reaching in the back seat to take care of it while driving 70 down I-12. That’s going to be dangerous… nasty… and embarrassing if you get in a wreck.
If possible, make it clear to your passengers that they are in charge of the dog while you are driving. If your dog is super smart, just show them this article and maybe they will limit their barking to a minimum while you are focused on driving.
Have You Been Injured In A Covington Area Car Wreck With Your 4-Legged Friend?
Have you been injured in an accident with your 4-legged friend and want an experienced law firm 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.
What’s With All Those Lawyer Ads On TV?
If you have ever been home during the daytime, especially around the New Orleans area, you have seen countless lawyer ads on TV. Some are pictured on top of 18-wheelers, others jump in between two cars like superheroes and stop an accident from happening, and many are shaking hands and kissing babies. Some dance for you and some even shout AT you!
“Have you been in a wreck with an 18-wheeler and are now severely disabled?” You’ve heard this before. But what’s the point? Why are these TV lawyers advertising this way? Here’s the truth about TV lawyer advertising:
They want a lot of insurance: In Louisiana, the minimum amount of liability insurance a person must have to drive legally is only $15,000 per person (up to $30,000 per accident). That’s not a lot. In fact, Louisiana has the lowest amount of required liability insurance in the nation.
On the other hand, 18-wheelers and other big commercial vehicles are typically required to have large amounts of liability insurance, not just minimum coverage. TV lawyers know this and try to target people who have been involved in accidents with big trucks.
They want big injuries: The bigger the injury, the larger potential recovery in a personal injury case. If a person is permanently disabled, they may have very large lost earnings or lost future wage claims and significant future medical bills. TV lawyers have A LOT of overhead and want to target these cases in order to pay their bills.
Actors: Ever read the fine print below one of those ads? A lot of the time, the person who said they received the big check is not the actual client. They are an actor getting paid for pretending to be a client. While the ad must be based on a real case, as long as the TV attorney gets their ad approved (and pays money to do so), it is considered okay.
You got how much?: “He got me $400,000!” Wow, those big numbers are impressive. What they don’t reveal is the amount paid from that number, including the lawyers’ fees, case expenses, and medical bills. The client may have actually only gotten ¼ of that amount, but you will never know.
Our advice: Don’t believe everything you see. When hiring a lawyer for your car wreck, ask questions and check out real reviews. Interview the attorney to see if they are the right fit for you.
Have You Been Injured In A Covington Area Wreck?
If you've been hurt in a car accident and are looking for a real lawyer with real proven results 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.
When Should I File A Car Insurance Claim, And What Should I Say?
After a car accident, insurance claims are typically filed with the at-fault driver’s car auto insurance company, whether it be State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, Geico, or any of the others. But, when do you file the claim, how do you file the claim, and what do you tell the claims representative?
Remember, if you hire Flattmann Law, we handle the entire process, including filing the insurance claim, so you don’t have to worry about any of this…. But, if you choose to go it alone, here are some tips:
When to file an insurance claim?: You should file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance as soon as possible following a car wreck. Don’t rely on the other driver to file the claim for you. Sometimes they don’t, thinking that maybe you won’t file the claim and they will avoid the situation altogether.
Should you file the claim with a local insurance agent?: Typically, it is easier and more direct to file the claim by calling the insurance company’s main 1-800 number. If you file the claim with a local agent, it may feel more comfortable, but in reality, they simply turn around and report it to the main claims team anyway.
How long will it take to file a claim?: Filing an auto insurance claim can usually take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much information the auto insurance company already has about the wreck. But be warned, depending on the insurance company and the day/time you call, just reaching the representative may require being on hold for upwards of an hour.
When You Hire Flattmann Law You Dont Have To Worry, We Take Care Of It All.
