Car Accident FAQs

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Sometimes, accident victims need simple answers to common questions. Here, the lawyers at the NBA Law Firm share their thoughts on many relevant accident topics to help you understand and protect your rights in Louisiana. These informative answers can help you learn more about what to expect and how best to move forward after an accident. Don’t see your question here? Fill out our online contact form to hear back from a member of our team who can address your unique needs.

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

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

    How Broken Facial Bones Occur

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

    Symptoms and Treatment

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

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

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

    Compensation for Broken Facial Bones

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

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

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

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

     

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

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

    About Internal Bleeding

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

    Signs of internal bleeding include:

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

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

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

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

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

    Seeking Compensation

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

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

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Compensation for Future Out-of-Pocket Expenses

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

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

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

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

     

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

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

    Evidence to Establish Liability

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

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

    Evidence to Document Damages

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

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

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

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

     

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

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

    What You Need to Know About Pelvic Fractures

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


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

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

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

    Filing a Personal Injury Claim

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

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

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

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

     

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

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

    Calling Neblett, Beard & Arsenault After an Accident

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

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

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

    No Cost or Obligation

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

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

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

     

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

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

    Employees Paid by the Hour

    Lost wages after a car accident Neblett, Beard & Arsenault

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

    Hourly Employees With Variable Hours

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

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

    Salaried Employees

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

    Independent Contractors or Self-Employed Business Owners

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

    Loss of Future Earning Potential

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

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

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

     

  • 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

    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.

    Obtaining Footage

    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.

    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.

     

  • Why does my lawyer need my personal information?

    During an initial consultation, a lawyer will ask about the basic details related to your case. This includes when the accident happened, what injuries you suffered, and how your injuries are affecting your daily life.

    Later in the process, he will likely ask for some information that is of a more personal nature. These questions might seem intrusive or irrelevant, but they are a necessary part of building a strong personal injury claim. Providing attorneys with personal information

    Personal Information Your Lawyer Needs to Know

    Your lawyer will ask about a number of issues that might seem embarrassing, but it's vital that you tell the truth. He may ask:

    • About your medical history. Your previous medical history is relevant because your lawyer must be able to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident and not the result of some other factor.
    • About any criminal record. A past criminal history may be used to argue that you are untrustworthy and, thus, either lying or exaggerating about your injuries.
    • About any drug or alcohol abuse. Substance abuse issues are part of your medical history and can also be used to attack your character.
    • About any financial problems. It's understandable to have some financial issues if an injury has affected your ability to work, but being deeply in debt before the accident might cause the insurer to argue you're being dishonest in hopes of a hefty settlement.
    • Divorce. A recent divorce or impending marital separation is significant because an angry spouse may provide testimony that casts you in an unfavorable light.

    It's becoming quite common for insurers to use private investigators or check social media for information that can be used to help them avoid paying a claim. As much as you may want to protect your privacy, sensitive personal information will come out eventually. Being honest upfront gives your lawyer the best chance for damage control.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

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

     

  • Can a personal injury claim include compensation for disfigurement?

    Disfigurement from a car accident is a life-changing reminder of the trauma you've suffered. If your injuries are the result of another person's negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  Compensation for disfigurement

    How Disfigurement Can Occur

    There are a number of ways individuals can develop disfiguring injuries from a car accident. These include:

    • Deep lacerations
    • Burns
    • Amputation of a limb
    • Surgical procedures needed to treat other accident injuries such as organ damage

    Disfigurement can occur on any part of the body. However, facial disfigurement is considered the most serious because this type of injury can't easily be concealed.

    Medical Expenses Associated With Disfigurement

    Some of the medical expenses you might have after suffering disfiguring injuries in a car accident include:

    • Emergency room care
    • Diagnostic tests
    • Follow-up visits
    • Cosmetic surgery
    • Physical therapy for burn scars that have affected movement
    • Prosthetics for amputated limbs
    • Medications prescribed by your doctor such as creams or ointments to reduce the itching and swelling as scars heal
    • Mental health counseling

    Keeping copies of all invoices and bills related to your treatment can make sure you're properly compensated for these expenses.

    Disfigurement and Employment

    Someone who has suffered disfiguring injuries in a car accident can expect a lengthy recovery process. This will likely involve taking time off work for doctor's appointments, surgery, and healing. All time missed from work due to your accident-related injuries can be included in your settlement.

    Disfigurement isn't something you'd normally expect to factor into your future earning potential, but it may be a factor if you're employed in a position that relies on maintaining a specific appearance. For example, models, actresses, news anchors, and entertainers must often meet specific physical requirements to succeed in their professions. However, even less prestigious positions that involve a great deal of public contact could be affected by disfigurement.

    If you believe your injuries will affect your ability to earn a living in the future, your attorney can find an expert witness to estimate the appropriate compensation. Vocational experts can testify as to what types of positions would be available given your skills, education, and the local labor market, while economic loss experts can testify as to the value of lost wages and employer-provided benefits over time.

    Pain and Suffering

    Pain and suffering in a personal injury claim refers to both physical pain and emotional trauma. In a case involving disfiguring injuries, it's common for victims to experience depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health symptoms as the result of how their appearance has permanently changed. Teenagers and young adults may be especially vulnerable to mental health complications related to disfigurement, since this is the time when self-esteem and a sense of self are being formed.

    If you are seeing a therapist as the result of the accident, she can provide insight into the pain and suffering you have experienced. You should also keep a journal documenting your feelings and how your injuries have affected your everyday life. These observations often prove valuable as a negotiating tool.

    Taking photos of your injuries as they heal over time can also be useful as supporting evidence for your case. Since it can take many months to reach a settlement in a personal injury claim, it can be difficult for the court to imagine what your injuries looked like immediately after the accident.

    How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help

    Most personal injury claims are settled out of court, but it's still in your best interest to retain an attorney. The at-fault driver's insurance company will have a team of attorneys working to protect its financial interests and will be reluctant to provide the compensation you deserve.

    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.