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 happens if an excluded driver gets into a car accident?

    Typically, a car insurance policy covers the policyholder and those members of the household who are old enough to drive or those who've been specifically added to the policy by name. Many policies also have provisions for permissive use of borrowed vehicles, although this type of coverage may come with a higher deductible and/or more limited benefits.  Excluded drivers and auto accidents

    Excluded drivers are named individuals who are specially not covered by an insurance policy. Often, this is because they're considered high risk due to a DUI or a poor driving record. Excluding a driver from coverage isn't allowed by all insurers, but many will permit it to save the policyholder money or to prevent the entire household from being uninsurable.

    Compensation For Accidents Caused by Excluded Drivers

    When a person is named as an excluded driver for a specific vehicle but operates it anyway, this is legally the same as driving without insurance. If a car accident occurs, the policy will not pay for damages caused by the excluded driver.

    Drivers or passengers who are injured by another person's negligence are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. When no insurance coverage is available, they can attempt to collect from either the at-fault driver or the vehicle owner's personal assets.

    If the at-fault driver or vehicle owner is without the means to provide compensation, your only other option is to use your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM or UIM coverage). Louisiana law requires all car insurance policies sold in the state to come with this type of coverage, although you can specifically request to have it waived. Most policies are issued with the state's bodily injury liability limits of $15,000. However, some drivers who want to provide additional peace of mind choose higher coverage limits.

    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 does it mean to be an excluded driver on a car insurance policy?

    Excluded drivers are not covered by an insurance policy in the event of an accident. If you've recently been in an auto accident, verifying that the other driver has valid insurance coverage is a key step in processing your personal injury claim.  Car insurance and excluded drivers

    About Excluded Drivers

    Generally, excluded drivers are those who fall into the high-risk category. Often, these drivers would cost too much to insure, and the policyholder excluded them to save money. Or, a driver may be excluded in order to prevent the policy from being canceled all together.

    Common reasons why drivers may be excluded include:

    • Teen student drivers who aren't allowed by parents to drive yet
    • Too many speeding tickets
    • Recent DUI
    • No license or suspended license
    • Too many past accident claims

    Not all insurance carriers allow the exclusion of drivers as a cost-saving measure. Policies and procedures vary widely among auto insurers.

    How Exclusions Affect Insurance Coverage

    Anyone named as an excluded driver on an auto policy should never operate the vehicle on that policy. This is legally the same as driving without insurance.

    If the excluded driver causes an accident, the insurance policy will not pay for damages. Medical coverage may still be available, but liability and property damage will not be offered.

    In a situation where an excluded driver is at fault for an auto accident, both the vehicle owner and the driver can be held personally liable for accident-related expenses.

    Receiving Compensation For Accidents Involving Excluded Drivers

    If you're involved in a car accident cause by another driver's negligence, you're entitled to compensation for accident-related medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. However, pursuing a claim against someone listed as an excluded driver may prove difficult without the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.

    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 a friend borrows my car and gets in an accident?

    It's a noble thought to want to help a friend in need, but letting your friend borrow your car could turn out to be a costly mistake. Depending on the terms of your auto insurance policy, your friend might not be covered if he causes an accident. Handing Car Keys To Friend

    How Permissive Use Affects Your Coverage

    As the named policyholder, your car insurance should cover you, members of your household who are licensed drivers, and any additional people you've specifically added to the policy. Most policies, but not all, also allow for permissive use to provide coverage when someone borrows your car.

    Permissive use can come with significant restrictions such as a higher deductible and/or reduced coverage limits. Other factors to consider include:

    • You can't let someone use your car for business purposes. Permissive use generally won't cover the use of your car if a friend uses it to make deliveries, meet clients, or go to a work-related business conference.  
    • Unlicensed and/or inexperienced drivers aren't covered. Permissive use policies can sometimes exclude unlicensed and/or inexperienced drivers, which means you shouldn't lend your car to anyone who doesn't have a license or student drivers who only recently earned their license.
    • Impaired or drunk drivers aren't covered. Lending your car to someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol will result in your claim for coverage being denied.
    • Permissive use is only intended to cover short trips. Permissive use is meant for brief tasks like picking up milk from the store or moving furniture to a new apartment. If you're letting someone borrow your car for several weeks or more, this type of use may not be covered.

