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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  • After my accident, what’s the first step in negotiating with the at-fault driver’s insurance company?

    Car insurance companies exist to make a profit. As such, they’re not going to adequately compensate you for your damages without a fight. 

    What You Need to Know About Demand Letters               

    A demand letter is the first step in the negotiation process. This is a formal letter to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It should be well-written, persuasive, and clearly outline what you expect to receive. You need to:

    Alexandria LA Car Accident Lawyer
    • Provide a description of how the accident occurred
    • Explain why the driver is liable for the accident
    • Outline your injuries and other losses
    • State the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering

    Demand letters are often accompanied by supporting documentation, such as bills or invoices, that verify your damages.

    After your demand letter is received, your case is assigned to a claims adjuster. The adjuster’s job is to convince you to settle for substantially less than your original demand.

    Don’t Go Through This Process Alone

    There are templates for demand letters online, but you should think twice about trying to negotiate a settlement on your own. Insurance adjusters have extensive experience getting accident victims to make statements that minimize the severity of their damages or lead to denial of liability. To protect your rights, you need someone to advocate for your interests. A personal injury attorney can prepare your demand letter and negotiate on your behalf for the highest possible compensation.

    In cases involving severe injuries, it’s also possible that you’re underestimating your damages. You can’t ask for more money once the settlement is final, so it’s vital that you understand what your future medical needs will be and how your injuries will affect your earning potential. An experienced personal injury attorney can find medical and vocational experts to accurately estimate your future expenses, so you’re not left with an unfair financial burden.

    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 are my options if I was hurt in a car accident caused by an obstructed view?

    Car accidents caused by obstructed views are more common than you might expect. When trees, bushes, lampposts, fences, or signs block a driver’s vision and cause an accident, the person or organization in charge of maintaining the property where the accident occurred can be found partially at fault. Alexandria LA Car Accident Lawyer Neblett Beard and Arsenault

    Liability for Line of Sight Accidents

    In a car accident personal injury claim, typically the only parties involved are the drivers of the vehicles. However, in cases involving obstructed views, the people or organizations in charge of maintaining the area where the accident occurred can also share in liability.

    Like drivers, property owners have a duty to take reasonable precautions to prevent others from becoming injured. This includes taking actions such as trimming overgrown trees or bushes, removing debris located near the roadway, and refraining from adding landscaping features that could block a driver’s vision.

    While it’s certainly possible that a property owner or occupant can be found liable for an accident involving an obstructed view, his liability is unlikely to totally excuse the drivers of the vehicles from fault. After looking at testimony from an accident reconstructionist, liability would likely be assigned in percentages to the driver or drivers involved and the property owner or occupant.

    Under Louisiana law, partially at-fault drivers can still collect compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as well as any associated property damage. Their recovery is simply reduced by their assigned percentage of fault to reflect their own role in causing the accident.

    How an Attorney Can Help

    Whenever liability is questioned, it’s vital that you have an experienced personal injury attorney who can represent your interests throughout the process of resolving your claim. Your attorney can gather evidence, find credible expert witnesses, and negotiate with all of the insurance companies involved in the claim to maximize your financial recovery.

    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.

     

  • Will my personal injury claim cover chiropractic care?

    Medical expenses are legally required as damages in a personal injury claim. This includes chiropractic care. However, the insurer for the at-fault party may question if your chiropractic care is considered reasonable and necessary. Car Accident Lawyer Neblett, Beard & Arsenault

    How to Get Your Chiropractic Care Covered

    Alternative forms of medical care continue to grow in popularity, but treatment by non-physician medical professionals such as chiropractors is likely to be questioned as part of a personal injury claim. Medical science has yet to fully prove the efficacy of this type of care, which casts doubt on its necessity following a car accident. Also, since chiropractors specialize in treating soft tissue injuries such as whiplash, sprains, strains, and contusions, the severity of the injury itself may be called into question.

    To increase the odds of having your chiropractic care covered:

    See a doctor first

    It is a good idea to avoid making your chiropractor your sole care provider. Care provided by physicians, hospitals, or medical clinics is highly regarded by insurance companies as an indicator of your pain and suffering.

