Stewart J Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, New Orleans Office 400 Poydras Tower Poydras St Suite 1975 New Orleans, LA 70130
Louisiana Statute of LimitationsEach year, there are an average of 1,763 Louisiana motorcycle accidents, 878 Louisiana bicycle accidents, and 46,000 Louisiana car accidents causing injuries. These wrecks can cost innocent victims hundreds of thousands of dollars. You might not know when to get an attorney for a car accident, especially if it’s your first accident, but beware: if someone gets injured in a wreck and wants to pursue a claim or a lawsuit, there’s a time limit called the “statute of limitations.” Statutes of limitations vary from state to state. According to the Louisiana Civil Code, the statute of limitations for a Louisiana car accident case is one year. (Check out our post for more on the Louisiana statute of limitations.) If you don’t take action before the deadline, the case may be dismissed and you will lose the right to any compensation. Fortunately, with the right attorney, you can build a strong case and prove the other party’s negligence. A lawyer will also ensure all paperwork is filed in a timely manner and all deadlines are met. It’s important to act fast in order to protect your rights! Your success depends on your ability to prove you were hurt by another person’s recklessness, and your Louisiana car accident attorney will need time to collect this supporting evidence.
Evidence in a Car Accident CaseDetermining car accident liability is a key part of an injury claim. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most complicated. That’s why when it comes to when to get an attorney for a car accident, time is precious. If someone else’s negligence caused an accident that left you injured, a car accident attorney can help you prove it. When you hire a car accident attorney, their expert team will obtain all available evidence to strengthen your case. This evidence may include but is not limited to:
PhotosA picture says a thousand words—and this old adage holds up in court! Whether they’re taken by you, a passenger, or a bystander, photos are important. If you’re able, start snapping pictures at the scene of the accident. Document everything from multiple angles. Take photos of road debris, vehicle damage, and your injuries, including how swelling or bruising may change over time.
Police ReportTypically, when you call 911 after an accident, police arrive at the scene and create an accident report. This Louisiana crash report contains important evidence about your accident, including when, where, and how it happened. To obtain a copy of a Louisiana accident report, visit the Louisiana crash report website and enter the requested info. Each report costs $11.50, and you may need to wait a couple of weeks after your crash for your report to be available. Note: Sometimes mistakes are made and police reports aren’t accurate. If there is an error in your accident report, a lawyer can help you.
Medical RecordsYou know you’re in pain, but how can you prove it? Certain issues may not be immediately apparent after your car accident, but diagnostic imaging can help uncover the source of your discomfort. That’s why it is important to receive a prompt examination by a medical professional and complete all suggested courses of treatment, such as physical therapy. In order to prove your accident-related injuries as well as your related medical expenses, your Louisiana car accident lawyer can obtain copies of your medical records from your healthcare providers.
Eyewitness TestimonyQuotes from people who saw the accident happen can help determine fault. Contacting witnesses promptly is urgent, as they may forget details as time passes. Try to collect contact information from any witnesses at the scene of the accident so your attorney can reach out to them later.
Expert Witness TestimonyAs they conduct their investigation, your Louisiana car accident lawyer may consult expert witnesses like economists, doctors, or accident reconstruction specialists to determine how your accident happened and how it will impact the rest of your life.
Video SurveillanceDid you know video from nearby businesses, dash cam footage, or traffic light cameras can be accessed during an accident investigation? As long as warning signs are posted within 500 feet, Louisiana allows cameras to be installed at intersections to catch drivers who run red lights. Red light camera tickets don’t go on your driving record, but you will have to pay a fine. Fine amounts vary by municipality and parish but generally range from about $150 to $225. If the accident involves injury or death, the careless driver may face higher fines, jail time, or have their license suspended. If available, a car accident lawyer can review video footage from numerous sources to find out how your accident happened.
Phone RecordsIf a lawsuit is filed, the at-fault driver’s cell phone records can be obtained via a subpoena. Then, your attorney can check timestamps and other data to prove you were hit by a distracted driver.
Proof of IncomeIf you’re injured in a car accident, you’re probably missing days or weeks from work. It’s not your fault, and you deserve compensation for these lost wages. A lawyer can use your pay stubs, time sheets, and/or statements from your employer as evidence to claim lost wages. Keeping track of all this can be overwhelming. Without the help of a lawyer, you risk overlooking important evidence. If you wait too long to begin a claim, you might miss out on compensation entirely. A Louisiana car accident lawyer can evaluate your losses and help you determine the value of your case, but they will need time to compile all the relevant evidence and build a strong case. The sooner you partner with us, the sooner we can help get the results you want!