    Since terms and restrictions can vary widely by insurer, the best course of action is always to refer any questions to your insurance agent. Do not let anyone borrow your car until you're positive that you're appropriately covered in the event of an accident.

    If you're unable to get in touch with your insurance agent and a friend needs immediate transportation, consider offering a ride instead of handing over your keys. As long as you're the one behind the wheel, you can be confident you have the coverage you need.

    Regular Drivers Must Be Named Policyholders

    Permissive use is intended to cover accidents caused by someone who occasionally borrows your car with your permission. This type of coverage isn't intended for anyone driving your car regularly. If your friend borrows your car on a regular basis, he should be listed as a named driver.

    Know What Your Friend's Policy Will Pay

    Before you lend your car to a friend, it's a good idea to ask about his own insurance coverage. In the event of an accident, your own insurance will typically be what pays for damages. However, the driver's insurance may be needed to cover part of any applicable personal injury or medical expenses. It can also be used to supplement your plan if the collision caused property damage and/or injuries that are severe enough to max out your policy.

    Understanding Your Liability

    Since insurance generally follows the car and not the driver, lending a vehicle to a friend can be an expensive mistake if a car accident occurs. If your own insurance won't pay for the damages and your friend doesn't have sufficient coverage, you can be held personally liable for accident-related expenses.

    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.

     

  • Is my rental car covered under my car insurance policy in Louisiana?

    When you're traveling on vacation, it's hard to beat the convenience of a rental car. However, it's vital that you protect yourself by thoroughly investigating the limits of any applicable rental car insurance. Do not automatically assume your rental car is properly covered under your current car insurance policy.  Rental car agent handing customer keys

    Rental Car Insurance Under Your Existing Auto Policy

    Determining whether a rental car is covered under your existing policy depends on the location of your trip. If you're renting a car in the United States or Canada, your Louisiana auto insurance should provide some level of coverage. However, if you're traveling in any other country, your current auto insurance may specifically exclude rental car coverage.

    If your trip is to a covered destination, your comprehensive and collision coverage likely covers the value of the car even if it's declared a total loss. However, you'll still have to pay your deductible and any applicable fees from the rental car company if you get in a car accident.

    If your trip is to a covered destination and you only have liability coverage, this coverage extends to the rental car as well. As a precautionary measure, check your policy's coverage limits before traveling to see if they're comparable to what the rental service recommends.

    Types of Rental Car Insurance

    When you rent a car, the company will ask if you want to purchase specific rental insurance. In most cases, there are four coverage options:

    • Collision damage waiver, to cover your financial responsibility if the car is damaged or stolen with no deductible
    • Liability coverage, to protect you against lawsuits if you cause property damage or injury to others while driving the rental car
    • Personal accident insurance, to cover your own medical costs and the costs of any passengers after an accident
    • Personal effects coverage, to pay for valuable items you might keep in the car while traveling

    The rental car company only requires you to purchase liability coverage if you don't currently have any sort of policy on your own vehicle. Other coverage is optional. The company might use high-pressure sales tactics, but you're free to decline any coverage you deem unnecessary.

    Avoiding Duplicate Coverage

    As a budget-conscious consumer, it's understandable you want to avoid paying for unnecessary coverage. However, you may need to make a few phone calls ahead of your trip to properly determine what types of rental car insurance you already have. Collision and liability insurance may already be provided under your own auto policy. Personal accident insurance may be unnecessary if your health insurance plan covers accident-related medical expenses. Personal effects coverage may be unnecessary if your renters or homeowners insurance provides off-premises coverage for your belongings.

