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 7
  • Can I still collect damages if I was partially at fault for the accident?

    If you were partly responsible for your car accident, you may wonder if you’re still eligible to collect damages. Laws regarding fault vary from state to state, but Louisiana does allow partially at-fault drivers to negligence and car accidentscollect compensation for injuries and property damage.

    How States Determine Eligibility for Damages

    Every state follows one of two models for determining your eligibility for damages following a car accident: contributory negligence or comparative negligence. Here is a brief look at each:

    • Contributory negligence. The basis of the contributory negligence concept is that you have a duty to avoid creating a risk of harm to yourself. When you fail to uphold this duty, you limit your right to receive compensation. For example, in a state following contributory negligence rules, you might not be able to receive compensation following an accident if you contributed to your injuries by failing to carefully look both ways before crossing the street.
    • Comparative negligence. The majority of states use a comparative negligence approach when assessing compensation eligibility following a car accident. Under this approach, your percentage of responsibility for the accident affects your ability to recover damages. There are two methods of assessing comparative negligence: pure comparative negligence and modified comparative negligence. Under the pure comparative negligence system, your damages are totaled, and the money you receive is reduced to reflect your responsibility for the accident. So, if you were determined to be 25 percent at fault and would have normally received $100,000, you'll be eligible for $75,000 in compensation. A modified comparative negligence system bars you from collecting damages if you are determined to be more than 50 percent at fault. If you are less than 50 percent at fault, you can still receive full compensation despite whatever you did to contribute to the accident.

    What System Does Louisiana Use?

    Louisiana uses a pure comparative negligence approach, which is also known as comparative fault. This means you can still collect compensation following a traffic accident even if your actions significantly contributed to the collision. Some examples of behavior that might indicate you contributed to the accident include:

    • Speeding
    • Following too closely
    • Running a red light
    • Failing to use your turn signals
    • Failure to yield

    Essentially, Louisiana’s pure comparative negligence system is built to realize that even the best driver is capable of making an honest mistake. Fault is assigned based on the severity of your conduct, recognizing that errors such as driving while intoxicated are much more significant than tailgating or failing to use your turn signal.

    How Is Fault Determined?

    There is no "magic formula" used to determine percentage of fault. The insurance claims adjuster will evaluate records from the accident and assign fault percentages, which means that fault assessments are somewhat subjective. Often, an experienced attorney can negotiate a lower percentage of fault on your behalf—which will increase your eligibility for compensation.

    How to Protect Your Legal Rights

    After a car accident, the most important step you can take to protect your legal rights is to avoid speculating as to who is responsible for the accident. Do not talk about the accident with anyone other than your insurance agent, local law enforcement, or your attorney. Stick to the basic facts only, avoiding any statement that could be interpreted as admission of responsibility for the accident.

    Even if you believe you were at fault, you could be mistaken. It only takes a few seconds for a collision to occur, and the stress of being involved in an accident can affect your perception of the event. It's best to focus on your recovery and let the claims adjuster and your attorney work out any applicable fault percentage.

    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 type of compensation can I recover after a car accident?

    Car accidents can create a serious financial burden, especially if you’re required to take time off work to heal from your compensation for car accidentinjuries. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by another driver, you’re eligible for several types of compensation that can help provide you with the resources you need to recover.

    What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?

    In general, a car accident claim involves compensation for four different types of damages:

    • Medical expenses. Reimbursement for your medical expenses includes all payments you make related to the accident such as hospital stays, pain medication, and physical therapy. If your personal injuries create the need for ongoing medical care, you can request compensation to assist with your future medical bills as well as for any modifications that are necessary to your home or vehicle after the accident.
    • Lost income. This type of compensation includes payment for time you were unable to work while recuperating, as well as any future loss of wages. For example, a surgeon who suffers accident-related nerve damage in his hands would likely be unable to continue operating. If he was forced to find other lower paying work, he'd be able to sue for the loss of his future income.  
    • Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a general term that refers to the physical and emotional trauma an injured person experiences during the accident and the recovery process.
    • Punitive damages. Punitive damages are relatively rare in cases involving auto accidents. These damages are awarded when the driver's conduct was particularly irresponsible. For example, someone who was driving drunk might be asked to pay punitive damages to deter further bad behavior.

    Who Pays for My Claim?

