When you have suffered an injury in any type of accident or mishap, your mind goes quickly to the issue of compensation and whether you can receive money for your injuries. You will need the money to pay expenses and compensate you for the harm you have suffered. You have many steps to take before the check is in your account, and many things stand in your way. An experienced personal injury can help cut the red tape and get you the money you deserve.
Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Attorneys fight for clients to get every dollar they are due when they have paid the price because of someone else’s actions.
We are a national law firm based with multiple offices around the country. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you are located, we may be able to help you, so call or contact us now. Call us today to discuss your case and learn about your legal options. We are open, for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by clicking here to submit your case for review.
- What May Cause You to Have a Personal Injury Case
- Examples of Personal Injury Cases
- How to Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Case
- What Is Negligence in a Personal Injury Case?
- How Much Money Will You Receive in Your Personal Injury Case?
- Elements of Your Personal Injury Damages
- You Do Not Have Much Time to File a Personal Injury Claim
- The Stages of Your Personal Injury Case
- You Will Likely Need to Negotiate Compensation
- How the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process Works
- Why You Need an Attorney for a Personal Injury Claim
- This Is All Great, But How Much Will a Lawyer Cost Me?
- Contact Our Bossier City Personal Injury Lawyer Today
What May Cause You to Have a Personal Injury Case
Broadly defined, a personal injury case occurs when someone else has harmed you through:
- Gross negligence
- Intentional action
Examples of Personal Injury Cases
The harm most often involves physical injuries, but you can also suffer damage to your property and your emotions.
Here are some examples of when someone else’s actions can injure you:
- Car accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability
- Slips and falls
After a serious accident and injuries in the Bossier City area, you want Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Attorneys on your side.
How to Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Case
In most personal injury cases, you will need to prove that someone else was negligent to receive financial compensation. A few exceptions exist where the responsible party will be strictly or vicariously liable. However, in most cases, you need to prove an actual breach of the duty of care to get compensation for your injuries.
Here are the elements of the negligence test in a personal injury case:
- The other party owed you the duty of care
- They breached the duty of care by doing something unreasonable under the circumstances
- You suffered an injury
- You would not have suffered an injury had it not been for the actions (or the omissions) of the other party
What Is Negligence in a Personal Injury Case?
What may qualify as negligence depends on the case. When you have suffered an injury in any type of accident involving a car, a reasonable driver should follow all traffic laws and pay full attention behind the wheel.
If a driver rear-ended you or hit you while making an illegal lane change, we can hold that driver negligent. If you suffered an injury in a slip and fall, you need to show that the property owner knew, or should have known, of the dangerous conditions and did nothing about it.
In every personal injury case, you have the burden of proof. The good news is that you do not have the extremely high burden of proof that a prosecutor must meet to win a conviction. Instead of proving your case beyond a reasonable doubt, you need to show your facts were more likely than not to have occurred.
Still, you need ample evidence to persuade the insurance company to write a check or the jury to rule in your favor. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to gather the proof that you need and compellingly present it on your behalf. It is difficult to investigate your own accident when you are dealing with physical injuries.
Get Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Attorneys on your case as soon as possible. We can begin building proof of negligence, so you hold the proper parties liable.
How Much Money Will You Receive in Your Personal Injury Case?
Once you can prove that someone else should pay for your injuries, the question then becomes how much you deserve. They are likely represented by an insurance company, either in the settlement process or in court. The insurance company has an obligation to pay up to the policy maximum when their policyholder harmed you through their negligence.
It is hard to say how much money you may get without knowing the specifics of your case. Everything depends on your own injuries—in part, that is why it is called personal injury.
Elements of Your Personal Injury Damages
You may seek these damages in your case:
- Medical costs (and all costs related to your care)
- Lost income for time missed from work and a reduction in your earning power
- Pain and suffering for what you endured
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Embarrassment and humiliation
Families are also entitled to file a lawsuit under Louisiana’s wrongful death law if a loved one passes away from their accident injuries.
That is how things are supposed to work on paper. In practice, the insurance company tries to run roughshod over you during the process. The Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Attorneys know the tactics that the insurance company will try to use, and we can fight back on your behalf. Our clients do not get pushed around by adjusters or insurance company employees.
You Do Not Have Much Time to File a Personal Injury Claim
You must act relatively quickly in Louisiana to file a personal injury claim. State law only allows you one year from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. After that time, you will lose the ability to take legal action.
