Answers to Our Frequently Asked Questions

When you are involved in an accident or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice or abuse, you may not even know the right questions to ask at first. Browse our collection of frequently asked questions to see what others have asked and read our answers to learn all you can about your case.

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  • How can I receive compensation for out-of-pocket expenses from my car accident?

    If you are injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, the at-fault party’s insurance company will not offer to pay your out-of-pocket expenses. However, these damages can be included in a personal injury settlementOut-of-pocket car accident expenses Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    Documenting Out-of-Pocket Costs for a Car Accident Claim

    The out-of-pocket costs you will incur as a result of your car accident depend on your injuries, as well as your daily activities. However, some of the most common out-of-pocket expenses include:

    • Insurance co-pays and deductibles
    • Childcare for your young children, if you are unable to care for them appropriately or take them with you to medical appointments
    • Transportation to medical appointments
    • Parking fees related to medical appointments
    • Hotel stays for appointments with specialists or providers who are a significant distance from your home
    • Assistance with cleaning and other household tasks you can’t handle due to your injuries
    • An aide for personal grooming and showering

    You should carefully document any out-of-pocket expenses you incur due to the accident injury. Write down the date for each expense, and keep copies of bills, invoices, and receipts that support your claim. Bank or credit card statements can also be helpful in documenting your expenses.

    Compensation for Future Out-of-Pocket Expenses

    If your car accident injuries have left you with a permanent disability, there may be future out-of-pocket costs related to the accident that you can reasonably expect to incur. For example, if you are now in a wheelchair due to your injuries, you would be expected to need ramps and other accessibility modifications for your home, as well as vehicle modifications and transportation assistance.

    An expert witness familiar with your accident-related disability can provide testimony regarding your anticipated future out-of-pocket expenses, as well as your future loss of earning potential and future medical costs.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana 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 us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • How is Neblett, Beard and Arsenault involved in the Opioid Litigation?

    NBA proudly represents a number of local municipalities, parishes, sheriffs and governmental entities across the State of Louisiana. We represent these local governmental entities and offices in an effort to recoup the costs and expenses the opioid crisis has caused them to incur, as well as in hopes of recovering monies for these entities to utilize in abating, mitigating and curbing the opioid epidemic and issues in their communities. NBA also proudly represents a number of municipalities in Puerto Rico, as well as a number of private healthcare providers, including hospitals and emergency room physician groups in Louisiana and throughout the country. 

  • What is the Opioid Crisis?

    In short, the opioid crisis  - sometimes also referred to as the “opioid epidemic” - broadly refers to the devastating social and economic effects caused by the unlawful marketing and distribution of opioid pain medications by nationwide manufacturers, distributors and retail pharmacies.  These detrimental effects include the vast number of individual deaths caused by opioid or drug-related overdoses, the steep increase in drug-related crime and law enforcement gatewayed by opioid use, increase in addiction treatment costs and expenses for treating opioid dependency, and the immense amount of governmental resources expended to help the local communities manage these issues. 

     

  • What is the Opioid Litigation?

    The Opioid Litigation generally refers to the collective number of lawsuits (in the thousands) that have been filed around the country.  There are several separate opioid litigations pending throughout the country in both state and federal courts. The largest litigation in the country is the national MDL – Multi-District Litigation – pending in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio.

    What is an MDL? 

    MDL generally refers to a federal procedural mechanism developed and instituted in the late 1960s to assist the federal judiciary in managing complex (and often very large) litigations pending in multiple federal courts across the country.  Congress enacted the federal “MDL” statute – 28 USC 1407 – in 1968, and charged the US Supreme Court with promulgating rules for its practice.  This statute created the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation (MDL Panel), which assesses and determines the need for an MDL. In essence, where there is a number of cases pending in various different federal courts around the country concerning one or more common questions of fact and the same pharmaceutical drug, medical device or consumer issues, the Judicial Panel on Multi-district litigation may consider consolidation and transfer of all those similar cases to one single federal district court for purposes of coordinated pre-trial proceedings. This practice centers on the over-arching purpose of judicial efficiency. 

    What is the national Opiate MDL?

    The national Opiate MDL (MDL 2804) was created in December 2017. Currently over 1,800 lawsuits have been consolidated and transferred to the federal court in Cleveland, Ohio (Northern District of Ohio) before the very experienced and well-educated MDL Judge Dan Polster. Pre-trial proceedings (i.e. discovery) have been ongoing since December 2017.  There will be some trials conducted in the MDL – the first of which is scheduled to begin in October 2019.  The hope is that these trials – also called “bellwether” trials – will aid the Court and Parties in better understanding what legal claims are viable (i.e. if there is enough evidence to support the variety of claims asserted) and the value of these claims.  These are real trials which will result in real jury verdicts and final judgments.  The idea is that these bellwether trials will better assist the Parties in assessing and negotiating some sort of global financial resolution of the thousands of cases pending in federal court.

  • What is the end goal or best possible outcome of the Opioid Litigation?

    The Opioid Litigation is unprecedented and brings with it uncharted waters in terms of expectations concerning the best possible outcome. 

