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 factors should I consider before filing a car accident lawsuit?

    Car Accident

    After you have been in a car accident, you do not have to accept the settlement amount that is offered to you by the insurance company. In fact, it is important to first consult with an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney before you ever accept a settlement. In some cases, you may need to take your case to court.

    The lawyers of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can help you to determine whether filing a car accident lawsuit makes sense for you. As you consider making this decision, it will be important to consider the following factors.


    In Louisiana, all drivers are required to carry liability auto insurance or show proof of financial responsibility. Car insurance minimums that drivers are required to carry, according to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, are:

    • $15,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
    • $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
    • $25,000 in property damage coverage.

    These insurance types are meant to pay for damages that a driver causes. So, when you are in a crash that another driver has caused, this will be the first insurance policy that you turn to when seeking a recovery.

    The amount of insurance that the at-fault driver has will, in this sense, determine whether you should accept a settlement offer or go to court. If the offer represents the liability policy limits, it may weigh towards accepting the settlement.

    You may be covered under other types of insurance in Louisiana. For example, uninsured motorist (UIM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is designed to pay you compensation when the other driver is not insured or lacks insurance to pay for all of your losses. Medical payments coverage is also designed to pay for your injuries in an accident – regardless of who was at fault.


    A dispute concerning who was at fault for your car accident may make it necessary to file a lawsuit. In some cases, fault is clear. But in other cases, fault is hotly contested.

    It is possible that an insurance company will refuse to make a settlement offer because it denies its insured driver caused an accident. Another situation may arise when an insurance company puts blame on you and, as a result, makes a settlement offer that is unreasonably low.

    So, if an insurance company continues to assign fault to you for the accident, filing a lawsuit may help to resolve the issue.


    A car accident lawsuit takes time, energy and money. For this reason, suing over a small amount of money – a few hundred dollars, for instance – may not be worth it. However, when your claim totals thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, filing a lawsuit may be more appropriate.

    If you are not sure how much your claim is worth, an attorney can help you to determine an estimate. Things to consider when deciding whether or not to file a lawsuit include:

    • Lost wages related to your accident
    • Property damage costs
    • Medical bills and expenses
    • Loss of earning ability
    • Disfigurement or disability
    • Extent of your pain and suffering.

    If you have suffered a serious injury where, as a result, your life has changed dramatically, filing a lawsuit may be in your best interest.


    In Louisiana, the state imposes a short statute of limitations, or time limit, for filing a car accident lawsuit. Under Louisiana Civil Code Section 3492, you have only one year after an accident to file a civil action. This is also true for filing a lawsuit for property damage.

    If you do not act within the one-year time frame, you will be barred from filing a claim and recovering damages.

    For this reason, acting very quickly after a car accident occurs is important. The longer you wait, the closer you get to approaching the deadline and risking the inability to recover compensation.


    When you are trying to determine whether you should pursue a car accident lawsuit, you should always consult with an experienced car accident attorney first. In some cases, a lawsuit might not be necessary, but the help of a car accident attorney is still vital.

    For example, your car accident attorney can help to gather evidence, demonstrate the negligence of the other driver and prove damages. A car accident attorney can also help you to negotiate a fair settlement amount out of court. In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can help you to pursue litigation.

    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 filing a Mesothelioma lawsuit in Louisiana?

    You or a loved one may have recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Now, you want to take legal action. However, you may be unsure about what lies ahead. Not knowing what to expect may actually make the idea of pursuing a mesothelioma claim seem very daunting.

    At Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, our role is to ease your stress by using our legal skill, experience, and resources to efficiently and effectively handle your claim. While you focus on getting the best treatment possible, we can focus on pursuing the compensation that you and your family need and deserve.

    The following is a brief summary of how the mesothelioma lawsuit process works in Louisiana. We would be glad to explain this process with you in more detail, discuss your case and answer all of your questions in a free consultation.

    Call or click here today to get started.