    When you are in an accident and the other driver is at fault, you'll likely recover damages from his liability insurance. If you are hit by a driver with no insurance or someone with insufficient insurance and no assets, your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage will pay your expenses.  

    Do I Need a Lawyer?

    In a simple accident where there are minimal injuries or property damages and fault is not disputed, the claim can likely be settled without professional legal representation. However, cases where fault is being contested or where you've sustained serious injuries can get complicated very quickly.

    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 much does it cost to hire a car accident attorney?

    After a serious car accident, you may need to enlist the services of an attorney to help you get the compensation you need to assist in your recovery. Many people worry they can't afford quality legal representation, but the personal injury attorneys who assist car accident victims typically work on a contingency fee basis that requires no upfront Hiring A Car Accident Lawyerpayment.

    What Is a Contingency Fee?

    There are generally three types of arrangements attorneys use to bill their clients: an hourly fee, a standard flat rate, and a contingency fee. In cases involving car accident claims, contingency fees are the most common.

    Contingency fees are sometimes referred to as a "no win, no fee" arrangement. If your attorney doesn't obtain a settlement, you don’t have to pay for his services. This is often seen as a mutually beneficial arrangement for both attorneys and their clients. Clients don't have to worry about paying upfront for legal representation when they are likely struggling to recover from their personal injuries. Attorneys have an incentive to maximize the recovered amount, resolve the matter quickly, and keep related expenses as low as possible.

    Costs Associated With Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit

    In addition to your attorney’s fee, you may also be responsible for certain expenses required to prepare your case. This includes the cost to obtain medical records and police reports, as well as postage and court filing fees. If your case requires an investigator and expert witnesses, additional fees will be added for these expenses.

    Often, fees related to the preparation of your case will be tallied and paid for out of the final settlement. However, some attorneys require that you pay these fees as your case proceeds even though you're not paying for their legal representation until you receive a settlement. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, ask how these types of costs will be handled before you select an attorney.

    We Work on a Contingency Basis

    The attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault help injured Louisiana residents get the compensation they deserve for auto-related accident claims while accepting cases on a contingency fee basis.

    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 I’m in a car accident with an uninsured driver?

    After an auto accident, most drivers exchange insurance information to assist in processing claims for injuries and property damage. However, it’s possible to be in a crash with an uninsured driver. If this happens, you may still be able to receive compensation and recover damages. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you collect on claims with a driver who has uninsured driversno auto insurance.

    How Many Drivers Are Uninsured?

    By law, every driver is required to have a valid auto insurance policy. However, many drivers ignore their state's insurance requirements and drive with no coverage at all. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that 12.6 percent of all drivers in the United States are uninsured, and 13.9 percent of Louisiana drivers do not have a valid insurance policy. However, this statistic is calculated based on insurance claims from motor vehicle accidents. The actual number could be significantly higher, since not all uninsured drivers will be involved in auto accidents.

    If You’re Involved in an Accident With an Uninsured Driver

    Normally, the at-fault driver's insurance carrier pays for accident related damages. However, when you are in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you will likely seek to have your claim paid by your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage or by suing the other at-fault driver directly.

    Louisiana state law mandates that every auto insurance policy sold in the state must contain uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, unless the driver declines the coverage in writing. Under the terms of this coverage, you can receive the difference between the amount the at-fault driver can pay and what you would be entitled to if that driver was properly insured.

    Seeking compensation from the at-fault driver is sometimes a good option, depending on the circumstances. Pursuing legal action against a low income uninsured driver with no assets would likely be a waste of your time and resources, but an underinsured driver who owns his own home and has sizable investments would have the resources needed to adequately compensate you for your damages. When you choose to seek compensation from the driver himself, you need the services of a car accident attorney to handle the details of your lawsuit.

    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 car insurance requirements in Louisiana?

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), two million people were injured in passenger vehicle accidents in 2014. Any traffic accident can be unsettling, and those involved may suffer minor injuries or serious ones. Because you may face repair bills and unexpected medical expenses, it’s important that you carry enough insurance car insurance requirementscoverage to pay for them, as well as the required amount set by your state laws.

    What Minimum Insurance Coverage Is Required?

    There are three main types of insurance coverage: liability coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. It’s important to understand each type and what it covers.

