Covington Motorcycle Accident FAQs

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 is GAP Insurance and Do I Really Need It?

    Most people have heard the term “GAP insurance” and may have been told that they don’t need to get it when purchasing a vehicle.  You may have been told that GAP insurance is something the car dealership is offering you just to make a little more money.  But before you decline it, let’s go over a few things.

    What is GAP Insurance?:

    GAP insurance is an optional insurance you can purchase when you buy a new vehicle.  It is often offered to you at the dealership along with things like extended warranties when you are filling out the sales paperwork and/or applying for a car loan.

    In the event of the loss of your vehicle (typically as a result of a wreck), GAP insurance covers the difference between what you owe on the vehicle and what the auto insurance company is paying. 

    GAP Can Be Extremely Helpful After a Total Loss:

    As stated above, GAP insurance comes into play if your car is totaled and your car loan is more than the amount the car insurance company is paying you for it.  Say for example you total your vehicle in a car accident a year after purchasing it and at that time, you still owe $20,000 on your loan.  Since your car started to depreciate as soon as you rolled off the lot, it may only be worth $15,000.  After the car insurance company pays the loan company $15,000, you still owe $5,000.  If you have GAP, your GAP insurer will pay the $5,000 difference on your note.  

    In the scenario above, if you didn’t have GAP, you would be stuck owing the $5,000 difference.  That’s because, in Louisiana, the law only requires the at-fault insurance company to pay the Actual Cash Value “ACV” of your vehicle after a total loss.  The ACV and the amount you may owe on your car note are TWO SEPARATE THINGS.  In short, the at-fault car insurance company doesn’t care how much you owe on your vehicle. 

    When Don’t I Need GAP?:

    You likely don’t need GAP insurance when the Actual Cash Value of your vehicle is more than what you owe on it.  If you are uncertain about this, or if the amount you owe on the vehicle is close to its current value, you may want to consider GAP. 

    Oh Shoot!  I Don’t Have GAP.  Can I Still Get It?:

    Good news!  Even if you originally declined GAP insurance when you purchased your vehicle, you can probably add it if you still have a car loan and your vehicle hasn’t been wrecked.  You can call your original dealer to see if GAP is still available through them, or you can call your own auto insurance company to see if they offer GAP as an optional coverage on your insurance policy.

    Have You Been Injured In An Accident And Have Questions About How Your GAP Insurance Works?

    If you have been injuried in a car wreck and have questions about how your GAP insurance works 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, Madisonville, Goodbee, Hammond, Lacombe, Pearl River, and Slidell.


  • What Duties Do My UM Insurer Owe Me During The UM Claims Process?

    UM insurance stands for “uninsured motorist” coverage.  As discussed in several other articles, UM insurance is optional in Louisiana and not required by the State in order to be “legal.”  UM insurance comes into play when the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to adequately cover you for your personal injury losses.  In those cases, you make a claim with your own insurance under your UM coverage. 

    Your UM insurer owes you a direct contractual duty:

    Unlike the other driver’s insurance company, your UM insurer (your auto insurance company) owes you a direct duty pursuant to your insurance contract with them.  As with most contracts, that means both you and your insurance company have certain obligations and duties to each other. 

    Your UM insurer must treat you fairly during the claims process:

    One of the duties your UM insurer has is “fair dealing.”  That means the insurance company should not try to trick you during the claims process.  For example, a UM should not threaten you during the claims process, or try to get you to settle quickly by saying things like, “this is your last chance,” or “if you don’t accept this now, you can’t later.” 

    Another obligation your UM insurer has to you is to handle your claim in “good faith.”  That means a few things.  First, it means that they have an obligation to properly evaluate your claim.  Second, it means that after they are provided with “adequate proof of loss,” they must adjust (evaluate) your claim within a reasonable time.  Finally, it means that they must make “unconditional tenders” to you of the amount(s) they believe your claim is worth. 

