Car Accident FAQs

Get Help Now

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.

  • Page 1
  • How common is drugged driving?

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

    How Drug Use Leads to Auto Accidents

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

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

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

    Louisiana’s Drugged Driving Law

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

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

    Protecting Your Rights After an Accident

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

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

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

     

  • Can music cause a distracted driving accident?

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

    Music as a Distraction

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

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

    Reducing Distractions on the Road

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

    Do Not Adjust The Radio While You’re Driving 

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

    Keep Your Music At A Lower Volume 

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

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

    Discussions with passengers can create additional distractions.

    What to Do After an Accident

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

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

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

     

  • Can passengers cause distracted driving accidents?

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

    How Passengers Can Lead to Distracted Driving Accidents

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

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

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

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

    Protecting Your Rights After an Accident

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

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

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

     

  • 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.