    Don’t delay treatment

    After any car accident, seeking prompt medical treatment is necessary to link your injuries to the event. If you wait several days or weeks to seek care, it becomes easier to argue that your pain is from an unrelated injury.

    Make sure your records are complete

    Records from your treating physicians should be as specific as possible. Vague and inconclusive records are most likely to create problems with the insurer. Records of chiropractic care should indicate your specific symptoms, the precise treatment provided, and the exact cost of each treatment.

    Be cautious of ongoing care

    It is not uncommon for chiropractic care to involve several appointments per week over the course of several months. However, the more costly the care, the more likely it is that the expense will be questioned. Even if your case goes to trial, you could be held responsible for a portion of the bill.

    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 should I know about distracted driving laws in Louisiana?

    Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, Louisiana law lets you seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any associated property damage from the accident. In some cases, the driver may also be penalized for breaking the state’s distracted driving laws. Distracted driving laws Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    What Does the Law Say About Distracted Driving?

    Key points to remember about Louisiana’s distracted driving law include:

    • Drivers are not allowed to use their phones to read, write, or send text-based communication. This includes text messages and emails.
    • Accessing, reading, and posting to social media is not allowed.
    • You can’t use your phone to make calls in a school zone during posted school zone hours.
    • If you have a learner’s permit or intermediate license, cell phone use is prohibited at any time unless you are making a call using hands-free technology.

    First-time offenders can receive up to $500 in fines. A second or subsequent violation comes with a 60-day license suspension and up to $1,000 in fines. If the driver causes an accident, the fines are doubled. These fines are among the highest in the country.

    Violations of distracted driving laws are considered a primary offense. This means you can be cited even if you are not breaking other traffic laws.

    Are There Exceptions?

    As with many other laws, the Louisiana distracted driving law contains several noteworthy exceptions. Drivers are permitted to use their phones when:

    • Reporting a traffic accident, fire, or another emergency
    • Getting help because their safety is at risk
    • Reporting a crime
    • Using a phone is a necessary part of their job as a first responder
    • Being legally parked

    GPS and navigation system use is always permissible.

    What About Other Forms of Distracted Driving?

    Note that Louisiana’s distracted driving laws don’t cover a number of potentially unsafe distracted driving behaviors:

    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 common is drugged driving?

    Drugged driving poses a growing threat to drivers everywhere. The continued opioid epidemic, combined with the expansion of legislation allowing medical and/or recreational marijuana use, has led to large numbers of impaired drivers getting behind the wheel. One study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association found a 28% increase in drugged driving from 2006 to 2016.  The dangers of drugged driving Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    How Drug Use Leads to Auto Accidents

    While everyone knows that driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, less attention has been paid to the hazards of driving while under the influence of drugs. Here’s a brief overview of how drug use can affect driving ability:

    • Marijuana slows reaction time and impairs the ability to judge speed and distance.
    • Opioids lead to drowsiness and impaired memory.
    • Benzodiazepines can cause drowsiness and dizziness.
    • Methamphetamine and cocaine can cause aggressive and/or reckless behavior.
    • Mixing drugs or combining them with alcohol intensifies the effect of each substance.

    Some signs that a driver may be impaired include swerving, weaving, drifting off the road, driving without headlights, stopping without warning, and ignoring traffic signs or lights. However, it’s not always easy to realize that a driver is under the influence of drugs until an accident has occurred.

    Louisiana’s Drugged Driving Law

    Louisiana law makes it illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence of any controlled substance. There is an implied consent law stating that any driver should be presumed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests of blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance for the purpose of determining intoxication or the presence of illegal drugs when the test is requested by a law enforcement officer.

    Drugged driving is a misdemeanor for the first and second offense and a felony for the third, fourth, and subsequent offenses. Mandatory minimum jail sentences apply if there is a child under 12 in the vehicle at the time of the driver’s arrest.

    Protecting Your Rights After an Accident

    If you’ve been injured in an accident that you believe was caused by an impaired driver, you’re entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Law enforcement reports, witness testimony, and photos or video of the accident scene can all be used to support a claim that the driver was under the influence at the time of the accident. However, since valuable evidence becomes harder to locate as time passes, it’s important to act quickly to protect your legal rights. 