    If you have a credit card, keep in mind that many credit cards also offer insurance coverage for rental cars. Platinum or Gold cards are the most likely to offer this benefit to cardholders, although the actual terms of coverage can vary widely. This coverage is intended to be secondary to your own auto policy or the coverage you purchased from the rental car company but is still a factor to consider when determining what your insurance needs are.

    Receiving Compensation for Injuries From a Rental Car Accident

    If you're involved in an accident while driving a rental car, you can receive compensation if the other driver was at fault for the accident. Your personal injury claim can include:

    • Past accident-related medical expenses, including emergency room care, surgical care, and follow-up appointments
    • Any applicable future accident-related medical expenses, if your injuries have left you permanently disabled
    • Loss of wages during your recovery
    • Loss of future earning potential, if applicable
    • Pain and suffering

    If you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still collect damages. However, your settlement will be reduced by your assigned percentage of fault for 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.

     

  • Does car insurance cover drivers who are not listed on the insurance policy?

    Knowing who is covered by your auto insurance policy is vital since misunderstanding the limits of your coverage can be a costly mistake if an accident occurs. If you lend your car to someone who is not listed as a named driver on your policy, you can't assume that permissive use coverage will apply if the driver gets in a car accident. Auto insurance policies: permissive use

    Your Auto Insurance Policy: Permissive Use

    An auto insurance policy typically covers the policyholder and any additional members of the household. Some insurance  companies require you to specifically list all household members of driving age, while others offer general coverage extending to people who are related through marriage, blood, or adoption.  Roommates are typically not covered as members of the household unless they've been listed by name.

    You should list everyone who will be driving your car on a regular basis as named drivers, even if they don't live with you. For example, you would want to list your nanny as a named driver if she uses a vehicle you own to take your children to and from school each day.

    Permissive use extends to other people who don't drive your car on a regular basis but may borrow it on occasion. For example, this might include lending your car to a friend while hers is in the shop or letting your cousin borrow your truck, so he can move furniture to his new apartment. Many policies cover permissive use, but some do not. Others offer reduced coverage with a higher deductible for any accidents that fall under the permissive use criteria. You must check with your insurer directly to fully understand the limits of your coverage.

    Exceptions to Permissive Use

    Even if you have an auto insurance policy that allows for permissive use, there are some notable exceptions you should be aware of, including:

    • Business use. One noted exception to coverage for permissive use occurs when the driver planning to borrow a vehicle is doing so for business purposes. If you lend your car to a driver who is visiting a client, traveling to a work-related conference, or making deliveries for her home-based businesses, this new driver won't be covered unless you have a specific "business use" clause on your car insurance policy.
    • Inexperienced or unlicensed drivers. Insurance companies typically have stringent rules regarding the qualifications of people allowed to operate your vehicle. If you let your teenage niece use your car to practice for her driving test and she gets in an accident, you could very well find yourself paying for the damage she causes.
    • Excluded drivers. Some auto policies, but not all, allow you to specifically exclude drivers in your household as a cost saving measure or to prevent the policy from being canceled due to a single high-risk driver. Anyone who is listed as an excluded driver on your policy will not be covered in the event of an accident, no matter why they were driving your vehicle.

    Paying for Accident-Related Damages

    If you lend your car to someone and he causes an accident that's not covered by the permissive use portion of your auto insurance policy, his own auto policy may pay for damages. However, not all insurers will pay for damages in cars the policyholder borrows, so you'll need to investigate this issue carefully.

    If your own policy won't pay for damages and the driver's policy doesn't cover borrowed vehicles, you'll be left paying for damages out of your own personal assets unless someone else is determined to be at least partially at fault for the accident. Louisiana law allows partially at- fault drivers to receive compensation for property damage as well as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering if they were partially at fault, with the understanding that any settlement they receive is reduced by their assigned percentage of fault.

    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 do I calculate lost income if I’m self-employed?

