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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What is premises liability?
If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may encounter a number of unfamiliar terms as you seek compensation for your injuries. One of these terms is premises liability, which refers to determining if a property owner is legally responsible for an accident.
Premises liability laws require property owners to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury to others. This includes fixing issues that are known safety hazards or providing warning signs indicating potentially unsafe conditions.
Standard of Reasonableness
Premises liability rests heavily on the standard of reasonableness. Some actions that are typically determined to be reasonable precautions a property owner must take include:
- Using a wet floor sign to warn people of spills
- Fixing ripped carpet or tile
- Having handrails on stairs
- Providing appropriate lighting
- Clearing debris from a walkway
Building codes can provide a starting point for determining what constitutes reasonable actions for a property owner, but the absence of a building code violation doesn't necessarily mean all appropriate precautions have been taken.
Status of the Injured Party
Premises liability classifies injured people in four different ways:
Someone who has a general invitation to be on the property such as a customer in a supermarket or retail store.
Someone entering the property for his own purposes but at the implied consent of the owner—such as a repair person or someone delivering a package.
A welcome visitor to the property such as a friend who frequently stops by for visits.
Someone with no authority or legal right to be on the property.
Under Louisiana law, trespassers are not entitled to compensation for injuries they have suffered. However, the attractive nuisance doctrine carves out an exception for children who are trespassing but unable to understand the risk involved. The attractive nuisance doctrine most often applies to injuries caused by uncovered swimming pools and open pits.
Premises liability is subject to comparative fault, which means a defendant's ability to recover damages is proportionally reduced if he contributed to the accident by carelessness, recklessness, or inattention. It is assumed that adults have a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to ensure their own safety. However, in cases involving injured children, a child is only expected to take age appropriate safety precautions.
Special Issues Involving Landlords
Premises liability law becomes significantly more complex when injuries occur on property that is owned by one party and leased by another. Landlords can be held liable for injuries only if they were caused by safety hazards the landlord knew about and failed to fix within a reasonable timeframe. If the tenant failed to report the hazard or took actions that created the hazard, the landlord is likely not liable.
How Premises Liability Affects the Right to Compensation
Premises liability law allows injured persons to receive compensation via a personal injury claim if they can prove the following:
- There was an unreasonably dangerous condition on the property.
- The property owner had knowledge of the dangerous condition.
- Their injuries occurred because of the property's dangerous condition.
Louisiana has a one-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim from a slip and fall accident. A personal injury claim can include compensation for:
- Immediate medical needs such as emergency room care, surgery, and hospital stays
- Anticipated future medical needs, if the injuries suffered in the accident led to a permanent disability
- Lost wages while recovering from injuries
- Loss of future earning potential, if the injuries suffered in the accident led to a permanent disability affecting the ability to return to work
- Pain and suffering, including physical pain and emotional stress or trauma
If you've suffered slip and fall injuries due to another party's negligence, an experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in determining liability, documenting damages, and negotiating with the insurance company for the highest possible settlement. To learn more, contact us online or call us directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with Neblett, Beard & Arsenault’s dedicated legal team.
How soon after asbestos exposure can I file a lawsuit?
While it has been known for many years that exposure to asbestos can cause deadly cancer, you cannot sue an employer or manufacturer for simply exposing you to asbestos—at least, you can’t sue for personal injury damages. If you are eventually diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you will then have the right to seek compensation for your illness from the party responsible for your exposure.
The Right Time to File an Asbestos Lawsuit
It can take many years for mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer to develop after being exposed to asbestos in the workplace or by living with someone who brought home the deadly fibers. Mesothelioma symptoms may not develop for 15 to 70 years after exposure, making it difficult to trace when and where the exposure occurred. However, once you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, the statute of limitations will begin to run. The amount of time you have to file a lawsuit varies from state to state, but is generally two or three years. In Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and California, however, you will only have one year from the date of your diagnosis to file a claim.
Be Prepared to Protect Your Health and Your Legal Rights If You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos
While you may not be able to file a lawsuit immediately after asbestos exposure, there are two important things you can do as soon as you know you have been exposed to asbestos. First, you can talk to your doctor about medical monitoring so that any asbestos-related illness is detected early and treated quickly. Second, you can browse this website and read our free book, Your Guide to Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights, to learn more about protecting your legal rights if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis.
