Lafayette has a lot to offer to both residents and visitors alike. Everything from the food to the music to the language reflects the unique mix of Creole and Cajun cultures—and for a city of this size, Lafayette’s cultural legacy is unmatched. Whatever their reasons for coming to Lafayette, most people don’t intend to leave—which might explain why Lafayette’s population continues to enjoy strong growth while the overall state’s population creeps up much more slowly.
With so much to offer, tourists continue to pour into Lafayette, congesting the city’s roads like never before. Fender benders, rollovers, and T-bone accidents litter the roads. Unsurprisingly, car accidents are a daily occurrence, and they can happen to you when you least expect it.
If you suffered injuries in a Lafayette car crash, you might feel confused about what to do or where to turn. Our team of Lafayette car accident lawyers and legal professionals at the office of Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers offer FREE consultations to car accident victims. This no-strings, confidential consultation is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you decide to hire us to help you with your car accident claim, you never have to pay a DIME upfront, and we don’t get paid unless you get paid. We treat our clients like family and have thousands of satisfied clients, so please call us today at 800-898-4877 or CLICK HERE to discuss your situation and start the process right away.
Why Choose Our Law Firm for Your Car Accident Claim
The car accident attorneys at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers have successfully handled thousands of car accident cases. We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for car accident victims, and you can rely on us to fight hard to help you get the most compensation possible.
After your motor vehicle accident, you likely have a lot of questions about how to recover compensation to cover your medical expenses, property damage, and other losses. A Lafayette car accident attorney will sit with you and fully discuss your rights and options and complete all aspects of the insurance claims process so you don’t have to worry about it.
Honored for our success, our lawyers have earned consistent top rankings from members of the legal community as being among the best personal injury lawyers in the state. We have also received perfect 10.0 client ratings on Avvo and many client testimonials from injury victims we have had the pleasure to work with.
We always place our clients’ needs first, and we will treat you with utmost compassion and dignity as we aggressively pursue the maximum compensation for you. Our legal team is here for you 24/7, 365 days a year, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or CLICK HERE to submit your car accident claim for review.
Car Accident Statistics for Lafayette
As the fourth largest city in the state of Louisiana, Lafayette sees its share of car accidents each year. In 2022, Lafayette parish saw more than 4,000 injury car accidents and 19 fatal crashes.
After a car crash, victims often suffer from serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
- Soft-tissue injuries like sprains and strains
- Spinal cord injuries, such as paralysis
These accidents cost the city millions of dollars each year in lost productivity, as injured motorists must stay at home or in the hospital to recover. And injured victims often suffer lost wages from needing days off to recover, all while trying to cover medical bills that don’t stop arriving in their mailboxes.
Examples of Driver Negligence
The negligence of other drivers injures many of our clients. Careless, negligent drivers don’t intend to hurt you, but their lack of caution makes them dangerous nonetheless. The legal team at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers has seen all kinds of negligence, including:
Texting while driving
There’s a reason that 15 states and the District of Columbia have banned hand-held cell phones while behind the wheel of moving vehicles. Reading and driving at the same time is nearly impossible to do in a way that is safe for yourself and others while driving on the road. Instead of looking at the road, drivers are looking at a little screen and paying attention to other cars on the road or passengers crossing the street. Unfortunately, Louisiana has not yet banned texting while driving, and the practice causes many car accidents each year.
Talking on a cell phone
The simple act of reaching for a phone and accepting a call takes your eyes off the road for critical seconds. During that time, someone could step into the road, or a motorcycle or bicycle could swerve into your lane. All it takes is a fraction of a second to press the keypads on a phone for you to end up in a car wreck. And even if you do make or answer a call safely, an absorbing conversation can easily distract you, so hands-free cell phones are rarely the answer.
Driving too fast
The City of Lafayette posts speed limits on its roadsides for a reason—this is the maximum safe speed for driving in the area. When cars go too fast, drivers rob themselves of sufficient time to stop before plowing into pedestrians or other vehicles.