    As difficult as it may seem, you will need to take legal action as soon as possible. Under Louisiana law, you have only a brief period to file a mesothelioma claim. The limits are:

    • One year from the date of diagnosis or discovery of the disease, or
    • One year from the date of your loved one’s death.

    You should meet with a mesothelioma lawyer from Neblett, Beard & Arsenault when you are ready to take action. Your consultation will be free and confidential. We can meet at our Alexandria office or a location that is most convenient for you – even in your home.

    During your consultation, you can feel free to ask as many questions as you have about our law firm’s background in mesothelioma claims, our approach and the services we can provide.

    We will also want to learn more about you and your case, including:

    • Your work history, including military service
    • Your personal habits such as whether you are a smoker
    • Your family’s history with cancer or other health problems
    • Your diagnosis and medical history.

    Once we agree to work together, we will get immediately started on your case. However, this won’t be the last time you hear from us. You can expect us to stay in constant contact with you. We will keep you informed about your case at every stage. We also will always be available to answer your questions.


    Because of our experience with mesothelioma claims, we know what it takes to research and prepare a solid case. Our main focus will be on identifying the cause of your disease and who should be held responsible for it.

    Mesothelioma has been directly linked to exposure to asbestos, a toxic material that was once widely used in:

    • Auto parts (such as brakes or brake components)
    • Insulation (due to its flame-resistant properties)
    • Construction materials (such as tiles, shingles, cement, stucco and siding).

    Asbestos also was used to line pipes and boilers, making exposure common among dock workers and shipbuilders.

    We will research your military and work records to determine how and when you were exposed to asbestos. It may take anywhere from 10 to 40 years after exposure for mesothelioma to appear. So, this research must be thorough and may require overcoming many obstacles.

    Even if you were not directly exposed to asbestos at work, you may have developed mesothelioma from inhaling asbestos fibers that were carried home from work by a family member. For this reason, we will investigate their work history, too.

    Generally speaking, you cannot sue an employer for asbestos exposure from work. However, you can take action against the company that made, sold or installed asbestos-containing materials – without warning about health risks. Our goal will be to identify those parties.

    Additionally, we will review your medical records and consult with experts. We believe that the more solidly prepared your claim is, the faster it can be resolved.


    After we have gathered and analyzed as much evidence as possible, we will proceed with filing your mesothelioma claim with either a victims’ trust fund or in the proper court.

    Many companies that have exposed people to asbestos have set up special funds to compensate victims or their surviving family members, including companies that may now be bankrupt or closed. We can file a claim if such a fund is available in your case.

    Otherwise, we will likely file a lawsuit, or complaint, in court. Typically, the court will be in the parish where the asbestos exposure occurred or where the company is based. However, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit in another state or in a federal court.

    The lawsuit will allege the facts in your case, describe the harm you or your family members have suffered and state the legal theory that your claim is based on.


    After a mesothelioma lawsuit is filed, the party that is sued – or the defendant – will have 30 days to file a response, or answer. The party will either admit or deny your allegations.

    The next stage will be a formal evidence-gathering process called discovery. We can request documents, submit written questions (called interrogatories) and seek sworn written statements (affidavits) or oral statements (depositions).

    The defendant(s) may ask you to give a statement in a deposition or to submit to medical examination. We will be your side throughout that process. Our goal will be to ensure your rights are fully protected.

    If the defendant(s) resist during discovery, we may need to get a court order that compels them to cooperate. If any evidence is destroyed, we can file a claim based on spoliation of evidence.


    The goal of investigation and discovery is to present your case for a settlement demand. We can make this demand in a carefully prepared demand letter or in a demand package that contains documents, graphics and videos.

    Any demand we make will seek full and fair compensation for your:

    • Past and future medical expenses
    • Lost wages and inability to earn future income
    • Pain and suffering
    • Loss of a loved one’s services and companionship

    If your loved one dies from mesothelioma while a claim is pending, you may step into his or her place. If your loved one has already passed away, it would be proper to bring a Louisiana wrongful death claim that seeks a different set of damages, including compensation for burial expenses or lost financial support.