If you have been diagnosed with one of these diseases, please contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.303 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis. That means you won’t owe us any upfront legal fees until and unless your claim is successfully settled. We certainly hope you never develop an asbestos-related health condition. However, if you or a loved one is affected, our law firm is here to help you,no matter where you live.
Can I sue the company that manufactured products made from asbestos if the company is now bankrupt?
You may still be able to file a claim and pursue a fair recovery even if the company that manufactured products made from asbestos and exposed you is now bankrupt. However, the rules for pursuing a claim may be different than they typically are in a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, it is important to understand your rights and to work with a mesothelioma attorney who is going to fight for your fair and just recovery.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Many manufacturers of products made with asbestos seek bankruptcy relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 11 requires companies to submit reorganization plans. For many of these companies, trust funds to compensate people who develop mesothelioma or other asbestos-related health conditions are a required part of that plan.
Trust fund claimants may be former employees of the now bankrupt company, or they may have been exposed to the products made with asbestos without being employees. For example, the now bankrupt company may have made a piece of equipment or a product that the claimant worked with as an employee for another company, or the claimant may have been exposed to asbestos because he lived with someone who worked with the product containing the asbestos.
Once the trust fund is established, it is managed by trustees who authorize payments to individuals who make claims. Most trusts have a schedule of payments that explain how much should be paid out to a claimant with an asbestos-related illness.
To make a recovery from an asbestos trust fund, a claimant must typically file a written statement and give supporting evidence to prove where and when he was exposed to asbestos and what medical condition he has developed because of the asbestos exposure.
Asbestos settlement trust funds have paid out billions of dollars to millions of claimants since the late 1980s. Yet, some trust funds are underfunded, and deserving claimants may only receive a small percentage of the recoveries they deserve.
Protect Your Recovery: Hire an Experienced Asbestos Injury Lawyer
You will need to provide convincing evidence and strong arguments to make a fair recovery from an asbestos trust fund. Our lawyers can gather the necessary evidence and negotiate with those managing the trust fund while you continue to focus on your health and your loved ones.
To learn more about how we can help you get a fair asbestos trust fund recovery , please contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. If we take your case, you will not owe us any upfront legal fees. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis, and our fee will be an agreed upon percentage of your settlement. You can also learn more about your rights by downloading a free copy of our book, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.
How does vocational rehabilitation affect workers' compensation benefits?
In most cases, people who are injured at work fully recover and are able to return to their original positions within a relatively short time frame. However, in cases involving severe or disabling injuries, vocational rehabilitation services are part of your workers' compensation benefits.
Meeting With a Vocational Rehabilitation Expert
The services of a vocational rehabilitation expert can be requested by your employer if it appears you might not be able to return to your current position due to your injury. You may also initiate the process, if you choose to do so. The vocational rehabilitation expert is selected, hired, and paid for by the workers' compensation insurance company.
The expert will meet with you to discuss the extent of your work experience, your education, and what types of tasks you are able to perform. She will be asked to provide testimony as an expert witness for the insurance company with the goal of showing the Louisiana Office of Workers' Compensation Court that you are capable of returning to work.
If you refuse a meeting with the vocational rehabilitation expert when it is requested by your employer, the penalty is quite severe. There will be a 50% reduction in your weekly compensation, including supplemental earnings benefits, for each week of the period of refusal.
Goal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Vocational rehabilitation services vary depending on your skills, past employment, and the nature of your injury. However, the goal is always to get you back to work as quickly as possible with a minimum amount of retraining.
Getting back to work may mean:
- Returning to a modified position
- Returning to a related occupation suitable for your skills and education
- On-the-job training
- Short-term retraining of less than 26 weeks
- Long-term retraining of more than 26 weeks but less than one year
Louisiana's vocational rehabilitation program requires that the first appropriate option be selected for each worker. This means, you will not be allowed to pursue retraining programs unless a modified position, related occupation, and on-the-job training have been determined to be unsuitable.
Due to the cost and time involved, it is very rare for workers' compensation to pay for even short-term retraining programs. If it appears that training is the best option, however, a program offered close to your home will be the first choice. If there is no program close to your home, your employer or the workers' compensation insurer must pay for reasonable cost of board, lodging, and necessary travel.