What Should I Do After A Car Accident?The aftermath of a car accident is stressful and often chaotic, but there are some important steps you need to take:
- Safety first! Check all drivers and passengers for injuries and move out of the way of traffic.
- Call the police and seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think you need an ambulance ride, you still want to call the police so they can create an accident report. This report will serve as important evidence later. Additionally, as outlined in Louisiana Revised Statutes §32-398, you are legally required to immediately report any accident that results in injury, death, or more than $500 in property damage.
- Exchange information. Record the location, time, date, drivers’ names, drivers license info, auto insurance info, license plate numbers, and make and model of all vehicles involved. Whatever you do, don't apologize or admit fault. Due to Louisiana's contributory negligence law, your compensation may be reduced if you are found to be even partially at fault for an accident!
- Collect contact information from nearby witnesses. Ask them to wait until police arrive so they can give a statement, if possible.
- Take photos. The more, the better. Use your phone to take photos of all vehicles, signs, lights, road debris, tire marks, injuries, etc.
- Call your car insurance company. Let them know you've been in an accident, and provide them with the information you collected. Speak only in facts; don't try to guess any fuzzy details. What you say now could be turned against you later.
- Visit a doctor. Even if you felt mostly “fine” after the accident, new aches and pains can appear in the following days. If you ignore your symptoms or try to “tough it out,” your injuries could worsen or become permanent. Always prioritize your health. An attorney can connect you to the medical care you need.
- Talk to a local personal injury lawyer. To get informed about your legal options, get a free case evaluation from a Louisiana car accident lawyer. Together, you can plan your next steps.
How Can A Car Accident Lawyer Help?Let’s be honest. Handling a personal injury case is a full-time job. As an injured victim, you don’t have the resources to deal with everything involved—but a car accident lawyer can streamline the stressful process of filing an insurance claim and help you get back to your daily life. After a car accident, a personal injury lawyer can be your greatest resource. In addition to knowing the ins and outs of the laws that apply to your unique accident, they know how to build a strong case and how to advocate for you. Here are a few of the ways a car accident lawyer can help you today:
- Scheduling appointments with medical providers
- Assisting with vehicle repairs
- Providing transportation and/or setting you up with a rental car
- Collecting evidence and keeping track of paperwork
- Determining liability and proving fault, which can be especially tricky in multi-car accidents
- Calculating the true value of your car accident injury claim
- Writing demand letters and compiling settlement packages
- Negotiating with insurance adjusters
- Meeting deadlines and staying mindful of the statute of limitations
- Filing a lawsuit, representing you in court, and presenting your case to a judge and jury if necessary
- Settling your claim and paying off your liens
- And more!
Frustrated with the Insurance Company? Let Us Do the Talking!If you were hurt in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and so much more. However, the insurance claims process can be frustrating and even downright discouraging. There are bound to be loopholes—some helpful, some harmful—but you'll never know unless you consult a car accident attorney. We’re equipped with a thorough knowledge of the law, as well as the tactics and strategies Louisiana insurance companies employ.
- Is the insurance company avoiding your calls?
- Are they pressuring you to give a recorded statement?
- Are they trying to gain access to your medical history?
- Did you receive a settlement offer that’s too low?
How Much Does A Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer Charge?Like most personal injury attorneys, our Louisiana car accident lawyers work for a contingency fee. This means you pay nothing up front, and if you don’t get settlement money, neither do we! Best of all, we can help you avoid lowball settlement offers and maximize your compensation. A win for us is a win for you! If we help you win your case and settle your claim, we deduct legal fees from a portion of the final settlement amount.
Free Consultation from A Louisiana Car Accident LawyerTo summarize what we’ve covered on this page:
- The Louisiana statute of limitations for car accidents is only one year.
- A car accident lawyer needs lots of time to collect evidence for a case.
- A lawyer can also deal with insurance companies and make the rest of your recovery go smoother.
- Therefore, if you get hurt in a car accident, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
- FREE case evaluations are available now.
Read More: What is A Reasonable Settlement for A Car Accident in Louisiana? How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Louisiana? Louisiana Personal Injury Statute of Limitations What Percentage Do Car Accident Lawyers Take in Louisiana? What Kind of Cases Do Personal Injury Lawyers Handle in Louisiana? How Long Does It Take to Settle A Personal Injury Case in New Orleans? How Do You Negotiate A Car Accident Settlement Without A Lawyer in New Orleans? Is It Worth Getting A Lawyer for A Minor Car Accident in Louisiana? Hit & Run Guide | New Orleans Car Accident Lawyers