Drivers in a rush often pass illegally. Some pass-around bends or dangerously on the right-hand side of the lane. Illegal passing often leads to head-on collisions or sideswipes as drivers try to scoot back into their lanes.
In today’s economic climate, people are working harder than ever to support their families. Unfortunately, pushing yourself too hard means that sometimes you fall asleep behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Someone who is too tired to drive is negligent.
If a car accident takes place because of faulty brakes, or another part of the vehicle fails, a driver who doesn’t get their vehicle regularly serviced might face liability for any injuries that result.
These are only a few of the ways that negligent drivers can cause serious injuries in a traffic accident. Speak with one of our attorneys as soon as possible to review all relevant circumstances surrounding your car wreck.
Drunk Drivers in Louisiana
Any driver who gets behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated is a threat to the safety of our friends and families. Under Louisiana law, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more are legally intoxicated.
Drunk drivers cause unnecessary deaths and injuries in Louisiana each year. In 2022, five people died in Lafayette Parish due to drunk drivers behind the wheel, and 82 people suffered injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Louisiana’s drunk driving deaths and accidents exceed the national average:
- Nationally: 3.3 per 100,000 people
- Louisiana: 5.2 per 100,000 people
Louisiana’s numbers are almost 60 percent higher than the national average. Furthermore, about 2.5 percent of Louisiana adults report that they drove after drinking, much more than the national average of 1.9 percent. This is a tragic reality that Louisiana’s citizens and legislators must deal with.
Strategies that reduce drunk driving include sobriety checkpoints, where police set up roadblocks and randomly stop people to check whether they are intoxicated. Requiring the installation of interlock devices and suspending licenses after DUI convictions also helps. Unfortunately, Louisiana already does all of that, so bringing down the drunk driving rate will require more innovative means.
In addition to alcohol, other drug use can seriously impair drivers on Louisiana’s roads. Many drivers use the following before turning on the ignition:
These drugs work in different ways. Marijuana suppresses a driver’s reflexes much like alcohol, while amphetamines and cocaine increase a driver’s risk-taking behavior. If you suspect that someone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, contact law enforcement immediately.
If a drunk or drugged driver injured you or killed someone you love, you can seek punitive damages to punish the driver. Insurance companies do not pay punitive damages unless ordered by the court, so you can only pursue those types of compensation through either a car accident lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit. Keep in mind, the court only awards punitive damages at its own discretion, but an astute car accident lawyer can advocate for you to hold the responsible party accountable and help you get the justice you deserve.
Types of Compensation You Can Receive After a Lafayette Car Accident
After a car wreck that was not your fault, you can receive both economic and non-economic damages for your car accident injuries and losses.
Economic damages refer to the tangible losses you suffered that have a definitive dollar amount, and they are typically easy to calculate. They usually cover medical care and other out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a result of the accident, and you can receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Therapy costs
- Prescription costs
- Travel expenses you incurred seeking medical treatment
You can also receive compensation for other monetary losses, such as
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Property damage
You may also receive other forms of economic damages, and your attorney can help you determine what you can pursue.
You may also recover non-economic damages that can help cover intangible losses you experienced as a result of the accident and your injuries. Common non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Non-economic damages are meant to help you recover from the ongoing adverse effects the accident and your injuries have caused. Like with economic damages, your lawyer can help you determine which kinds you qualify for and the amounts you can realistically pursue.
As stated above, if your personal injury case goes to court, the judge may also award punitive damages on top of any economic or non-economic damages. These types of damages are usually only awarded in cases where the defendant’s wanton recklessness or unlawfulness caused the accident and seriously injured you or killed a close family member.
Personal Injury Claims Following Car Accidents
Since insurance covers most car accident injury claims, your Lafayette car accident lawyer will first file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Louisiana law requires drivers to maintain liability coverage on any cars they own in the following amounts:
- $15,000 for bodily injury per person
- $25,000 for damage you caused to another person’s vehicle or property
You can also buy uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to cover you if the at-fault driver does not have auto insurance. You will have to file a claim with your own insurance company, and you can have your attorney file the claim and deal with the insurance company for you so you don’t have to worry about it.