Determining the Existence of a Suitable Job
One commonly misunderstood aspect of vocational rehabilitation services in Louisiana is that the insurer does not need to actually find you a job to fulfill its obligations. All that is required is proof of the existence of a job that fits your physical capabilities and is located within a reasonable geographic distance. If you receive notification of the position opening and its wages, your cooperation or participation in the process is irrelevant.
However, the law does not require that a suitable job means it suits your interests and personal preferences. You may be told to seek employment with a schedule that doesn't fit your needs or that involves a type of work you have no desire to do.
How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help
Your meeting with a vocational rehabilitation expert is a vital part of your workers' compensation claim. If this contact is handled poorly, you may have your benefits terminated or reduced even though you are unable to return to your pre-injury job and have no new job offers.
Working with an experienced workers' compensation attorney ensures that your rights are protected throughout the process of resolving your claim. Your attorney can explain how to prepare for the meeting with the vocational rehabilitation expert to improve the chances of continuing your disability benefits and receiving genuine assistance finding a suitable new job that accommodates your disability.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team is committed to protecting the rights of injured Louisiana workers. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.
What is a workers' compensation lien?
Louisiana's workers' compensation law protects most full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers beginning on their first day of employment. However, if you are eligible to file both a personal injury claim and workers' compensation claim for your work-related injury, there may be a lien on a portion of the personal injury settlement you receive.
About Workers' Compensation Lien s
Typically, you are not allowed to file a personal injury claim and a workers' compensation claim for the same injury. However, if the personal injury claim is against a third party involved in your accident, you may be able to take both types of action.
Some examples of cases where a workers' compensation lien may be involved include:
- You are injured in a work-related car accident that is the fault of a third party driver.
- You are a delivery person or contractor who is bit by a dog while working on a private party's property.
- You are visiting a client and sustain injuries in a slip and fall accident caused by a building code violation or an improperly cleaned spill on the floor.
Since you're not allowed to profit from seeking workers' compensation benefits, the workers’ compensation insurer may place a lien on a portion of your personal injury settlement, so the company can be reimbursed for expenses previously paid on your behalf. For example, if you break your arm and require surgery that the workers' compensation insurer paid for, the company may require reimbursement for this expense from any personal injury settlement you eventually receive. This prevents what is referred to as a double recovery.
The legal process of allowing an insurance company to make a claim against a third party to recover benefits it paid to the insured party is known as subrogation.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
The primary benefit of pursuing both types of legal claims is that a personal injury claim can include compensation for your pain and suffering damages—including both physical pain and emotional trauma. Workers' compensation only pays for medical expenses and lost wages.
A workers' compensation lien will not affect any pain and suffering compensation you are eligible to receive. Since pain and suffering is most often calculated using a multiplier method that increases with the severity of your injuries, this can be a significant portion of the settlement if you've been left with some form of permanent disability.
Sharing Legal Fees and Negotiating Lien Amounts
If there is a workers' compensation lien on a portion of the pending personal injury settlement, the insurance company will be required to share in a portion of your legal expenses. A personal injury attorney typically works on a contingency fee basis, requiring a percentage of the final settlement as the fee for service. To take this into consideration, the insurer will often ask for two-thirds of the value of their payment to account for your legal fees.
In some cases, a worker's compensation lien may be high enough that your third-party personal injury claim would result in little benefit to you even after legal fees are taken into consideration. To avoid providing a disincentive to litigate, insurers will sometimes negotiate the amount of the lien to require less than the full value they'd otherwise be entitled to receive.
How a Lien Affects Your Ability to Settle a Personal Injury Claim
When there is a workers' compensation lien on your pending personal injury claim, Louisiana law does not allow you to accept a settlement without the insurer's approval. If you do so, you may be forfeiting rights to future benefits.
How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help
Although you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits even if you choose to forgo legal representation, hiring an experienced workers' compensation attorney is the best way to protect your right to fair compensation. Louisiana workers' compensation law is quite complex, especially when your case involves a lien against a future personal injury settlement.
The dedicated legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault provides injured Louisiana workers with effective and aggressive representation—advocating for your interests throughout the process of settling your claim. Our firm is also equipped to handle any personal injury action you may wish to pursue. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review.