    A settlement may be reached if liability is admitted or clearly established, and if your claim for damage has been solidly supported with evidence. However, if the defendant(s) refuse to agree to a reasonable settlement, our legal team will be well-prepared to take your case into court. You may not need to testify or even appear for the trial.

    The trial may focus on establishing liability and damages. However, if liability is admitted, the trial may only concern how much you are entitled to receive in compensation.

    Both sides can present evidence, including exhibits and testimony. They can also cross-examine each others’ witnesses. At the end of the trial, a judge or jury will return a verdict, and the judge will enter a judgment.

    After a judgment is entered, either side can file a post-trial motion. For instance, a defendant may file a motion to reduce the amount of a judgment. Either side can file an appeal.

    At Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, we will stay on your case and resolve any post-trial litigation. Also, we can continue to seek a settlement throughout trial and even after a judgment.


    If a settlement is reached, we will move quickly to collect the funds and properly disburse them. The settlement may be paid in a lump sum or in a series of payments.

    It is possible that a lien may be attached to your recovery such as one filed by a health care provider or workers’ compensation insurer. We can resolve those liens as efficiently as possible.

    If a judgment is entered, we will take any actions necessary to enforce the judgment and collect the funds owed to you, including interest. We won’t rest until you have been paid.


    The mesothelioma lawyers of Neblett, Beard & Arensault will work hard to resolve your claim as quickly as possible, whether it is through a trust fund claim, settlement or verdict. Our goal will be to ensure you are paid for all of the harm you have suffered due to wrongful exposure to asbestos.

    When you are ready to take action, please contact us by phone or online. We serve clients throughout Louisiana. We can get to work for you today.

  • What do I need to know about renting a car after a traffic accident in Louisiana?

    Person Unlocking Rental Car in Louisiana

    Imagine you were just in a car accident (for some you actually just were), it wasn’t your fault, your car is either totaled or it’s getting repaired, and now you’re asking the question how does everything work with obtaining a rental car after a car accident? You’re not alone with this question. In fact – this question is asked quite frequently because transportation after a car accident is a serious thing that needs to be resolved or it can make life even more difficult than what it already is after an accident. This article is designed to answer all of your rental car/car accident questions, if you still have questions that aren’t answered in this article, give us a call. We’re ready to talk.

    Important Note – Every Insurance company is different along with their policies, therefore it’s vital to always be communicating with your insurance company after a car accident on your rental car options.

    Am I Entitled To A Rental Car in Louisiana After  A Car Accident?

    If you’re the owner of the car that was damaged and needs repairs because of the car accident and clearly you weren’t at-fault you have a strong chance of getting a rental car ‘paid-for’ by the at-fault drivers auto insurance company. It’s not as easy as it sounds and there are some of these things listed that you might have to prove:

    • Was the other driver at-fault? Is it obvious or questionable? Questionable can mean more of a hassle getting the rental car paid for.
    • Are the repairs clearly from the accident? With major accidents this can be obvious, but with small ones this can be a fight.
    • Are the stories matching up clearly between the drivers? Insurance companies just don’t hand out money. If there’s nothing questionable and the stories are matching up there’s a good chance the insurance company of the at-fault driver will cooperate.
    • Does the at-fault driver even have car insurance? If the driver doesn’t you’ll want to keep reading.

    Be sure to communicate with your insurance rep after the accident to see what your entitlement options are.

    What Is Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage?

    Rental reimbursement coverage on auto insurance policies means the insurance company will reimburse you financially for the rental car charge after a car accident, regardless of who was at-fault. You’ll want to discuss the coverage option with your insurance company because some insurance companies will offer different minor details but for the most part this coverage will kill the hassle of getting a rental car after an accident.