In that one year, you need to file a claim and try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.
If you cannot reach an agreement, you might need to file a lawsuit in court. Hiring an attorney is the first step in the legal process. They will take the steps necessary to ensure that you act in time and do not miss the deadline.
The Stages of Your Personal Injury Case
Here are the possible stages of your personal injury case:
- At the beginning of your case, your attorney is investigating your accident and working to build your case.
- Your attorney may file a claim on your behalf with the insurance company for the responsible party. They may go through the negotiating process to reach an agreement.
- Your attorney can opt instead to file a lawsuit. In that case, you will go through the court process, which can last a year or longer.
You Will Likely Need to Negotiate Compensation
The negotiation process can take a considerable amount of time. Your end goal is to reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company. You will file a lawsuit if you must, but the most likely result of your case will be a settlement agreement, where you waive the right to seek further compensation in exchange for a payment.
The insurance company’s interest is to settle your case for as little as possible. However, they do not have unlimited power over you or even any power over you at all. They are simply the party on the other side of the negotiating table, albeit the one who will write the check that settles the case.
If the insurance company does not make you a reasonable settlement offer, you can respond in several ways:
- You can say no
- You can counter with your own offer (which has the same effect as saying no)
- You can walk away from the negotiations and file a lawsuit in court
How the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process Works
If you need to go to court for your personal injury case, here is what you can expect in the case:
- Your case will begin when your attorney writes a legal complaint and files it with the court.
- The defendant will have a chance to file their answer with their own version of the facts.
- The most detailed part of the case is the discovery process, where your attorney has the opportunity to gather additional evidence that is in the defendant’s possession. You may also have your deposition taken, where you will need to answer questions under oath for seven hours from the defendant’s attorney.
- If you do not reach a settlement agreement, you will have a trial before a jury, where you might need to testify.
- The jury will then issue a verdict in your case, deciding whether you are entitled to money and how much you may get.
Only a small fraction of personal injury cases will actually go to trial. Even if you have filed a lawsuit, there is a strong chance that the case will settle before it reaches a jury.
As a plaintiff, going to the jury means you risk your entire compensation (although you may have no choice but to go to trial), but you might also get more than a settlement might be worth with the right representation. The insurance company is also taking their own risks if they go to trial. You need strong advocates in court to ensure the insurance company does not get its way.
Why You Need an Attorney for a Personal Injury Claim
You do not want to be on your own handling your own personal injury case. Not only are you dealing with serious injuries, but you do not have the knowledge of the legal process to go toe-to-toe with the insurance company, which has a number of built-in advantages.
Lawyers often talk about the process of dealing with the insurance company using terms that invoke combat. Your lawyer says that they are a fighter, and they will battle the insurance company. The reason why is that you need to fight to get what you deserve from an insurance company. They do not want to pay the full amount of your claim, and they will make it as hard as possible for you.
Our personal injury lawyers level the playing field in a process not necessarily engineered to work in your favor.
Our attorneys can:
- Determine the right party against which to file a claim (you can sue multiple defendants or even file a lawsuit against a company when an employee was on the job at the time they injured you)
- Investigate what happened to you, collecting the evidence you need to prove liability in your case.
- Work with experts and review your case to help figure out what you may seek in damages.
- Determine whether filing a claim with the insurance company or taking your case directly to court is more effective.
- Negotiate a possible settlement with the insurance company, either as part of the claims process or in response to your lawsuit.
- Argue your case in court if you cannot reach a settlement agreement.
This Is All Great, But How Much Will a Lawyer Cost Me?
Many people worry about the cost because they have heard that lawyers can cost a lot of money. That may be true of other law firms, but not Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Attorneys.
We recognize that you may not have money now to hire our lawyers, and we understand the many uncertainties involved with your case. Thus, we shift much of the risk of the case to our attorneys.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Attorneys, you commit to paying your attorney, but only if you win your case. We do not require you to pay a retainer upfront and then pay hourly charges whenever we work on your case. In a personal injury case, our attorneys receive a percentage of the proceeds of your case if you receive a settlement check or jury award. Even after you pay us, you will still likely do financially better than if you handled your own case.
Contact Our Bossier City Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Attorneys are the bulldog attorneys you need to go up against the insurance company after you have suffered an injury. We will hardly win any popularity contests with insurance companies, and for a good reason—we make them pay up.
The legal team of Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Attorneys, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If an accident injured you in Bossier City, call our office right now for a 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.