What evidence is needed to pursue a mesothelioma case?
Mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure, and for many people, that exposure occurred at work. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma and want to file a claim against a past employer, there is specific evidence you need to help prove your case.
A Successful Mesothelioma Claim Requires Evidence
To help ensure that you receive fair compensation for a mesothelioma case, you need evidence that shows where you were exposed to asbestos, how you were exposed, and when. To get this evidence, your lawyer will ask you detailed questions about your previous jobs and the jobs of people you lived with. This often helps narrow down the potential defendants and guide the search for evidence. Then, through the legal discovery process, your attorney will search for more information by:
- Looking at employment and Social Security records
- Using deposition testimony
- Using written interrogatories
- Using requests for production of documents
These legal discovery tools may be used to gather relevant information from your employer, the employer of someone you lived with, other people who worked for the employer, and companies that provided equipment, goods, parts, or other materials to the employer. Together, the information that is gathered may establish the timeframe for your asbestos exposure and help prove your claim.
Getting the Evidence You Need for a Mesothelioma Case
The legal discovery tools are regulated by the state’s rules of civil procedure. Our experienced mesothelioma lawyers know how to get the information you need to help prove your claim and to get the recovery you deserve. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation. It won’t cost you anything to meet with us, and if you choose us to represent you, you won’t owe any legal fees until your claim has been successfully settled or resolved in court.
To learn more, please contact us, or download a free copy of our book, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.
What are OBRA standards, and how do they relate to my case?
Many different types of evidence can be used in a claim for nursing home abuse, including violations of OBRA standards. Retaining an attorney is the best way to learn what type of evidence will help you build a solid claim for compensation.
The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), also known as the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, is federal legislation that sets standards for nursing home care and is interpreted within the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR Part 483). The legislation was signed on December 22, 1987 by President Ronald Reagan after the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging conducted extensive investigations into the quality of care seniors were receiving in long-term care facilities across the country.
The law's impact was seen immediately. Facilities were required to eliminate physical or chemical restraints unless they were medically necessary, avoid the routine prescribing of antidepressants, and improve monitoring of medication therapy.
Today, individual states are responsible for certifying that their nursing homes meet OBRA criteria. To certify facilities, states must conduct extensive surveys no more than 15 months apart that include multiple resident interviews. If a specific complaint has been filed against a facility, a targeted survey must be conducted as part of the investigation.
Nursing homes that don't meet OBRA standards aren't allowed to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. They also face heavy fines, the appointment of temporarily assigned facility managers, or the permanent closure of their facilities. Specific penalties are determined by the nature and severity of the violation. In some cases, facilities are given a chance to correct the issue before a penalty is assessed.
Key OBRA Guidelines for Nursing Home Care
The most essential parts of OBRA guidelines are sometimes described as a Resident's Bill of Rights. Key points include:
- Create comprehensive care plans for each resident's unique needs upon admission, then update plans periodically
- Respect the dignity of each resident, regardless of mental or physical limitations
- Allow residents reasonable personal privacy
- Let residents communicate freely and voice grievances without fear of reprisal or discrimination
- Provide services that enhance each resident's quality of life to the fullest extent possible
- Allow residents the right to choose appropriate schedules, activities, and healthcare services
Some of the specific requirements that related to potential claims of nursing home abuse include:
- Provide balanced meals that maintain good nutrition and a healthy weight
- Promote fluid intake to prevent dehydration
- Take steps to prevent pressure sores, and properly treat any sores that do develop
- Provide grooming and personal hygiene services as needed
- Provide appropriate care to residents with urinary incontinence, but restore bladder function if possible
- Take steps to prevent falls, poisonings, and other accidental injuries
- Allow residents to use assistive devices as needed
- Take steps to prevent significant medication errors
- Keep complete, accurate, and easily accessible clinical records
- Have the nursing staff at levels sufficient to meet care needs
- Allow residents to safely bank funds for personal use
Using OBRA Violations to Support a Claim for Nursing Home Abuse
OBRA outlines the minimum level of accepted care for nursing home residents. If a nursing home violates OBRA standards and this violation is linked to your loved one's injuries, you have a valid nursing home abuse claim.