    If the other driver ended up being at-fault your insurance company will then receive the financial compensation that they paid to cover the rental after your car accident.

    What Steps Should I Take In Obtaining A Rental Car After An Auto Accident? 

    Attorney AdviceThe steps are very basic and standard after all car accidents. You’ll want to get the other driver’s insurance and contact information. Get the police report. Get as much evidence as possible from the scene and the vehicles by taking photos, writing down testimonies of witnesses, and documenting everything you remember. Then get the medical help. Get in touch with your insurance company. Once you’re in touch with your insurance company they’ll give you a good idea of your options for body shops, car rentals, and compensation. If you feel that you’re losing money in any way you’ll want to touch base with our attorneys.

    Am I Able To Choose The Rental Car Company Of My Choice After A Car Accident? 

    This is completely up to your auto insurance company. Usually they have relationships set up, so you’ll want to talk with them.

    What Are My Options With Renting A Car If The At-Fault Driver Wasn't Insured? 

    What Are My Options With Renting a Car if the At-Fault Driver Wasn't Insured?

    If you don’t have rental reimbursement coverage you’ll want to first talk with your insurance company, there’s a slight possibility they’ll pay for the rental car in this situation. If not, you’ll want to get with an auto accident attorney and discuss your options for retrieving money for the rental car and more. If the at-fault driver who wasn’t insured does have a job there’s a possibility you can have some of their wages garnished. Please note that it is more difficult to get larger amounts of money from at-fault drivers who aren’t insured.

    How Long Does It Take After A Car Accident To Get A Rental Car?

    If you have rental reimbursement coverage it can be as soon as you’re in touch with your insurance company. If you don’t have that coverage it can take time if you’re waiting on money from an at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you really believe the other driver is at-fault, and you don’t have rental reimbursement insurance, you can take the risk and rent the car immediately and just save the receipt and give a copy to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If they don’t pay it you can connect with one of our attorneys and they can discuss the options you have to get that money back and more. Just remember, there’s a risk and chance you will not get the money back if it’s questionable on who is at-fault for the accident. Insurance companies don’t pay immediately and will often take a couple weeks because they want their claims adjusters to review everything.

    Can I Pick Any Rental Car That I Want After An Accident? 

    This is another question that will depend completely on your insurance company or the insurance company of the at-fault driver. What will often happen is they’ll permit for you to get a car that’s an equivalent economic value and size.

    How Long Do I Get To Keep My Rental Car After A Car Accident? 

    How long do I get to keep my rental car after a car accident?Most states will allow you to keep the car rental until you receive the check from the at-fault driver’s insurance company or until your car is fixed if it’s not totaled. Be sure to document all of your communication with your insurance company and to ask how long you can hold onto to the rental car.


    Does The At-Fault Driver's Auto Insurance Company Pay For The Rental Car? 

    The cost of the rental car is calculated into the cost of the accident. Once a driver is declared to be at-fault for the accident their insurance company will be responsible for covering the financial damages of the whole accident, which includes the rental car. If they don’t you’ll want to get with an attorney to learn about your options.

    If The Other Driver's Insurance Doesn't Pay For The Rental Car - Will My Insurance Company Pay? 

    Who Pays For A Rental Car After An Accident?Sadly oftentimes your insurance company will not pay. It depends, so you’ll need to ask them. If the at-fault drivers insurance company is not paying for the rental car you’ll want to be in touch with an attorney and with your insurance company. This is where car insurance companies can be cheap so you’ll want a car accident attorney on your side. If you have rental reimbursement coverage usually your insurance company they will go after the at-fault driver’s insurance for the money.

    If The At-Fault Driver's Insurance Doesn't Pay For The Rental Car Can That Be Included Into The Compensation Of The Lawsuit? 

    If the accident never happened you wouldn’t have to rent the car. Therefore, the rental car fees are a part of the damages that the car accident created.

    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 the four types of Mesothelioma and the symptoms of each?

    Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that affects the tissues lining the chest cavity, abdomen, heart, and many of a person’s internal organs. This tissue lining is called mesothelium and is made up of mesothelial cells, thus the name for the cancer. The primary risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, which can be found Mesotheliomain common industrial and household materials such as insulation, floor tiles, shingles, and auto parts.

    Physicians categorize mesothelioma into four types, which are based on where in the body the cancer is found. Symptoms and treatments vary depending on the type of mesothelioma a person is diagnosed with, but unfortunately there is no cure.


    Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of the disease. In fact, the American Cancer Society reports that about 75 percent of mesothelioma cases are categorized as pleural. This type of mesothelioma affects the chest cavity and the tissue around the lungs.

    Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:

    Pain under the rib cage

    • Coughing that is painful, dry, or persistent
    • Shortness of breath
    • Lumps under the skin on the chest
    • Weight loss
    • Fever or excessive sweating
    • Fatigue

    Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma because when materials containing asbestos are disturbed, the asbestos fibers go airborne and are most often inhaled. This means that a factory or construction worker does not have to be working directly with asbestos insulation or other building materials to develop mesothelioma; people who are just in the vicinity of asbestos products can inhale the fibers and develop cancer.

    Treatment options for pleural mesothelioma vary depending on how advanced the disease is when a person in diagnosed. However, because mesothelioma can take 10 to 60 years to develop, the cancer is often advanced by the time a person is diagnosed. Unfortunately, there is no cure for pleural mesothelioma, and the disease is often fatal. However, the following treatments may extend a patient’s life:

    • Surgery to remove the bulk of the cancer, the affected lung, or the tissue around the lung
    • Insertion of a tube in the chest to reduce fluid build-up
    • Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells
    • Radiation to target specific concentrations of the cancer
    • Clinical trials to experiment with new treatment methods such as targeted, biological, or gene therapy


    Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second-most common type of mesothelioma, affecting the tissue lining the abdominal cavity and surrounding abdominal organs.

    Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:

    • Pain or swelling in the abdominal area
    • Lumps in the abdomen
    • Constipation or intestinal obstruction
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Weight loss

    Peritoneal mesothelioma is most often caused when a person ingests asbestos fibers, which then lodge in the organs in the abdomen. Treatment for this type of mesothelioma can be complicated due to the complex connections among organs in this part of the body. Treatment options, which vary depending on the stage of the cancer, include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and other post-surgery treatments.


    Pericardial mesothelioma is a rare form of mesothelioma, accounting for about 5 percent of new cases each year, according to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. It affects the tissue around the heart, with symptoms including difficulty breathing, chest pains, fluid in the sac surrounding the heart, coughing, and heart palpitations. Exposure to asbestos is again the culprit in causing pericardial mesothelioma, although it is unclear how exactly the fibers make their way to the pericardial area. Treatment options include radiation and chemotherapy.


    Testicular mesothelioma, also called mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis, is also very rare. It affects the tissue around the testicles. Due to the rarity of this type of mesothelioma, symptoms are not clearly defined, although the most common reported signs are a lump or swelling in the testicle. Exposure to asbestos is the determining cause of testicular mesothelioma, and the standard treatment is radical orchiectomy, which involves removing the testicle(s).


    Mesothelioma is a devastating cancer with no cure, but it has a definite cause: Asbestos exposure affects people throughout Louisiana, including those who work in factories, oil refineries, construction sites, shipyards, textile mills, and salt plants. Even loved ones of these workers can be exposed when asbestos fibers are transferred from clothing or uniforms.

    Remember that it can take 10 to 60 years for mesothelioma to develop, which means a person may need to think back decades to determine how and where they were exposed to the asbestos. However, victims of mesothelioma have limited time to take action.

    If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact the attorneys at the Louisiana law firm of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault right away. The attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault represent mesothelioma victims throughout the state of Louisiana and can assist you immediately. Our attorneys are adept at handling these types of complicated legal claims and ensuring expedited access to Social Security Disability benefits.