    The end goal or best possible outcome of the Opioid Litigation is to result in some sort of financial resolution, whereby a large pot of money (paid for by the corporate defendant opioid manufacturers, distributors and retail pharmacies) can be spread out amongst the thousands of claimants and plaintiffs to help manage and curb the opioid crisis on both the national and local level. 

    These monies can help state and local entities to mitigate or abate about the public nuisance of the opioid crisis by funding opioid abuse and dependency awareness programs, funding treatment and community outreach programs, and replenish or recoup lost resources caused by the opioid crisis; as well as make private entities such as hospitals and private healthcare companies whole for the financial losses sustained as a result of the opioid crisis.

  • What kind of evidence do I need for a successful motor vehicle injury case?

    The burden of proof in a car accident claim lies with the person seeking damages, which is why it’s crucial to gather as much evidence as possible for your motor vehicle injury case. Louisiana has a one-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims from a car accident, but evidence can become more difficult to locate as time passes. For this reason, you should take action on your case as soon as you are able to do so. After a car accident Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    Evidence to Establish Liability

    Establishing liability is the first task in winning a personal injury claim. Types of evidence that are helpful to determine responsibility for the accident include:

    • Law enforcement reports
    • Photos of the accident scene
    • Witness testimony
    • Surveillance or traffic cam video footage
    • Cell phone records to prove texting and driving
    • Testimony from accident reconstruction experts

    Evidence to Document Damages

    Once you have established liability, you need to prove the damages you have suffered. Types of evidence that can help document your damages include:

    • Photos of your injuries after the accident and during the healing process
    • Medical records
    • Statements from your doctors
    • Medical bills
    • Photos of damages to your vehicle 
    • Estimates to repair or replace your vehicle
    • Pay stubs documenting lost wages
    • Statements from your employer about how your injuries have affected your ability to work
    • Journal entries detailing your pain and suffering
    • Testimony from qualified expert witnesses about any accident-related permanent disabilities you have suffered.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana 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 us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • What happens when I suffer a broken pelvis in a car accident?

    Pelvic fractures most often occur as the result of high-speed auto accidents and require a lengthy recovery time. Ease the financial burden associated with this injury by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Suffering a broken pelvis after a car accident Neblett, Beard and Arsenault.

    What You Need to Know About Pelvic Fractures

    After an auto accident, a victim with a pelvic fracture will likely experience tenderness in the area and difficulty walking or moving the lower parts of the body. Abdominal pain, bleeding from the rectum or genital area, and difficulty urinating are also possibilities. The injury can be diagnosed with an X-ray and CT scan.


    Rest and pain medication can be used to treat minor fractures, but more serious breaks will require surgery. The surgeon will reposition the bones and use screws, plates, or pins to keep everything in place while the area heals. Someone with a severe fracture or multiple breaks also needs to be monitored for shock and internal bleeding.

    A pelvic fracture can potentially involve injuries to organs within the pelvic ring, including the kidneys, bladder, and intestines. Additional surgeries may be required to repair any damage.

    A broken pelvis is not synonymous with a broken hip, but someone with a broken pelvis may also have a hip fracture.

    Filing a Personal Injury Claim

    Louisiana's statute of limitations law typically gives injured persons one year from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim against the liable party. If you were determined partially responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you can still file a claim. However, your settlement will be proportionately reduced to reflect your own liability for your injuries.

    A personal injury claim can include compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You are also entitled to reimbursement for property damage related to the accident, including the cost of a necessary rental vehicle.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana 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 us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • What happens when you call our firm after a car accident?

    Although your first priority should always be attending to your medical needs, it's in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible after suffering injuries in an auto accident caused by another driver's negligence. In most cases, the statute of limitations for Louisiana personal injury claims is one year from the date of the incident. However, since valuable evidence can become more difficult to locate as time passes, you'll have the strongest case if you contact an attorney for legal representation immediately. A consultation with the NBA firm

    Calling Neblett, Beard & Arsenault After an Accident

    When you call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, your call will be answered by an intake specialist who is responsible for collecting your contact information and noting how you were referred to the firm. If an attorney is currently available, you'll be immediately transferred. If not, an attorney will contact you as soon as possible.

    The attorney you speak with will ask general questions about your accident type and provide information about what might be involved in pursuing a claim. If Neblett, Beard & Arsenault does not handle your type of case, you'll be referred to someone who may be able to provide assistance. If the attorney does not believe you have a valid claim, you’ll be told why your case is unlikely to result in a settlement offer.

    If the attorney you speak with believes your case might be a good fit for Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, he or she will explain our contingency fee arrangement. This type of payment plan involves accepting a percentage of the final settlement as a fee for service and allows personal injury plaintiffs to obtain access to quality legal representation with no upfront expense.  

    No Cost or Obligation

    There is no cost or obligation when you call Neblett, Beard & Arsenault to speak with an attorney. This service simply allows you the opportunity to gather more information about your legal rights following an accident, so you can decide how you wish to proceed.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana 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 us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • How should I calculate lost wages in a car accident claim?