    What is an “unconditional tender?”:

    An unconditional tender is a payment your UM insurer should make to you after they are provided with adequate proof of your losses.  For example, say you have proven to your UM insurer that the other party caused your wreck and are uninsured.  You have also provided proof of your medical bills and injuries in the way of medical bills and doctor notes.  If, after evaluation, your UM insurer believes that your personal injuries (including doctor bills and general damages) have a value of $5,000, they must “unconditionally tender” that amount. 

    An unconditional tender means that the insurance company must send you a check for the undisputed amount of your claim, without any strings attached.  For instance, they should not require you to sign a release in order to get your money. 

    What happens if I think my UM insurer owes me more money?:

    In many situations, you may think that your UM claim is worth more than your insurance company is tendering.  For instance, if you think your claim is worth $10,000, but the UM insurer only tenders $5,000.  In those cases, it is important to remember that you still retain the right to pursue the remainder of your claim, even if a tender has been made.

    Have You Been Injured In An Accident And Need Help Handling Your Personal Injury Claim?

    At Flattmann Law, we handle UM claims and hold UM insurers to their obligations.  If you do not think you are being treated fairly by your UM insurer 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 Does “Adequate Proof of Loss” Mean And Why Is It Important?

    We often get calls from people complaining that the insurance company is not treating them fairly or responding to their personal injury claim.  Digging deeper, we inquire as to the information and documentation the person provided to the insurance company to support their claim.  A common response is that the person signed all the requested authorizations and may have submitted one or two medical bills. 

    Unfortunately for them, a few medical bills and a verbal report of injuries do not constitute “adequate proof of loss.”  The insurance company is ignoring them because the claimant has not triggered their obligation to respond under the law.

    What is Adequate Proof of Loss?:

    A claimant has the burden of providing adequate proof of their loss to the insurance company.  This means the claimant must prove (1) the other party’s fault for the accident and (2) their damages and injuries. 

    Proving the other party’s fault for causing the wreck can be as simple as sending the insurance company a copy of the police report, if the report clearly shows that the other person was responsible for causing the wreck.  If it doesn’t the claimant must submit other evidence of the other person’s fault, like video evidence, photographs, witness statements, etc. 

    Most people fall short in proving their injuries and damages.  Just telling the insurance adjuster that you are hurt doesn’t cut it.  Instead, it is best to provide copies of your medical bills and records, which document your injuries, medical treatment, and medical bills in black and white. 

    Certified Mail?:

    Do people still use certified mail?  YES.  While email is great, it is still good practice to follow any important emails (especially those providing proof of loss) with certified letters to the insurance company, with copies of the documents.  That way, you establish a clear record of your attempts to provide adequate proof of loss.

    Have You Been Injured In An Accident And The Insurance Company Is Not Treating You Right?

    If you are getting frustrated with your insurance 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 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.

  • 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.

  • How Can I Be Certain If I Accept The Insurance Company’s Offer Following A Louisiana Car Accident?

    Beware of an insurance company offering you a “quick settlement” following a car wreck.  This is the WORST TIME to settle your case.  Why?

    First, adrenalin in your body is released during an accident and can often mask serious injuries for several days.  Never settle a car accident claim before you have fully recovered from your injuries or at least understand the extent of your injuries.  What may seem like a good offer a day after your wreck can look like pennies compared to how you feel a few days later.  

    Second, in the days after an accident, you may not be thinking clearly, especially if you suffered a concussion or severe whiplash during the wreck.  Now is not the time to analyze a settlement offer.  

    What happens if you accept an insurance company’s settlement offer?  In order to finalize the offer, the insurance company will send you a “release.”  This is a statement they want you to sign in order to give up any claims you may have in exchange for the settlement money.  By signing a release, you literally sign away your rights to ever bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party or their insurance company, even if a hidden injury pops up later.  

    If you have received a settlement offer from an insurance company following a wreck and would like to review it with an attorney for free before you accept it!

    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.