    Liability coverage is required by law to protect other drivers after you’ve caused an accident. Louisiana state law has the following minimum liability coverage requirements for drivers:

    • $15,000 in insurance coverage for the injury or death of a single person
    • $25,000 in insurance coverage for property damage, including damage to vehicles
    • $30,000 in insurance coverage for the injury or death of multiple people in a single auto accident

    Louisiana law also requires car insurance companies to include uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage with any new policy that is issued in the state, unless the driver decides to waive the coverage in writing. However, some drivers choose to purchase UIM economic-only coverage that does not allow pain and suffering damages. UIM property damage coverage compensates you for repairs to your vehicle, minus a $250 deductible and up to $25,000 or the actual cash value of your vehicle.

    Collision coverage pays to repair your vehicle if it’s determined that you’re at fault for the accident. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle from theft, vandalism, storms, or other incidents that are not related to a collision. Collision and comprehensive coverage are not legally required by state law, but they’re almost always required by your lender if you used an auto loan to purchase your vehicle. However, even people who pay upfront for their vehicles often choose collision and comprehensive coverage to provide added protection.

    Should I Purchase More than the Minimum Amount of Coverage? 

    Many drivers opt to purchase policies that provide higher coverage limits because a serious accident can easily create expenses that exceed the minimum state required liability coverage limits. When this happens, at-fault drivers who own property, have investments, or have other types of assets can be found liable for damages beyond what their insurance company is willing to pay. Without adequate insurance coverage, they may have to pay a significant amount that can negatively impact their investments and assets.

    If you’re worried about protecting your assets but want to avoid paying unnecessary premiums, comparison shopping is helpful. Insurance carriers can vary widely in their cost for policies. Many also offer discounts to help you save money such as a price break for purchasing your homeowner’s insurance and auto insurance from the same carrier.

    Louisiana Is a Fault State

    For insurance purposes, Louisiana is a considered a fault state. This means the at-fault driver is responsible for any damages incurred as a result. If you’re injured in an accident caused by another driver, your expenses will be paid by filing a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company or by filing a personal injury lawsuit. You won’t need to go through your own insurance carrier unless you were hit by an uninsured driver and need to use your UIM coverage.

    Sometimes, determining fault is difficult because both parties were partially responsible for the accident. For example, both drivers may have been speeding or one driver ran a red right and the other failed to yield. However, the driver who is determined to be 51 percent at fault is the one who has to pay for the associated damages.

    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 should I do if I have been involved in a car accident?

    what to do after an accident

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 700 fatal crashes in Louisiana in 2014. Whether you're a new driver or have logged thousands of miles on the road, being involved in a car accident can be an unsettling experience. 

    What to Do at the Scene of an Accident

    If you’re involved in a car accident, here are some steps to take immediately following the crash. These steps will assist the injured parties and help ensure you have the right evidence if you need to file a claim:

    1. Check for injuries. At the scene of the accident, your first priority should be to ensure that everyone is safe and evaluate your injuries. Even if yours appear minor, consider seeking medical attention anyway. Some conditions, particularly injuries to the neck and back, don't have immediate symptoms. However, if they end up causing problems later on, you want to have a record that links your injury to the auto accident.
    2. Call for help. Calling 911 will bring emergency medical services and law enforcement officers to the scene of the accident. If the situation is not an emergency, you can call the non-emergency number for local law enforcement who can arrange for the transport of any injured person to the nearest medical facility.
    3. Get your vehicle off the road. If you're able to, move your vehicle out of traffic and into a secure location, and turn on your hazard lights. If you have them, use cones, warning triangles, or flares as an added safety precaution.
    4. Notify your insurance company. Even if you believe the other driver is 100 percent at fault for the accident, you still need to notify your auto insurance company. There’s no guarantee the other driver has sufficient insurance coverage or that law enforcement will agree with your assessment of fault. If needed, your insurance company will send an agent to the scene, help you get your vehicle towed, and explain how to go about getting a rental car.
    5. Create a record. Jot down the time, date, and location of the accident. Get names and contact information for any drivers, passengers, or other witnesses. Note the license number and insurance information for any drivers involved. Take photos of the accident scene, including damaged portions of the vehicles, debris on the road, and signage or traffic signals.

    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 is distracted driving and what can be done to prevent it?

    Most people are familiar with the dangers and potential auto accident risks associated with drunk driving, aggressive driving and drowsy driving. The term “distracted driving” and the risks it poses are considered relatively new.