    If you’re in an accident, calculating for lost wages and loss of future earning potential is fairly easy if you're an employee working for someone else. If you're self-employed, however, the issue becomes more complex. Receiving damages when you're self-employed

    Factors Used to Determine Lost Income

    Self-employment can take many forms. Farmers, truck drivers, daycare providers, freelance writers, web designers, management consultants, and restaurant owners can all be self-employed, even though their business finances may look very different.

    After an accident, calculating economic damages as a self-employed person requires considering several different factors, depending on what type of work you do. For example:

    • Lost income for the days you were unable to work
    • Loss of earning capacity or future income potential if you won’t be able to perform the same work in the future
    • Lost profits that can no longer be invested in the future of your business
    • Lost business opportunities due to your inability to market your goods or services because of your injuries
    • Loss of goodwill, or harm to your professional reputation, because you were unable to meet client demands in a timely fashion as the result of your injuries

    It's not unusual for the lost wages portion of a personal injury settlement to be substantially higher for a self-employed person, since hourly earnings are only a small portion of a business owner's loss.

    Documenting Your Economic Losses

    Documentation is essential in any personal injury claim, but it’s particularly important when you're a self-employed business owner. You may need to provide:

    • Tax returns from past years
    • Financial statements from the current year
    • Copies of invoices or work orders from subcontractors you paid to fill in for you while you were injured
    • Proof of cancellation of projects you'd already lined up but couldn't complete due to your injuries
    • Letters from clients or potential clients clarifying what projects you may have completed if you hadn't been injured
    • Testimony from an economic loss expert regarding the value of lost opportunities in your particular industry

    How Economic Losses Affect Pain and Suffering Compensation

    Pain and suffering damages in a personal injury claim are intended to compensate you for both the physical pain and the emotional trauma of your injuries. Since there is no specific dollar value placed on pain and suffering, the most common method to calculate it is a multiplier of medical expenses based on the severity of your injuries. However, some attorneys recommend a per diem approach that assigns a dollar value to each day you suffered pain from your injuries.

    In the per diem approach, the daily rate is often based on your estimated earnings from employment. As a self-employed person, your per diem rate may be higher than normal due to the complex nature of your economic losses.

    Collecting Compensation If You’re Partially at Fault for the Accident

    Louisiana uses the comparative negligence system when settling personal injury claims. If you were partially at fault for the accident, you're still entitled to compensation. However, your settlement will be reduced by your assigned percentage of fault.

    For example, a self-employed accountant with an estimated economic loss of $50,000 due to severe car accident injuries would only be eligible to receive $30,000 (60%) if he was found to be 40% at fault for the accident.

    Retaining Legal Representation

    Personal injury law can be quite complex, especially when you're trying to prove economic losses as a self-employed person. Having an experienced attorney to advocate for your needs throughout the process is essential.

    If you're self-employed and unable to work due to your injuries, you may feel as though legal representation is out of reach. However, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so your attorney will require no upfront payment and will accept a portion of the settlement you receive as payment for his services. With a contingency fee system, you're free to focus on your recovery while remaining confident that your attorney is advocating for the highest possible compensation.

    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 types of compensation can I receive for a TBI?

    A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have life-altering effects, including physical discomfort, sensory deficits, cognitive impairment, and changes in mood or behavior. If you've suffered a TBI as the result of another party's negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to receive reimbursement for your injury-related expenses. Personal injury claims for a TBI

    Understanding Brain Injuries

    A TBI is any injury that impairs the brain's normal function, and this type of injury can have many different causes. Personal injury claims often involve a TBI that is the result of a car accident, but you can also sustain a TBI as the result of a slip and fall or a dog bite attack.

    The mildest type of TBI is a concussion, which typically only requires physical and mental rest for a full recovery. The most serious types of TBI can cause death or lasting disabilities requiring constant nursing care.

    Doctors classify a TBI as either open or closed. A patient with an open TBI has had an object physically penetrate the skull and enter the brain. A patient with a closed TBI has suffered a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. A closed TBI is the most common type of injury.

    People can suffer a TBI at any age, but children are the most vulnerable because their brains are still developing. If a child suffers a TBI, his parent or legal guardian can file a personal injury claim on his behalf.