When they submit your injury claim to the insurance company, your lawyer will include a letter that details the accident and your injuries, and why the other driver was at fault. The letter will also include a settlement amount the insurance company can pay to settle your claim.
Dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating and time-consuming, and you will need an experienced car accident lawyer for help.
Beating Insurers at Their Own Game
Insurance companies pad their bottom line by denying perfectly valid claims and trying to shortchange you even when they do make payments. Protect your rights by not giving any statements to an insurance agent or signing any papers until you hire a personal injury lawyer to fight on your behalf.
The car accident lawyers at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers have seen injured motorists ruin their cases right out of the gate by saying something they shouldn’t. Trust us—insurers will use anything you say against you to deny your claim for fair compensation.
Likewise, insurers often flash quick money at victims in hopes of obtaining their signature on a settlement agreement. This agreement always contains a release from future liability, meaning you cannot sue the driver again—even if your compensation runs out and the insurance company severely underpaid you for the injuries you suffered.
The experienced car accident lawyers at our law firm understand how insurance companies work and the tactics they use to deny claims or reduce the amount they will pay. We will not let them undermine your claim, and we will negotiate to get you more money if they respond with a low offer that will not cover your losses.
Preparing Your Car Accident Personal Injury Claim
To obtain compensation for your injuries and losses, you will need to establish that you, in fact, suffered injury and the other party was liable. Your attorney will gather a lot of evidence and documentation to support your claim, including:
- The accident report and/or official police report
- Your medical records
- Testimony from your doctors regarding the severity of your injuries
- Your diagnostic and lab test results
- Photos of the accident scene and your injuries
- Your past pay stubs and other documentation to show the time you missed from work and lost wages
Your attorney may also gather any other information that is pertinent to your claim to build the strongest case possible so that the insurance company can’t deny your claim and will be more likely to pay what you ask for.
Car Accident Lawsuits
Although most car accident claims settle outside of court, in some cases, you may have to take your car accident case to court to get the money you deserve. Some reasons you may need a car accident lawyer to file a lawsuit in civil court include:
- The insurance company denied your claim and refused to settle
- The insurance company did not honor the settlement agreement or acted in bad faith regarding your injury claim
- Settlement negotiations broke down and your attorney could not settle the dispute
- The other driver did not have car insurance and your own insurance coverage did not cover all your medical expenses
- The at-fault party severely injured you or killed a close family member in a car accident they caused through their unlawful actions or blatant disregard for public safety.
At trial, your attorney will have to prove the other party owed you a duty of care and breached that duty through their negligence or wrongdoing. That breach caused the accident and your injuries, and you suffered damages as a result.
The car accident attorneys at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers have taken many car accident cases to trial with a high rate of success. We will start preparing your case for trial from the beginning so we will be ready to go to trial if we have to.
Also, Louisiana only allows you one year from the date of the accident to file your injury lawsuit in court, so you have no time to waste. Contact the Lafayette car accident attorneys at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.
Speak with a Lafayette Car Accident Lawyer at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a car accident in Lafayette, you need a Lafayette car accident lawyer by your side who is aggressive toward the insurance companies and will assert your rights to help you get all you deserve. You also want a lawyer who cares about your needs and will treat you and your family with compassion, empathy, and dignity as you deal with your injuries and losses.
The attorneys of Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers are nationally recognized car accident lawyers who have protected the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years.
We will provide personalized and aggressive legal representation throughout the entire legal process and fight tirelessly to help you get maximum compensation.
If you were injured in a car accident, 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 to you 24/7, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or complete our online contact by CLICKING HERE.
See what past clients have to say:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Mr. Guss was wonderful. He fought hard against the insurance company to get us what we deserved. I went from owing almost $5000 in medical bills to actually getting money in my pocket. Absolutely Amazing!!!!! A big thank you from me and my family!!!”
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.