    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 music cause a distracted driving accident?

    Distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, but drivers often overestimate their ability to multitask while driving. We all know that using a cell phone behind the wheel is dangerous, but even something as simple as listening to music can cause a distracted driving accident. Music can cause distracted driving Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    Music as a Distraction

    Some studies have shown that easy listening, light jazz, or soft rock music improves focus and concentration. However, listening to your favorite tunes—especially if they evoke a strong emotional response—can take too much of your attention away from the road.

    A study involving teen drivers conducted at Ben-Gurion University in Israel found that 98% of drivers made serious errors when listening to a playlist of their own tunes. In comparison, only 77% made errors when they were listening to a selection of soft background music.

    Reducing Distractions on the Road

    Some ways you can reduce your own distracted driving behavior include:

    Do Not Adjust The Radio While You’re Driving 

    If you want to change the station, wait until you’re at a stoplight. Pre-program your favorite stations into your car stereo, so you can quickly find something to listen to.

    Keep Your Music At A Lower Volume 

    Loud music creates an auditory distraction that makes it harder to hear important sounds both in and out of your vehicle.

    If You Have Passengers, Explain Your Music Rules Before You Leave 

    Discussions with passengers can create additional distractions.

    What to Do After an Accident

    Although you can proactively take steps to reduce your own risk of distracted driving, you can’t control what others do. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, Louisiana law gives you one year to file a personal injury claim. You can seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any associated property damage from the accident.

    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 passengers cause distracted driving accidents?

    Many people think distracted driving involves drivers who are paying more attention to their smartphones than the road in front of them. However, distractions caused by passengers are often overlooked as a cause of distracted driving accidents. Passengers can cause distracted driving accidents Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    How Passengers Can Lead to Distracted Driving Accidents

    Any driver interaction with a passenger can potentially be a distraction, but here are some common scenarios that can lead to accidents:

    • A driver who is arguing with his or her significant other can become too upset to concentrate on driving safely.
    • A parent transporting young children may turn away from the road to provide snacks or a toy—or mediate fights between siblings.
    • Teenagers who are inexperienced behind the wheel may get distracted by friends who are singing to a favorite song or talking about their plans for the day.

    While it’s easy to avoid certain behaviors behind the wheel such as personal grooming and eating, it’s not realistic to expect that drivers never travel with passengers. However, experts recommend reducing the risk of accidents by keeping communication to a minimum. If you are traveling with children and need to retrieve a toy, snack, or book, pull over to a safe location first.

    Limiting the number of passengers in a vehicle is also a good way to reduce the risk of accidents. One recent Australian study found that two or more passengers in a vehicle doubles the risk of an accident.

    Protecting Your Rights After an Accident

    If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as well as any associated property damage. Under Louisiana law, you have one year to file a personal injury claim for the harm 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 if I suffer a skull fracture in a motorcycle accident?

    Doctor Holding a Scan of a Skull Fracture Neblett, Beard and ArsenaultSkull fractures are complicated motorcycle accident injuries because they can’t necessarily be seen with the naked eye. In an open skull fracture, the bone has penetrated the skin, or a wound shows the bone through the skill. In a closed fracture, however, the skin is intact, and the injury isn’t immediately visible.

    Both Open and Closed Skull Fractures Are Dangerous

    Both open and closed skull fractures can cause trauma to the brain. This can lead to permanent physical and cognitive deficits that affect a person’s ability to work, maintain relationships, and live independently.

    Potential symptoms of a skull fracture include:

    • Bleeding from the ears, eyes, nose, or wound area
    • Bruising behind the ears or under the eyes
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Pupils that are unequal in size or don’t respond to light
    • Neurological symptoms such as slurred speech, confusion, and visual disturbances

    A skull fracture is a serious injury, so it’s vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor can diagnose this injury with image testing, electroneurography, or electromyography. Depending upon the severity of the fracture, medication, a spinal tap, a lumbar drain, or surgery may be necessary. Seeking prompt treatment is the best way to prevent permanent damage to the brain.