    Types of Compensation for a TBI

    If your TBI is caused by another party's negligence, you can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for the following:

    • Medical expenses. You can receive reimbursement for emergency care, diagnostic tests such as MRIs or X-rays, surgery, medication, and therapy. If you will need ongoing medical care or physical, speech, and occupational therapy, the anticipated costs of these can also be included in the settlement.
    • Lost wages. This category of compensation includes work time missed while you were recovering from your injury as well as any applicable reduction in your future earning potential due to the long-term effects of a TBI.
    • Pain and suffering. Personal injury claims for pain and suffering include reimbursement for both the physical trauma and the emotional pain of being injured.

    Medical expenses and lost wages are calculated based on documented expenses related to the accident. Pain and suffering is most often calculated as a multiplier of your medical expenses. In cases involving a serious TBI, settlements can be substantial due to the level of impairment the plaintiff experiences.

    Fault and Eligibility for Compensation

    Louisiana personal injury law still allows you to collect compensation for a TBI even if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, your settlement will be reduced by your assigned percentage of fault. This means, if you were 25% at fault for the accident, you'd receive 75% of what the settlement would be if the other party was entirely responsible.

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help

    To protect your legal rights, it's vital that you enlist the services of an attorney who is experienced in handling personal injury claims involving a TBI. Your attorney can line up experts to testify on your behalf and negotiate for the highest possible settlement.

    Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no upfront expense associated with your case. Your attorney will accept a percentage of the settlement as a fee for his services. Any necessary case expenses will also be paid out of the settlement, so you're free to focus on your recovery without worrying about the cost of representation.

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is committed to helping Louisiana residents who've been injured due to the negligence of others receive fair and prompt personal injury settlements. Please call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.

     

  • Can I receive compensation from a store if I slip and fall while shopping?

    Stores have a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for their customers. If a store fails to fulfill this duty and a customer slips and falls while shopping, the injured party may be eligible for compensation. Slip and fall accidents while shopping

    How Do I Prove Liability for My Injuries?

    It's important to keep in mind that sometimes an accident is considered simply unavoidable. To receive personal injury compensation, you have to establish negligence on the part of the store manager or owner.

    One way to establish negligence is by providing evidence that the store knew of the dangerous condition and failed to fix it. For example, if another customer testified that the store manager was informed of a laundry detergent spill in an aisle one hour before you fell, this would show negligence in failing to promptly fix a potential safety hazard. Surveillance video of the scene of the accident before, during, and after the incident can alternatively be used as evidence to establish liability.

    Stores can also be considered negligent if a hazard should have been discovered in the normal course of business. This would include slippery spills in a restroom, by the entrance, near the cash register, or in any other high traffic public area.

    In some cases, violation of building codes can serve as evidence to support a slip and fall claim. For example, if the store was required to have handrails in an area and the lack of handrails contributed to the severity of your injuries, this helps prove negligence.

    Stores are typically not liable for injuries if the customer failed to take reasonable care to prevent a slip and fall accident. Some examples of this would be tripping because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, running into a large display because you were texting on your phone and not paying attention to your surroundings, or falling because you were running through the store and ignored clearly posted "Slippery When Wet" or "Wet Floor" signs.

    A store's liability may also be called into question if the accident occurred when you were in an area that wasn't open to the public. For example, if you went back into the stockroom of a retail store or into the kitchen of a restaurant, the store wouldn't be held liable because it couldn't reasonably anticipate customers being in these private areas.

    When Is Another Party Liable?

    When you are injured in a slip and fall accident while shopping, the store owner isn't always the party responsible. If the accident takes place on the sidewalk or street outside the store, the city or municipality responsible for maintenance might be liable. If the store is renting space from a property owner and a building code violation caused your slip and fall, the property owner might be liable.

    What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?

    A personal injury claim resulting from a slip and fall can include compensation for the following:

    Medical expenses.

