Assisting Accident Victims in Louisiana with Recovering Monetary Compensation for Their Personal Injuries
Office Location: 400 Poydras Tower, #1975, New Orleans, 70130
From New Orleans to Baton Rouge to the Gulf Coast, Louisiana presents many recreational options for locals and tourists alike. Mardi Gras in particular brings a large influx of visitors from other parts of the country and the world. With the increased numbers of people come busier roadways, public places, and waterways, which can lead to an increased number of accidents. When an accident occurs as a result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, the accident victim may recover monetary compensation for the damages and injuries suffered.
If you sustained injuries in an accident, the experienced team of attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Personal Injury Lawyers are ready to help. Our law firm has helped injured victims recover compensation for more than two decades. Our intake department is available for your free consultation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
Types of Accidents
Serious accidents usually occur totally out of the blue and typically catch accident victims off guard. Some common examples of Louisiana accidents resulting in serious personal injuries and damages include:
- Motor vehicle accidents—when one motor vehicle collides with another motor vehicle head-on, in the rear, or on the side, potentially resulting in property damage to both vehicles and personal injuries to the vehicle occupants. Involved motor vehicles can include cars, trucks, tractor-trailers, and motorcycles.
- Boating accidents—when one watercraft collides with another watercraft or with something else in the water, such as a dock or jetty, causing personal injuries to those on board
- Defective product accidents—when a defective product causes the user to become injured after the product explodes, catches fire, or does something else that it is not supposed to do
- Pedestrian accidents—when a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian on the road, at a traffic intersection, or in a parking lot or garage, leading to serious injuries and damages
- Slip and falls—when a business patron or guest falls on someone else’s property, sustaining injuries
If you have sustained personal injuries in one of these types of accidents, the skilled legal team at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers can review your case with you and determine whether you have a compensable claim.
Reporting the Accident and Injuries
If you have sustained personal injuries in an accident that was not your fault, the first thing you should do is report the accident, as well as your injuries, to the appropriate person. In the motor vehicle accident context, for example, you should immediately call 9-1-1 and obtain emergency medical treatment at a local emergency room or hospital facility. The same is true if you are involved in a boating accident.
Similarly, if you sustain injuries in a slip and fall accident, you should report your injury to the premises owner or manager as soon as possible. You should also make sure that the manager completes an incident report documenting how the accident occurred and the injuries you sustained.
When it comes to asserting a Louisiana personal injury claim, accurate and complete documentation is key. The >team of Louisiana personal injury attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers can obtain all of the necessary documentation to help you achieve success in your case.
Seeking Initial Medical Treatment
As soon as possible after sustaining your injuries, you should seek to follow up medical care and treatment. You should obtain this treatment at a local urgent care facility or emergency room. Immediate follow-up medical care is important even if you are not sure that you sustained serious injuries in your accident. This is because some injuries—especially soft tissue injuries—do not manifest themselves until a day or two after the accident.
While you are in the emergency room, you should be descriptive about all of your pain and injuries so that there is no question later on. You should also ask the doctor or nurse on duty to examine you. If the emergency room doctor prescribes medication for you, such as painkillers or muscle relaxers, you should fill those prescriptions as soon as you are able.
Completing Your Medical Treatment
Emergency room health care providers will typically provide patients with a series of discharge instructions upon being released from the hospital. As part of those instructions, emergency room doctors usually recommend that their patients follow up with a primary care doctor and seek additional medical treatment as needed. They may also refer the patient to physical therapy at a different facility.
Upon your release from the hospital or urgent care facility, you should be sure to comply with all of the doctor’s discharge instructions and recommendations—including following up with your primary care doctor, if necessary. Failing to comply with these instructions gives the insurance company ammunition to downplay the severity of your injuries—or to otherwise argue that you did not comply with your treatment plan.
The Louisiana legal team at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers can answer all of your legal questions as they pertain to your injuries and medical treatment. Our team of lawyers and legal professionals may also be able to recommend a treating doctor or specialist for medical care. We can thoroughly handle the legal end of your personal injury case while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Filing a Claim and Recorded Statements
Once you file a claim for personal injuries, the insurance company’s adjuster may reach out to you in an attempt to obtain a recorded statement. Typically, an adjuster will not request a recorded statement unless he or she feels that some circumstance in your case is questionable. Be aware that nothing about a recorded statement is meant to help you or the value of your personal injury case. Rather, the ultimate purpose of a recorded statement is to try and give the adjuster the ammunition they need to deny fault in your personal injury case.
