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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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.
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.
What Evidence Will A Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer Use To Prove My Case?
Sometimes insurance companies deny car accident claims based on a lack of evidence to show which party was at fault for causing the accident. When liability (fault) is an issue in a car accident case, it is important to quickly identify and gather evidence to piece together how the accident occurred.
One of the first things we do when we are hired for a car accident case is to identify the evidence available. While the police report is not itself evidence, it typically contains very useful information, including a description of the accident, the identification of witnesses, and even diagrams of the wreck.
When we need more information as to how the accident occurred, we may visit the accident scene and take photos of the scene, and of any tire marks or debris. We also consider the damage to the vehicles and sometimes use an expert to download “black box” data from the vehicles.
Witness statements are also very important, and we may contact witnesses to better understand what they saw. In this day and age of modern technology, we also assess if there is any video of the accident, such as from a dash cam or other surveillance nearby.
Have You Been Injured In A Covington Area Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.>
I Disagree With The Police Report Regarding My Motorcycle Accident. What Should I Do?
Being a police officer is a hard job and it doesn’t get easier when it comes to writing accident reports. The police officer comes onto the scene of the accident after it has happened, after vehicles have been moved, and sometimes, even after one or more of the parties has been transported to the hospital. A police officer is oftentimes tasked with writing a report without the benefit of having key facts.
If a police report contains a minor error following a motorcycle accident, you should get in touch with the police department and ask if they can have the officer contact you to discuss the report. If there is a minor error, the officer will most likely work with you to correct the problem.
If you disagree with the officer’s assessment of fault following a motorcycle wreck, the officer will be less likely to amend their report, unless you present important evidence (such as video of the accident), which they didn’t have before.
While a police report cannot be used as evidence in a civil trial, the insurance company will definitely rely on it to make their decisions.
Have You Been Hurt In A Covington Area Motorcycle Accident?
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.
What Defense Will The Trucking Company Use In My Truck Accident Case?If you have been involved in a wreck with a big truck, chances are that the truck company or their insurance company will look to blame you for the accident.Common defenses to a big truck accident include the following:• Blaming the other driver for coming to a sudden stop in front of the truck.• Blaming the other driver for being in the truck’s “blind spot.”• Blaming the other driver for “scooting” in front of the truck at the last second.Oftentimes, these defenses can be refuted with evidence from the accident scene, including photos of tire tracks, analyzing vehicle damage, and even accident reconstruction. Sometimes, we will collect the truck’s “black box” data, which includes information on the truck’s speed and braking just before impact.Big truck accidents can get complicated quickly.
Have You Been Injured In A Covington Area Truck Accident?
If you've been hurt in a semi-truck or large vehicle accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.
If My Loved One Died In A Car Accident Do I File A Wrongful Death Claim Or A Car Accident Claim?
A wrongful death claim arising from a car accident is a type of car accident claim. The big difference is that in a wrongful death claim in Louisiana, the law dictates the family member(s) who may pursue the claim.
When a death occurs as a result of a car wreck, certain family members of the decedent may bring “wrongful death claims” and “survival actions.” These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are different. Wrongful death actions seek damages to the decedent’s family member, suffered by them personally as a result of their loved one’s death. Claims include, but are not limited to loss of love and affection, funeral expenses, and in some instances, loss of financial support.
Survival actions, on the other hand, are the claims the decedent would have had if they had not died. They include the decedent’s own pain and suffering and mental anguish from the time of injury until the time of death, as well as any medical bills they incurred prior to death.
If you are struggling with the loss of a loved one due to a car accident, please let us help explain your rights. We offer free, confidential, and “no pressure” consultations.
Has Your Loved One Died Due To The Negligence Of Others?
If you lost a family member due to a negligent act you need to speak with an experienced Covington area wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help families throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.
Can I File A Personal Injury Claim Without A Lawyer?
Anyone can file and pursue their own personal injury claim without a lawyer. Whether that is a good idea or not depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of injuries and damage, whether the other person is admitting fault, and the interests of third parties such as medical providers, health insurers, and others.
Even minor accident claims can become complicated quickly. Just a trip to the ER can result in several medical bills and create a reimbursement interest from your health insurer, especially for people with Medicare or Medicaid. At Grady J. Flattmann, Attorneys at Law, we make sure that our clients’ claims are handled the right way, start to finish.
Also, remember that insurance company adjusters are trained to ask specific questions of accident victims in an effort to save money for the insurance company. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to interact with insurance adjusters can be a major advantage.
If you are thinking of handling your own personal injury claim, please call us today. At Grady J. Flattmann, Attorneys at Law, we offer a free 15-minute “CRASH COURSE to help you better understand the ins and outs of your claim.
Give us a call today to schedule your free “CRASH COURSE” at (985) 590-6182.
Have You Been Hurt In A Covington Area Accident?
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help clients throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.