    This includes emergency room care and any necessary follow-up appointments, as well as the cost of pain medication, crutches or a wheelchair, and physical therapy.

    Lost wages.

    The store may be held liable for your lost earnings if you were unable to work because of your injuries. Earnings are verified with your past pay stubs or a detailed account of your business activities if you are self-employed.

    Pain and suffering.

    Considered non-economic damages, pain and suffering compensation is calculated based on a multiplier of medical expenses or as a per diem rate for each day you suffered pain due to your injuries. This category of personal injury compensation is intended to reimburse you for both the physical pain of your injuries and the emotional trauma of the experience.

    What Is the Best Way to Proceed With My Case?

    The store where you fell will undoubtedly have experienced attorneys handling the claim, so it's vital that you have legal representation to advocate for your needs. Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is committed to helping Louisiana residents who've suffered slip and fall injuries while shopping resolve their personal injury claims. 

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Slip And Fall?

    If you've been hurt in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • When is a dentist guilty of malpractice?

    Many people overlook the importance of dental health until they experience a problem that affects the appearance of their smile or they’re in severe pain. If you believe a problem with your teeth and gums is the result of dental malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation. When a dentist can be sued for medical malpractice

    Understanding Dental Malpractice

    Good dental health is more than just a matter of having an attractive smile. Without proper dental care, patients can experience a number of complications. For example:

    • Nutrition may suffer when a person can't chew solid foods properly.
    • Speech may become difficult to understand.
    • Severe pain can make it difficult to concentrate on daily activities.
    • Bacteria in the mouth can travel throughout the body and cause serious or potentially life-threatening infections.

    Medical malpractice lawsuits hold healthcare providers responsible when a patient suffers harm as the result of negligence in diagnosis or treatment. Although the majority of malpractice suits involve doctors and surgeons working in hospitals, dentists can also be held liable for malpractice in some circumstances.

    Examples of situations that would be considered the basis of a dental malpractice claim include:

    • Improper extraction of teeth
    • Improper administration of anesthesia during oral surgery
    • Failure to diagnose or treat gum disease or a similar oral health condition
    • A delay in diagnosis of oral cancer
    • Failing to refer a patient to the appropriate specialist
    • Neglecting to supervise the actions of hygienists and other employees involved in patient care
    • Poor sanitation for instruments resulting in infection to the teeth, gums, or jaw bone
    • Injuries to the teeth, gums, or jaw bone from faulty root canals, crowns, and bridge prostheses
    • Lack of informed consent before a procedure

    Successfully Proving a Malpractice Claim

    Only specific types of conduct meet the legal definition of medical malpractice. It's not enough that you're unhappy with the dentist's work or that you suffered a poor outcome from a procedure. To prove malpractice, you need to establish the following four elements:

    • Duty. You were the dentist's patient, and he had a professional duty to treat you.
    • Breach of Duty. The dentist failed to live up to the accepted standards of professional care.
    • Damages. You suffered verifiable harm such as damage to the teeth and jaw bone.
    • Causation. Your damages were the result of the dentist's failure to live up to the standard of care for your condition.

    Expert testimony regarding the accepted standard of care for your condition will prove crucial in establishing damages and causation. Testimony is given as part of the discovery process, which will also include submitting medical records and documentation of expenses such as lost income.

    Types of Dental Malpractice Compensation

    Dental malpractice claims can include the following types of compensation:

    • Medical expenses related to the harm you've suffered as the result of the dentist's actions
    • Any applicable loss of wages if you missed work due to your injuries
    • Pain and suffering, including the trauma of any permanent alterations in your appearance due to the dentist's work

    Louisiana is unique in that it limits the total damages a plaintiff can receive to a maximum of $500,000. However, future medical expenses are not subject to this cap.

    Statute of Limitations

    Dental malpractice claims, like other malpractice suits, must abide by the state’s statute of limitations. Louisiana requires malpractice claims to be filed within one year of the date of the incident forming the basis of the case. If the plaintiff didn’t discover his injuries right away, the deadline is one year from the date of discovery or no more than three years after the incident itself.