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” This means any time a driver’s eyes come off the road, hands come off the wheel or mind is off the task of operating a vehicle, it is a distraction which could lead to an accident, causing serious or fatal injuries.

    Before we owned smartphones connected to the Internet, drivers didn’t think twice about keeping their full attention on the task of driving. Today, the constant texting behind the wheel by many drivers means all travelers are facing a dramatically increased risk of injury or death as a result of distracted driving.
    Texting While Driving is Distracted Driving

    DISTRACTED DRIVING STATISTICS

    Statistics from the Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving reveal that in 2013, 3,154 people lost their lives and another 424,000 suffered injury in accidents and collisions involving distracted drivers. Younger drivers in their 20s allegedly accounted for 27 percent of the distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes that year. That number is not surprising considering how much time young adults spend talking, texting, and using their cell phones.

    An even more frightening statistic is that the government reports close to 660,000 people are driving while texting, using their cell phone or controlling an electronic device at any given moment during daylight hours. It only takes about five seconds for a car to go the length of a football field when traveling at 55 mph. That is also the average time a person’s eyes are off the road while texting.
    Navigation System

    WAYS A DRIVER CAN BECOME DISTRACTED

    Drivers can be distracted by any number of activities or objects. Some of the more common ways for a driver to become distracted include:

    • Hand-held use of a cell phone or smartphone to send or receive text messages, make or receive calls, read or send emails, use apps or post to social media
    • Hands-free calling, either through a cell phone or vehicle-enabled device
    • Talking or interaction with other passengers
    • Eating or drinking
    • Tending to personal grooming
    • Use of an in-vehicle navigation system
    • Programming or adjusting the radio, CD player, MP3 player, or DVD player
    • Attempting to use in-vehicle device in which the driver has no familiarity
    • Watching a video
    • Reading or trying to decipher directions on a map
    • People, objects or events outside the vehicle
    • Smoking
    • Trying to find a business or place
    • Moving objects instead the vehicle, such as pets, insects or bugs
    • Reaching for objects
    • Daydreaming

    Foggy Distracted Drive

    THE IMPACT FOCUS HAS ON ACCIDENT PREVENTION

    Drivers need to have their full, undivided attention on the task of driving from the moment they get behind the wheel of any motor vehicle. Individuals who have other activities or actions which pull their focus off the task of driving should do these activities prior to leaving or after arriving at their intended destination – or pull over. Your safety and security, as well as the safety and security of your passengers and others traveling along Louisiana state roads and highways depend on your ability to avoid driver distractions.

    The following are a few of the tips AAA and other companies offer to help driver avoid unnecessary distractions while behind the wheel:

    • If you do not want to turn your cell phone off, download an app that will block texts and calls while you are driving
    • Remind passengers that you need to focus on driving and get their help eliminating distractions
    • Be sure to get children, pets and any loose objects properly secured before you leave
    • If children or pets do need attention along the way, pull over to a place where you can safely stop, exit your vehicle and tend to their needs
    • Eat before you leave or once you arrive
    • If you need a drink, get one with a lid and straw to minimize the risk of spills
    • Tend to all personal grooming at home or upon arrival

    If you make the commitment to stay alert and focus your attention on the road, you can substantially reduce the risk of being involved in a serious or fatal vehicle-related accident. When driving, your safety and the safety of others takes priority.

    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.

  • Who pays for my damages after a car accident?

    Accidents happen, and it’s not always your fault. Which – we are all human and most of us who have lived can understand that accidents happen, mistakes happen, because that’s part of life. If someone claims they’ve never made a mistake behind the wheel chances are they’re very young, or naive. Now, if people or their insurance companies Insurance Adjusterare willing to pay for those mistakes we are willing to forgive and move on in life (not all will but most), especially if no one was severely injured or killed.

    The questions we ask are; did they pay the full price for the damages that came from the accident? What happens if they didn’t fully pay for all of the damages? Listed below are some items and things you should know about car accidents, and the potential options you can take. Read on and if you have more questions call us – our attorneys would like to talk to you and hear about your accident.

    WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT INSURANCE COMPANIES

    You might be fully aware that insurance companies are profit driven but what you may not know is how they save money after an accident happens. Remember saving money can mean more profitability for these companies, so undercutting the accident victim can help with profits. Here are some things you should know:

    • They look for ways to claim their client wasn’t 100% at fault for the accident. This is where you’ll always want to discuss your accident with a car accident lawyer. Their claims adjusters (employees responsible for investigating the accident) do this all day, everyday. Whereas this might be your first accident. Know that they’re very skilled in finding ways to blame you for partial fault. For instance – say you were talking to a friend on the phone while the accident happened, even though that phone call had nothing to do with the accident they will push to see if anything you did with that phone call influenced one minor negative driving detail to place a little fault on you.
    • They don’t ask about bills from the accident, you have to report it. Oftentimes what will happen is they’ll send you a check after a week. It will cover what they believed the accident to cost. Medical bills and other expenses will come in a couple months later after the accident. Sadly, they get away with this because victims don’t consider filing a car accident lawsuit. You can always try going to them and asking them to pay up, if they don’t get in touch with our firm and we can investigate it further to notify you of your options.
    • They go off what they believe your car to be worth. You might have bought the car brand new a year ago but because you put a few thousand miles on it, along with the lost value with time, they will write you a check and there’s a strong chance that check will not cover the loan amount remaining on the car. This can be tricky to fight in court so you’ll want to consult with one of our good car accident attorneys to see if you have a case.
    • The evidence is not convincing – If the evidence is not convincing sometimes they will not even write a check to you. Evidence can be quite tricky with car accidents and proving fault, and occasionally they will not pay as much because they don’t believe the evidence proves fault or they don’t believe there’s enough evidence. In these situations you’ll always want to talk with an attorney.

     

    YOUR OPTIONS AFTER AN ACCIDENT

    • Contact a lawyer – It’s your best option. With our firm the consultations are free. Lawyers know how insurance companies trick the system. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of car accident cases and they can let you know if you have a good case. In the free consultation they’ll even give you tips and thoughts on what the insurance company is thinking. Always a good option because it’s free and they’re professionals.
    • Work closely with your insurance company – This is not the greatest option because even your own insurance company is pushing to be profitable off of you. There is a possibility they’ll help you by contacting the other insurance company and they’ll ask for things to be changed. Don’t bank in this.

    With car accidents you don’t have many options. If you don’t do anything about the lost money it will just be a loss. Be sure to stand up for yourself and protect your legal rights.
     

    WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A LAWSUIT

    Car accident lawsuits may appear to be socially unacceptable, and may not be encouraged by friends and family. However, they set what is wrong, right. People truly experience damages after an accident, they aren’t just made up to get rich. If you experienced a damage in someway from an auto accident, and it wasn’t your fault – why should you pay the price? Imagine you do pay the price, what lesson does that teach the at fault driver? If the at fault driver doesn’t learn their lesson that can mean another person will experience the damages and pain you experienced. Car accident lawsuits can make the road safer. Justice deserves to be in the driver seat – get in touch with us if you have been in a car accident that needs attention.

     

    HOW TO GET MORE AFTER AN ACCIDENT

    Playing your cards right can help with car accident compensation. Here are some good tips –

    First – Document everything after the accident. Even if you have to email it off of your phone. Have statements that the other driver said documented,etc. It’s easy to forget things when life picks up after the accident. If you document it right you’ll never forget.

    Get Evidence –And get as much as you can. Witness testimonials, photos, police reports, anything and everything related to your car accident. The insurance company might ignore crucial evidence that you have and once they try to under pay you – you have a case to go after them to get more.

    Be Strong to Insurance Companies – You have rights, stand up for them. They get away with paying drivers less all of time because drivers don’t do anything about it. Be bold and strong and don’t back down unless a good experienced attorney tells you to.

    Hire a Good Experienced Car Accident Attorney – When someone works on car accident cases all day they have an idea of what to do. If they have the experience our attorneys have they know how to get the most compensation out of an accident. They know what it takes to have a great case. They’re worth it.

    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 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.

    WHAT IS THE AVAILABLE INSURANCE COVERAGE?

    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.

    HAS FAULT BEEN ADMITTED OR DENIED?

    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.

    HOW MUCH CAN YOU RECOVER IN DAMAGES?

    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.

    HOW MUCH TIME IS LEFT TO FILE A LAWSUIT?

    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.

    ALWAYS CONSULT WITH AN EXPERIENCED CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

    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 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.