    Compensation for Skull Fractures

    Under Louisiana law, motorcyclists who’ve suffered skull fractures have one year to seek compensation for accident-related damages. Your personal injury claim can seek reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any property damage associated with the accident.

    As with other types of head injuries, you can expect to be found partially at fault if you weren’t wearing a helmet when the accident occurred. However, you can still collect compensation at a reduced rate. Your percentage of fault will depend on what factors caused the accident and whether experts believe your injuries would have been as severe if you were wearing a helmet.

    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.

     

  • Can one of my facial bones break in a car accident?

    A broken arm or leg is a common injury after a car accident. However, there is a real risk of broken facial bones in any type of car crash where a victim is suddenly pushed forward or sideways. Broken facial bones in an accident Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    How Broken Facial Bones Occur

    There are 14 different bones in the face. One or more of these bones can be broken when a car accident causes a person to forcefully hit the steering wheel, dashboard, door, or flying debris within the vehicle. In some cases, even the force of airbag deployment is strong enough to result in broken facial bones.

    Symptoms and Treatment

    Broken facial bones can cause a range of painful symptoms, including bruising, swelling, nosebleeds, trouble breathing, pain in the jaw, decreased sensation in the face, and vision problems. Serious fractures can cause permanent damage to the respiratory system, airway passages, central nervous system, or vision, so it’s vital that an immediate medical evaluation is conducted whenever a facial fracture is suspected.

    The treatment for facial fractures depends on which bones are broken. A broken nose will typically heal on its own within three weeks, so pain relief is the main priority. However, a broken jaw or eye socket will likely require surgery.

    In some cases, broken facial bones will lead to scarring and/or disfigurement. This can cause depression and social anxiety since a person’s face is often viewed as a core part of his or her personal identity.

    Compensation for Broken Facial Bones

    Louisiana law gives individuals who’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence one year to seek compensation for accident-related damages via a personal injury claim: This includes:

    • Medical expenses
    • Lost wages
    • Pain and suffering, which includes the emotional trauma and mental health effects linked to a permanently disfiguring injury
    • Property damage associated with the accident, which includes your vehicle, as well as personal items such as the cost of replacing broken eyeglasses

    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 do I need to know about internal bleeding after a car accident?

    After a car accident, don’t assume you’re out of the woods if you feel fine and have no visible injuries. Internal bleeding can create serious complications, but the signs are subtle and easy to miss. Compensation for internal bleeding after a car accident

    About Internal Bleeding

    Internal bleeding from a car accident occurs when the force of impact damages internal organs and blood vessels. Bleeding in the head, chest, or abdominal area is of particular concern.

    Signs of internal bleeding include:

    • Confusion
    • Headache
    • Slurred speech
    • Vision problems
    • Dizziness
    • Numbness
    • Nausea
    • Abdominal pain
    • Painful joints
    • Bloody stool
    • Bloody urine
    • Vomiting blood
    • Coughing blood
    • Fainting

    Note that the symptoms experienced will vary according to the severity of the bleeding and the location of the injury. You can still be suffering from internal bleeding even if you don’t have all of the symptoms or if your symptoms are fairly minor.

    Whenever you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s vital that you seek a prompt evaluation from a medical professional. Many car accident injuries are slow to appear, and the initial adrenaline rush you experience after the trauma may temporarily mask your symptoms.

    A doctor can generally diagnose internal bleeding with a physical exam and X-ray or CT scan. Sometimes, minor internal bleeding will stop with rest, but surgery is often necessary to stop the internal bleeding from car accident injuries.

    Untreated internal bleeding has the potential to be fatal. Do not let concerns about the cost of care prevent you from seeking treatment.

    Seeking Compensation

    Internal bleeding can create a significant financial burden. You may be faced with a large hospital bill, as well as expenses related to time off work. In cases where your internal bleeding has created permanent organ damage, you may have future medical costs related to the accident or experience a loss of earning potential.

    Louisiana law allows those who’ve been injured in car accidents caused by another party’s negligence to file a personal injury claim. However, you must act quickly because there is a one-year statute of limitations in place. 

    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.