    In a car accident claim, lost wages are often an important part of the settlement. Wages can be calculated in several different ways, depending on your employment type. 

    Employees Paid by the Hour

    Lost wages after a car accident Neblett, Beard & Arsenault

    Take your hourly wage and multiply it by the number of hours missed due to your accident-related injuries. For example, if your hourly wage is $25, and you missed work for 4 days (8 hours per day), your calculation would be: $25 x (8 hours x 4 days) = $800.

    Hourly Employees With Variable Hours

    If you don't always work the same amount of hours each week, you can calculate lost wages using an average of the amount of hours worked from the last two to three months.

    If overtime is included in your variable hours, you will need documentation from your employer stating that overtime is a regular part of your work schedule. Otherwise, the assumption is that overtime pay is not guaranteed.

    Salaried Employees

    If you are a salaried employee, calculate lost wages by taking your yearly salary and dividing it by 2,080 (number of work hours in a year). Then, multiply this number by the hours missed due to your accident-related injuries. For example, if your yearly salary is $50,000, and you missed 10 days of work, your calculation would be: ($50,000 / 2,080) x (8 hours x 10 days) = $1,923.08.

    Independent Contractors or Self-Employed Business Owners

    If you're an independent contractor or self-employed business owner, you can claim lost income instead of lost wages, as part of your damages. This refers to the earnings and profits you would have made if you weren't injured in the accident. Some of the proof you can use for this type of claim includes tax returns, 1099 forms, business correspondence, invoices, or receipts that show specific amounts of lost income.

    Loss of Future Earning Potential

    If you have been left with a permanent disability, you may be unable to return to work, work part time, or work in a lower paying occupation. In this case, your attorney can line up expert witnesses to calculate your loss of future earning potential.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana 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 us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • Can I recover damages in a motorcycle accident if the crash aggravated an old injury?

    Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injuries as well as aggravate existing conditions. If you've recently been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver's negligence, Louisiana law allows you to recover your accident-related damages by filing a personal injury claim. Previous injuries aggravated by motorcycle accidents Neblett, Beard & Arsenault

    How Pre-Existing Conditions Are Affected by a Motorcycle Accident

    Many different types of injuries could be aggravated following a motorcycle accident. For example:

    • Arthritis in the knees might cause additional pain after a motorcycle accident.
    • Degenerative disc disease could make the spine more vulnerable to problems following a motorcycle accident.
    • A person with a history of migraine headaches might experience more intense headaches after the car accident due to injuries to the head and neck and the general stress of the incident.
    • Preexisting mental health difficulties might become more intense due to the trauma of the accident.
    • Someone previously diagnosed with fibromyalgia may have a flare of symptoms following an accident.

    Generally speaking, older adults are more likely to have pre-existing conditions that are complicated by injuries from a motorcycle accident. However, pre-existing conditions can be a factor at any age.

    Receiving Compensation for Changes to a Pre-Existing Condition

    You are entitled to compensation for your accident-related injuries, regardless of whether they are new injuries or pre-existing conditions that were aggravated by the accident. However, proving liability in this type of case can be complex.

    In any personal injury claim, you must be able to establish four key elements:

    • The defendant owed you a duty of care.
    • The defendant breached this duty.
    • You suffered damages.
    • Your damages were caused by the accident and not attributed to another source.

    Proving causation will be the most difficult part of your case. The other driver's insurance company will try to argue that your symptoms are a progression of your pre-existing condition and would have occurred regardless of the accident. If your condition was not relatively stable before the accident, this can cast doubt on the cause of your injuries.

    Winning your case will require looking at your past medical history in detail. You will be asked about previous injuries, including when they first occurred, what your symptoms were, and what type of treatment you were receiving. Copies of X-rays and MRI and/or CT scans from before and after the accident may be used to establish how the crash affected your condition. Expert witnesses familiar with your condition may also be called to testify about how your prognosis was affected by the injuries you suffered in the motorcycle accident.

    If you can establish all of the necessary elements of the case, you are entitled to compensation for:

    • Medical expenses for injuries related to the accident, including emergency room care, surgery, physical therapy, and pain medication
    • Anticipated future medical care for an accident-treated disability
    • Lost wages for the time you were unable to work due to your injuries
    • Anticipated loss of future earning potential caused by an accident-related disability
    • Pain and suffering

    Louisiana law still allows you to collect compensation if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, your settlement will be proportionally reduced to reflect your own financial responsibility for your injuries.

    Protecting Your Right to a Fair Recovery

    Motorcyclists often face bias in their personal injury claims, including the perception that they are reckless with regard to their personal safety. To protect your right to a fair recovery, remember the following tips:

    • Seek a prompt medical evaluation, and inform your doctor of all symptoms you are experiencing.
    • Follow your doctor's orders precisely, including activity restrictions and all follow-up appointments.
    • Keep copies of all documentation of accident-related expenses.
    • Do not talk about the accident, including making statements on social media.
    • Do not accept a settlement offer from the insurance company without consulting your attorney.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Motorcycle Accident?

    If you or a family member has been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.