What should I say?: If you hire Flattmann Law to handle your car wreck case, you don’t have to worry about saying anything to the insurance adjuster. We take care of it all. But, if you are handling your own claim, our advice is to be very careful in what you say. The adjuster will be recording or taking detailed notes of everything you say. (We know this because in almost every case we handle where our client spoke to an adjuster before hiring us, the adjuster tries to use things our clients said in their initial phone call against them).
Regarding your injuries and medical treatment, remember that it may take a few days or even a few weeks for some injuries to reveal themselves. For example, if your low back is severely injured following an accident, your neck pain may not seem as severe at the time. After a few days, however, you may notice that you aren’t able to look to the left without pain. Be careful when the adjuster asks you “how are you doing?”
Have You Been Injured In A Car Wreck And Need Help With The Claims Process?
If you've been hurt in a car wreck and would like to leave the claims process up to an experienced car wreck attorney 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.
I Was In An Accident on Highway 190 In Covington When A Car U-Turned In Front Of Me. What Do I Do?
Highway 190 in Covington was renovated years ago in order to help alleviate traffic along the busy corridor between Covington and Mandeville. As all Northshore residents know, traffic is still bad and accidents are an everyday occurrence.
All along Hwy 190 are U-turns which allow drivers to make a left-hand turn on a red light after stopping if traffic is not coming. The problem is that a lot of drivers forget to make sure traffic is not coming or misjudge how much time they need to safely make the U-turn. That’s when accidents happen.
Rememeber To Look For Oncoming Traffic, Even If You Have A Green Light!
The left-turn/U-turn traffic lights on Hwy 190 can be tricky. Most of them consist of 2 traffic lights. The first can be seen when you enter the left-turn lane and is straight in front of you. The second is across the street from the turn itself and visible only after you enter the turn. Both lights are in sync with one another, meaning that they turn green, yellow, and red at the same time.
The problem occurs, however, when the first light is turning from green to yellow. If you are traveling at a good rate of speed and are in close proximity to the light, you may think that you will be able to make the light. However, it is likely that the second light (across the street) may be red before you get through the intersection, leading to a possible accident.
Our suggestion when making a U-turn on Highway 190 in Covington or Mandeville: If the first light is turning yellow, slow down and be prepared to stop before entering the intersection. Remember that most of the U-turns allow a left turn on red, so you will have the opportunity to finish your U-turn if it is safe to do so after your stop. Better safe than sorry!
Have You Been Injured In A Car Wreck On Highway 190 In Covington Or Mandeville?
If you've been hurt in a car accident and need help 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.
What Are Some Tips For Driving In Roundabouts (Traffic Circles)?
Roundabouts (or traffic circles) are becoming more popular in the United States, and they have found their way to the Northshore (and in Covington especially). If you have driven in Hammond recently, you know that traffic engineers go nuts for roundabouts, but why?
According to the Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts are “proven safety countermeasures” because they can substantially reduce crashes, mainly by promoting slower speeds and reducing conflict points (ie. intersections).
What Are The Traffic Rules For A Roundabout?
Roundabouts are used in a counterclockwise direction. Vehicles entering a roundabout must yield to drivers already inside the roundabout, who always have the right-of-way over traffic entering the roundabout. Every entrance into the roundabout should have a yield sign for approaching vehicles.
Also, you should still use your turn signal, especially when exiting the roundabout. Finally, while you may want to be nice and let someone in, this may lead to accidents. The best thing to do is drive normally and do not stop while inside of the roundabout.
Have You Been Injured While In A Roundabout?
If you've been hurt in a car accident while in a traffic circle and need help 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.
I Had An Accident On Private Property. Do I Still Have An Insurance Claim?
Car accidents can occur anywhere at any time. On the Northshore, we have some big shopping centers with lots of stores, lots of shopping, and lots of cars! Those lots are typically private property, as opposed to public roads. So, what happens if a car accident happens on private property?
First of all, call the police. Depending on where you are, the police may or may not be willing or able to issue an accident report. They may tell you that they do not issue reports for wrecks that occur on private property.