In this type of civil action, you can seek compensation for medical expenses related to the abuse and any pain and suffering your loved one has experienced. If your loved one has died due to improper care, you can seek wrongful death compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering up to the time of death, as well as funeral and burial costs. Punitive damages may also be available, depending on the circumstances.
Retaining legal representation is the best way to protect your loved one's rights throughout the process of resolving your claim. The award-winning attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault are dedicated to helping Louisiana residents obtain justice for their loved ones who have been harmed by nursing home abuse. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review.
How can I get my elderly parent to talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer?
The recommended first step in any nursing home abuse claim is talking to a lawyer with experience in handling these types of civil actions. However, your elderly parent may be reluctant to speak to an attorney. In this instance, understanding your parent’s specific reasons for objecting and educating him about the process is the best approach.
Why Victims Are Reluctant to Come Forward
Some of the reasons victims of nursing home abuse are reluctant to come forward include:
- Shame or embarrassment
- Lack of understanding about what behaviors consistent abuse
- Being intimidated by the legal system
- Wanting to protect privacy
- Believing nobody will be able to change the situation
- Worrying about the expense involved in taking legal action
How to Convince Your Parent to Come Forward
There are several strategies you can use to persuade your parent to speak to a nursing home abuse attorney. You can:
Stress that they did nothing wrong.
There is no need for your loved one to feel shame or embarrassment because of the actions that have occurred. Nursing home staff have a professional obligation to assist residents, much like doctors have a professional duty to provide appropriate care for their patients. Abusive behavior violates this expectation and is never acceptable under any circumstance.
Offer to attend the meeting for moral support.
If your parent has not been involved in legal action previously, he may be nervous about understanding the process or worried about being taken seriously. Planning to attend the meeting together may offer him some comfort.
Explain that nursing home abuse comes in many forms.
Some residents may be reluctant to come forward if they believe that only physical abuse is against the law. Letting your parent know that verbal abuse, sexual abuse, medication theft, misuse of financial resources, and neglect related to understaffing are also against the law may help him see the situation in new light.
Outline what compensation is available.
A nursing home abuse claim can include compensation for medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. Punitive damages could also be received if there is a pattern of particularly severe neglect or a pattern of disregard for the safety of residents in the nursing home. Depending on the circumstances, your parent's testimony may also be used in a criminal case or an administrative action against the people involved in the abuse. These issues are separate from the nursing home abuse case, however.
Explain that taking action can help protect others.
Generally, nursing home abuse doesn't occur in a vacuum. If one resident is being mistreated, it's likely that others are, too. Let your parent know that his case could force the implementation of policies that could protect others from suffering similar abusive treatment.
Point out there is no upfront cost.
Nursing home abuse cases are a type of personal injury claim. Thus, lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means, they accept a percentage of the settlement as the fee for representation instead of asking for upfront payment. If the case can't be resolved, there is no charge.
Testimony From a Victim With Dementia
Nursing home abuse is against the law regardless of a resident's physical or mental limitations, but cases involving people with dementia can be more difficult. Your parent can still testify, but supporting evidence such as medical records, bank statements, or testimony from witnesses will also be needed.
If your parent's condition has reached the point where he can no longer understand the legal process of filing a claim, a guardian ad litem will be needed. This is a person, normally a spouse, adult child, or other family member, who files the claim on the victim's behalf and makes decisions to protect his best interests.
How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team is dedicated to helping Louisiana residents obtain justice for their loved ones who have been the victims of nursing home abuse. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.
How can I use traffic camera footage to support my personal injury claim?
Proving liability is a vital part in establishing your personal injury claim for injuries related to an auto accident. In cases where it's not immediately obvious who is at fault, video footage can become valuable evidence.
Using Traffic Camera Footage to Help Your Case
The law enforcement officer who fills out your initial accident report is not required to provide you with a listing of nearby traffic cameras, so learning about sources of footage will require a bit of personal detective work.
The availability of traffic camera footage for your personal injury claim depends on where you were when the accident occurred. If you were on a highway or heavily trafficked thoroughfare, you have a much better chance of finding footage from a nearby camera. You can travel back to the scene of the accident to look for signs of cameras that may have captured the event, but do not confuse traffic cameras with road safety cameras. These devices are intended to enforce specific rules of the road such as obeying speed limits, stopping at a red light, and paying road tolls. They only take still photos when a violation occurs and do not record continuous video footage.