Contrary to what an opposing insurance company’s adjuster may tell you, you are not required to provide a recorded statement in a personal injury case. If an adjuster asks you to provide a recorded statement, you should respectfully decline. You should never agree to a recorded statement outside the presence of legal counsel.
Once a claim has been filed, the accident victim’s attorney normally submits a settlement demand package to the insurance company adjuster who is handling the personal injury case. The demand package typically includes a monetary demand for settlement, along with copies of all pertinent treatment records and bills. Upon review, the insurance company adjuster makes an initial offer on the personal injury case.
Initial offers by insurance company adjusters are notoriously very low. Adjusters make these low settlement offers in order to try and settle it for as cheaply as possible and to get rid of the personal injury case quickly. After several rounds of negotiation, the accident victim can decide whether to settle the case or file a lawsuit for damages.
The team of Louisiana personal injury attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers are experienced at settlement negotiations. Our team of lawyers and legal professionals will do whatever it takes to highlight the strengths of your case and maximize its settlement value.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In some cases, it is necessary for an accident victim to file a lawsuit in order for the insurance company to take a case seriously. Just because a lawsuit is filed, however, does not necessarily mean that the case will proceed forward to trial. Personal injury cases can settle at any point during the litigation process, up to and including the day of trial. After filing a lawsuit in the Louisiana court system, the other side will file an answer, which will then begin the written and oral discovery process. The discovery process allows each side of the dispute to learn more about the other side’s claims, injuries, and defenses.
The team of attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers have successfully litigated thousands of personal injury cases through the Louisiana court system. Our team can assist you through the discovery process and help decide whether or not you should ultimately take your case to trial.
Proving Fault, Injuries, and Damages
To prevail in a Louisiana personal injury case, the accident victim must be able to prove that someone else caused the accident and that they sustained physical injuries and damages because of the accident. For example, in a motor vehicle accident case, the accident victim must be able to show that another driver caused the accident by speeding, engaging in distracted driving, or violating some other rule of the road.
The accident victim must also show that the accident directly brought about all of the injuries and damages sustained in the accident. Available compensation in a Louisiana personal injury case may include damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanency, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, and loss of spousal companionship.
At Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers, our experienced legal team will fight for your right to recover the damages that will make you whole and be sure that you are fully compensated for all of your injuries, pain, and suffering.
Comparative Fault in Personal Injury Cases
In some cases, the insurance company will try and claim that an accident victim did something to cause or contribute to an accident. In the motor vehicle accident context, for example, the defendant may claim that the accident victim was speeding or violating a traffic law, which ultimately contributed to the subject accident. When that happens, the doctrine of comparative fault comes into play.
Under Louisiana’s comparative fault law, each person’s percentage of fault is determined and apportioned in an accident. If the accident victim contributes to his or her accident, then the accident victim’s available monetary compensation is reduced in proportion to his or her degree of fault. For example, if a jury finds that the accident victim exceeded the speed limit by five miles per hour and that this negligence contributed to a motor vehicle accident by ten percent, then the accident victim can still recover 90 percent of the available damage coverage in the case.
At Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers, our law firm can help you fight a comparative negligence dispute and push for all available compensation in your case.
Call a Louisiana Personal Injury Law Firm Today to Discuss Your Legal Options
In every Louisiana personal injury case, you have legal options available to you. For example, you have the option of accepting a pending settlement offer on the table or filing a lawsuit and litigating your case. As your personal injury case proceeds forward, you may be faced with the option of accepting a higher settlement offer or taking your case to trial.
The team of Louisiana attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers understand that many legal decisions are extremely difficult and complex. Our law firm can guide you through the personal injury claims process and help you weigh the pros and cons of various decisions that arise during the course of your case. If you decide to take your personal injury case to trial, our team will make sure that you and any witnesses are fully prepared to make a strong and effective presentation in the courtroom.
Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers consist of nationally recognized attorneys and legal professionals who have protected the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact us right now for your free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
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See what past clients have to say:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“As a relatively new resident of Houston, I did not know of an attorney to contact for a personal injury suit. I randomly went through the yellow pages contacting two attorneys that had rejected my case prior to me contacting Stewart Guss. Stewart took my case on and settled for far more than I had anticipated. The silver lining of this is that I will now have enough money to go back to school for retraining, so I will be able to reenter the workforce in a new capacity. The paralegal, Angela, was kind and supportive throughout the process. If I did not understand the legal jargon, I did not hesitate to ask, and was never once made to feel that I was incompetent. Thank you Stewart and Angela for giving me a new lease on live.”
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Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.