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help

    If you believe you've been the victim of dental malpractice, the legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can advocate for your right to compensation. Cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no upfront expense associated with retaining legal representation. Please call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

     

  • When is an eye doctor guilty of malpractice?

    Your vision is essential for providing you with important information about the world, and a loss of vision can be devastating. You can suffer serious emotional damage as well as a disconnect with the world as you’ve known it. If your vision has been compromised because of an ophthalmologist’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice claim.  Filing an ophthalmology malpractice claim

    Understanding Ophthalmology Malpractice

    The eye is a tremendously complex organ that works much like a camera. When rays of incoming light are refracted or bent by the cornea through the pupil, the lens is responsible for making sure the rays are focused at the back of the eye in an area known as the retina. The image is initially upside down, but the retina converts this image into electrical impulses transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve. When the brain translates these impulses, the image is converted back into an upright position.

    The field of ophthalmology includes many different specialties:

    • Pediatric ophthalmology specialists treat children with genetic conditions that cause vision loss or impairment.
    • Cornea and external disease specialists focus on treating patients with refractive errors through corneal transplants and other surgical procedures.
    • Glaucoma specialists treat patients experiencing visual difficulty when the nerve connecting the eye to the brain has been damaged due to high eye pressure.
    • Neuro-ophthalmology specialists treat issues that overlap with the field of neurology such as optic nerve problems, visual field loss, unexplained visual loss, double vision, and abnormal eye movements.
    • Ophthalmic pathology specialists look at tissue from the eye and surrounding areas for signs of disease.
    • Ophthalmic plastic surgery specialists perform eyelid surgery, orbital surgery, and lacrimal surgery to alter a patient's physical appearance.

    Ophthalmology malpractice cases can involve any position in which an eye doctor's conduct causes an injury to the eye or harm to the patient's vision. For example:

    • Failing to obtain informed consent before a risky surgical procedure
    • Delaying a diagnosis or a failure to diagnose a condition that results in vision loss or impairment
    • Delaying treatment or a failure to treat that results in vision loss or impairment
    • Reusing a single-use instrument and creating a risk of infection
    • Abandoning a patient
    • Failing to stay current on best practices for treating specific conditions
    • Neglecting to refer a patient to a qualified expert when the condition is outside the eye doctor’s training and experience
    • Making medication errors such as giving the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a glaucoma treatment
    • Making surgical errors such as operating on the wrong eye when performing cataract surgery or LASIK eye surgery

    Elements of a Successful Malpractice Claim

    To win your ophthalmology practice claim, you need to establish four key points: duty, breach of duty, damages, and causation. Here is a brief explanation of each:

    • Duty means that the plaintiff was under the care of the defendant.
    • Breach of duty refers to the defendant's failure to provide medically appropriate care according to the accepted standards of ophthalmology.
    • Damages are the injuries you suffered as the result of the defendant's conduct such as blurred vision or blindness.
    • Causation refers to the direct cause and effect relationship between your condition and the ophthalmologist's conduct.

    Of all these elements, establishing damages and causation are the most difficult. Testimony from other eye doctors with experience in treating patients with similar conditions to yours will prove vital in building a solid case.

    Compensation for an Ophthalmology Malpractice Claim

    An ophthalmology malpractice case can result in a sustainable settlement, since compensation is based on many different factors, including:

    • Past medical expenses
    • Anticipated future medical expenses
    • Lost wages and/or estimated loss of future earning capacity
    • Disability-related expenses such as cost of added household help
    • Pain and suffering
    • Loss of enjoyment of life due to vision loss
    • Psychological trauma associated with vision loss

    Seeking Legal Representation

    Malpractice law is complex, so it's vital that you enlist the services of an experienced attorney who can advocate for your right to a fair settlement. Neblett, Beard & Arsenault’s legal team is devoted to helping Louisiana residents who've been the victim of ophthalmology malpractice receive the compensation they need to move forward with their lives.