Motor Vehicle Accident FAQ
Do I need an attorney for my car crash claim? What if I was partially at fault in the accident? What if the other driver did not have automobile insurance? We give detailed answers to these questions and much more in our motor vehicle frequently asked questions.
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How long does it take to settle a car accident case in Louisiana?
After suffering car accident injuries caused by another driver's negligence, it's understandable to be concerned about resolving your personal injury claim as soon as possible. However, rushing to settle your case is not always in your best interests.
Factors Affecting Your Car Accident Settlement
Most car accident cases settle out of court, with the majority receiving settlement offers within 18 months.
A number of factors affect how long it takes to settle a car accident claim in Louisiana. The following is a brief overview:
- The extent of your injuries. It is advisable to wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement to settle your case, which takes longer for more serious injuries.
- Whether you have been left permanently disabled. If your injuries have left you with a disability that will require ongoing medical care or affect your ability to return to work, your case will become significantly more complex.
- Liability issues. If one driver is clearly at fault for the accident, a case can be resolved fairly quickly. If liability is not obvious or more than one driver is at fault, the case may take longer to settle.
- Your willingness to accept an offer. Your case ends as soon as you accept an offer from the insurance company. Offers made early in the process are often lower than what you are legally entitled to receive. Some people accept a lowball offer because they are worried about finances or they are eager to put the matter behind them.
The Value of Experienced Legal Representation
Before you accept any car accident settlement offer, it is important to discuss the terms of the settlement with your attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you evaluate the worth of your case to determine if the settlement provides adequate compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Once you have accepted a car accident settlement, you are not allowed to ask for more money at a later date. This means it is vital that you have someone available to advocate for your interests throughout the settlement process. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Grady J. Flattmann, Attorneys at Law, LLC.
If I file a lawsuit, does that mean I have to appear in court?
Not necessarily. Even if you file a lawsuit, the other party may still settle with you at any time during the process, without the need for a trial. However, when we file a lawsuit, we prepare for trial.
Does the other person's insurance company have to pay my medical bills?
The other person's insurance company is not obligated to pay your medical bills directly to the provider. However, the bill is part of your claim against them moving forward. If you have a maritime case, your employer may be responsible for paying your ongoing medical bills.
I'm worried about losing my job as a result of a car wreck. What should I do?
Your lost wages, time you miss to go to the doctor, and inability to continue working form part of your claim against the at-fault party. It is important to document any time you miss from work. While we can't control your employer's actions, we can provide them with information from your doctor concerning your limitations. If you have short-term or long-term disability insurance, we can help you navigate through the process of filing a claim. Each person's situation is unique. We can help you through this process.
Should I speak to the insurance adjuster calling me after an accident?
We do not recommend that our clients speak directly with the adjuster for the other party's insurance company following an accident. Insurance adjusters are typically trained to ask you questions which the insurance company may use against you later.
Do I have a deadline for filing a claim for my personal injury case?
In Louisiana, an individual has one (1) year from the date of injury or damage within which to file suit against the responsible parties in a personal injury case. If a claim is not fully resolved before that time, a lawsuit must be filed in order to preserve the claims of the injured party.
I don't know if I have a claim. What should I do?
Call us today at (985) 590-6182 and speak directly with an attorney. We can evaluate your case and let you know if you have a claim.
I've been in a car wreck. What should I do?
Make sure to:
- Call the Police (Dial 911);
- Seek immediate medical treatment if you are injured;
- Obtain the other driver's name and contact information;
- Take pictures and video of the damage to both vehicles and of the accident scene;
- Get the name of the other driver's insurance company and policy number;
- Get the item number of the police report and the identity of the police who respond (State Trooper, Parish Sheriff, City police);
- Get the contact information of any witnesses; and
- Take pictures of your injuries.
We can help you with your car wreck case, from start to finish.
Does the insurance company have to provide me with a rental car?
Yes. If the other person is at fault and they have insurance, you are entitled to a rental car if your car will require a certain number of days to repair. We can help you through this process.