Another factor to consider when determining if traffic camera footage will be helpful evidence in your personal injury claim is how long it has been since the accident occurred. When it comes to accessing footage, time is of the essence. In many cases, footage is only kept for 30 days or less due to storage limitations.
Alternatives to Traffic Camera Video
Traffic camera footage is certainly helpful, but it's not the only source of footage that may be available. Other options to consider include:
Business Surveillance Video
If your accident occurred near a restaurant, gas station, or retail store, the business's surveillance video may have captured the event.
Home Surveillance Video
Homeowners who are concerned about theft often incorporate video surveillance into their security systems. These cameras may have captured your accident in a residential neighborhood.
Bus Camera Footage
In some cases, school buses and public transit buses are equipped with cameras as a safety precaution. If you were traveling near the bus when the accident occurred, it could have been caught on tape.
Private Dash Cam Footage
Dash cams are most often associated with police cars, but a surprising number of private citizens have these cameras in their vehicles. If there are witnesses to your accident, it's worth asking if they have dash cams installed in their cars.
Although you may get lucky and be able to obtain footage of your accident with a polite request, you will most likely need an attorney's assistance to access the footage. Government-owned traffic camera footage is generally not available without a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and/or subpoena. Businesses also tend to have strict regulations that limit who they will provide their security footage to.
Obtaining Footage as a Partially at-Fault Driver
Louisiana law allows you to receive personal injury compensation for accident-related injuries if you are a partially at-fault driver, but your settlement is proportionally reduced by your assigned percentage of fault. However, since there is no set formula used to determine percentage of fault, it may still be worth the effort of obtaining footage if you believe you are partially at fault for the accident. Your memories of the event may be incorrect, or your attorney may be able to use the footage to increase your compensation by negotiating a lower percentage of fault.
How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help
If there is no relevant video footage of your accident, don’t assume you don’t have a viable personal injury claim. Many different types of evidence can be used to establish liability, including witness testimony, vehicle damage reports, law enforcement accident reports, and testimony from accident reconstruction experts.
The experienced legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is committed to protecting the rights of Louisiana residents who've suffered serious car accident injuries. Our attorneys can gather evidence to prove liability, document your applicable damages, and negotiate with the other driver's insurance company on your behalf. This will maximize your compensation for accident-related medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to learn more.
Can I afford to hire a mesothelioma lawyer?
It's not uncommon to experience financial difficulties after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Between increased medical bills and an inability to earn a living, many patients often struggle to make ends meet—and the thought of taking on legal expenses may seem impossible.
Fortunately, many mesothelioma lawyers represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means clients don't have to pay anything up front to receive legal assistance.
Contingency Fees Give Victims Access to a Mesothelioma Lawyer
Many injury victims don't have the funds to hire an attorney, even if they could receive a great deal of money by filing a legal claim. Contingency fees offer a way for mesothelioma victims to get quality legal representation without going into debt.
When an attorney is retained under a contingency agreement, he or she assumes the cost of filing fees and court expenses until the case is over.
Rather than charging an hourly rate, the attorney is paid with a portion of the settlement he or she is able to obtain for the client. If the case isn't successful, the attorney does not collect a legal fee.
While it's possible for victims to represent themselves in these cases, it's usually more cost effective and beneficial to the case to hire an attorney. As our client, our mesothelioma lawyers pay for court costs and fees on your behalf until the claim is settled, allowing you to keep your money when you need it most.
We're also experienced with these types of cases, and can advise you on:
- Whether you can sue. To establish the viability of the case, we examine your work history to determine how and where you were exposed to asbestos, as well as which companies may be liable for your illness.
- How to pay for costs right now. Many mesothelioma patients qualify for public benefits, such as Social Security disability, workers’ compensation, or VA disability.
- The value of your claim. Mesothelioma lawyers are adept at calculating the full amount of a person’s losses, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Time limits. Each state places a limit on how long a person has to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, and an attorney can ensure these deadlines are met.
In addition to working on a contingency fee basis, the legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault offers free initial consultations to all mesothelioma patients, allowing them to make informed decisions whether or not they choose to retain us.
Simply fill out the contact form on this page to get started or learn more about your options in our free eBook, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.