Make Sure To Obtain As Much Evidence As Possible
Regardless of whether a police report is done, make sure to take as many pictures and videos as possible of the accident scene, of the vehicles involved, and even of the parties. Do this ESPECIALLY if a police report is not going to be issued. This is your only chance to preserve evidence of the scene.
Also, make sure to get the other driver’s insurance and driver’s license information. Take photos of his or her license plate and note the make, model, and color of their vehicle.
Finally, if you think that liability (who is at fault) will be an issue, it would be worthwhile to check with store owners around the area to see if they have surveillance video of the wreck.
Were You Injured In A Private Property Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in a car accident on private property and need help 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.
What Are Some Common Bills That Have To Be Paid From A Car Wreck Settlement?
One of the biggest mistakes of handling your own personal injury claim is settling with the car insurance company before you understand who you may owe and how much you may owe out of the settlement. Yes, in most cases, there are third-parties that should be reimbursed or paid out of the settlement proceeds.
Most commonly are health insurance companies, like Blue Cross, Aetna, Cigna, and Humana. Typically, if your health insurance company paid for medical services you received due to a car wreck, they have the right to request reimbursement out of settlement proceeds. The good news is that you are only required to repay the (typically discounted) amount the health insurer paid to the medical provider. For instance, if Blue Cross paid St. Tammany Parish Hospital $100 for your ER visit, Blue Cross will put their hand out for the reimbursement of $100.
Other health insurers we may not think about are Medicare and Medicaid, who have statutory rights to repayment out of settlement funds. Failing to report a car wreck case to Medicare or Medicaid or failing to consider their repayment interests can result in fines or even the denial of future benefits, even those unrelated to the subject car wreck.
You should also consider paying any unpaid medical bills out of settlement proceeds. While technically, some medical providers are required to put you on notice of a repayment lien obligation, they can certainly pursue collections for medical bills that go unpaid.
At Flattmann Law, we carefully collect and analyze billing information for our clients and work with health insurance companies, medical providers, and other interested third-parties to make sure your claim is handled the right way.
Are You Struggling To Handle Your Own Personal Injury Insurance Claim?
If you've been injured and feel you are struggling on handling your own personal injury insurance claim and need help 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.
Should I Take An Ambulance From My Car Wreck To The Hospital?
Emergency medical responders, including paramedics are true heroes. They respond to countless car accidents and other emergencies every day and provide lifesaving help to those in need.
When a car accident happens, 911 operators typically dispatch not only the police, but also EMS and sometimes the fire department, depending on the situation. Oftentimes, EMS will ask the parties involved in the wreck if they would like to be transported to the hospital for further evaluation. Should you accept the offer and be taken via ambulance to the hospital?
Ambulance services may be run by for-profit private companies, such as Acadian Ambulance Service, or by the government, such as the City of New Orleans EMS. An ambulance ride to a hospital, even a short distance away, can be expensive. On average, ambulance bills can be anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 for one trip, depending on services rendered and mileage. In cases of EMS air-lift services (helicopters), the bill can be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Injured But You Don't Know If An Ambulance Ride Is Necessarily
Of course, life-threatening injuries require EMS assistance and an ambulance ride. But what if you are injured, but don’t necessarily have non-life-threatening injuries (for instance, you have neck, back, or head pain but not to the point of being disabled)?
Keep in mind that EMS personnel are trained to mitigate injuries and prevent further injury (think neck immobilization and spine boards). At the accident scene, it is likely that you will not be able to fully assess or appreciate the extent of your injuries. Later, when the adrenaline begins to wear off, you may realize that you have more pain than you initially thought.
When the ambulance bill comes, make sure they have your correct health insurance information and have billed the encounter appropriately.
In summary, err on the side of caution when deciding whether to take the ambulance to the hospital following a car wreck. EMS workers are trained to help!
Did You Have To Take An Ambulance To The Hospital Following A Car Wreck?
If you had to take an ambulance to the hospital following your car wreck 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.