    You can contact us online or call us directly at 318.541.8188 for your free consultation.



    American Cancer Society

  • I was a passenger in a car accident. Can I still receive compensation?

    Thousands of car accidents occur in the state of Louisiana every year. In fact, according to the Louisiana State Police, the state averaged over a recent three-year period:

    • 449 fatal crashesPassenger Injured In Car Wreck
    • 11,348 injury crashes
    • 23,121 property crashes.

    Many of those harmed in these car accidents are passengers who may have many questions about their legal rights, including the right to seek just compensation.



    If you were a passenger involved in a crash, then the driver of the vehicle you were traveling in should have insurance that will pay for your injuries if that driver was responsible for the crash. If the driver of the other vehicle was at fault, then that driver’s insurance policy should cover your losses.

    These payments will be sought under the at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage. (As a note, bodily injury coverage is designed to pay for the medical expenses and funeral costs of those who are injured in an accident but does not cover the policyholder). If the at-fault driver does not carry insurance, you may be covered under the insurance policy of your driver’s uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.

    According to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, if the owner of the car that you were in at the time of collision has medical payments coverage, then this coverage type is designed to cover your injuries as a passenger – regardless of who was at fault.

    However, medical payments coverage is optional in Louisiana. For this reason, the driver of the vehicle in which you were traveling at the time of accident may not carry this insurance type.



    If you were a passenger involved in a wreck in a car you owned, recovering compensation under your own insurance policy can be complex.

    If the driver of the other car was at fault for the accident, then you can file a claim under his or her bodily injury policy. In the event that this driver does not carry insurance, you are allowed to seek recovery under your own uninsured or underinsured insurance motorist (UIM) policy – assuming that you have these policy types.

    However, if the driver of your car was to blame for the accident, then you will have to double check your policy to determine whether your insurance company will allow you to seek damages under your own bodily injury coverage. Again, if you have medical payments coverage, this coverage type will pay for your injuries regardless of fault.

    To summarize, policies that you may seek damages from in the event that you are in a car accident as a passenger include the insurance policy of the:

    • At-fault driver
    • Owner of the car driven by the at-fault party
    • Driver of the car that you were in at the time of the collision
    • Owner of the car that were in at the time of the collision.

    Keep in mind that the driver of a vehicle and the owner of a vehicle may not be the same. In many cases, you can seek damages from the policies of both parties.



    The compensation that you are able to recover will depend on the insurance coverage types available and the extent of damages that you have suffered. In most cases, though, you should be able to recover compensation for:

    • The full extent of your medical bills and future medical costs
    • Any property damage losses
    • Losses related to the accident such as lost wages.

    In some cases, you can also seek damages for pain and suffering. This is especially true in the event that you file a lawsuit.

    In Louisiana, there is no cap on the amount of non-economic damages that you can recover in a car accident passenger lawsuit.



    Louisiana is an at-fault car accident state, or tort liability state. So, if you are injured in a car accident as a passenger, you have the right to file a lawsuit in order to recover damages. You are allowed to file a car accident passenger lawsuit directly against the at-fault party.

    Sometimes, a car accident claim will also go to litigation in the event that you cannot reach a fair settlement amount with the insurance company.

    When an insurance company makes you an offer, you do not have to accept it.Often, a settlement offer is lower than what you truly deserve.

    If negotiations for a more appropriate settlement fail, then you may bring the case to court. During the litigation, it will be essential that you prove the negligence of the party who caused the accident and prove the extent of the damages that you suffered.



    After a car accident, it will be important that you act quickly. If you do not, you may forfeit your right to recover damages at all. Under Louisiana Laws section 3492, you have only one year to file your claim. If you wait longer than the one-year time frame, then you may be permanently barred from recovering damages.



    After a car accident in which you were a passenger, you may feel helpless about where to turn next. Rather than facing these challenges on your own, let an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney help you.

    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.