WHAT IS “PERSONAL INJURY”?

Personal injury law refers to an area of law which involves injuries to people that are caused due to negligence, wrongful conduct or carelessness of others. For example, if the owner of a restaurant failed to clean up a spill in a timely manner or failed to put a warning sign up, and a patron slipped and fell because of the spill, the restaurant owner may be able to be held legally responsible for the patron’s injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering.

WHAT IS NEGLIGENCE?

Negligence is defined as causing harm to another person because of one’s actions or inaction, or because of a failure to provide reasonable care. The failure to exercise caution when driving, the failure of a property owner to properly maintain property grounds, and the failure of a doctor to provide the acceptable standard of care are all forms of negligence. A personal injury lawyer can help a victim of negligence to bring a lawsuit against the responsible party in order to seek financial compensation for injuries and losses suffered.

WHAT CAN I RECOVER FINANCIAL COMPENSATION FOR?

You may be able to receive money for: medical expenses, lost wages, future medical care, emotional trauma and pain and suffering. The amount will vary depending upon the extent of your injuries as well as a number of other factors that an attorney can evaluate in determining the value of your case.

WHAT TYPES OF CASES DO WE HANDLE?

At the personal injury law firm Allan Berger & Associates in New Orleans, our experienced personal injury attorneys represent clients in all types of complex personal injury cases, including those involving: car accidents, pharmaceutical litigation, product liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death and construction accidents. These are just a few of our areas of practice – click here to view a complete list.

WHY DO I NEED A LAWYER?

The majority of cases that our personal injury law firm handles are those against large corporations and insurance companies who have the resources and the legal representation to effectively fight off the majority of claims brought against them – when the victim does not have proper legal representation. A personal injury lawyer will make all the difference in the outcome of your case. we are well-known as aggressive and knowledgeable lawyers who fight for our clients. We aren’t afraid to face off against large corporations in civil court in order to seek the compensation our clients deserve. Let us represent your interests and help you recover the maximum amount of financial compensation possible.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM IN A CAR WRECK?

Report all car accidents to the police immediately. Notify your own insurance company of the auto accident so they will have a record. Do not delay obtaining proper medical care. Fill out your SR-10 form. Keep all notes and documents relating to the car accident. Try to obtain all witnesses names and addresses who may have seen the car accident occur.

WHO PAYS MY MEDICAL BILLS?

The insurance company providing coverage for the car you were in, if it has medical payments coverage, must pay your medical bills as they are incurred. Your own automobile policy will also pay your medical bills, if you have medical payments coverage. Also, your own health insurance will generally pay your medical expenses, if you comply with the terms of your health insurance. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is always liable for your medical bills. However, they do not need to pay medical bills until the end of your case.

WHO PAYS MY PROPERTY DAMAGE?

If the car accident or other accident was not your fault, you can collect from the person that hit you or his or her insurance company. No matter who was at fault, you can collect from your own policy if it has collision coverage. If you pay a deductible, you can recover this from the at fault driver.

DO I HAVE TO USE THE BODY SHOP RECOMMENDED BY THE INSURANCE COMPANY?

No. You are entitled to your own damage estimate and choice of repair shop.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SETTLE MY PROPERTY DAMAGE?

By law, the insurance company must settle your property damage within thirty (30) days.

WHAT DO I GET FOR MY CAR IF IT IS TOTALED?

You will probably receive NADA book value. You may be able to get slightly more than book value if you can document recent repairs or improvements to your vehicle.

CAN I GET A RENTAL CAR?

If you have rental reimbursement, your insurance pays for a rental car. If you do not, the person that hit you may still be liable for a rental car, since you lost the use of your own vehicle.

WHAT IS UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE?

In a car accident, uninsured motorist coverage pays your bodily injury damage when the person that hit you has too little or no insurance. An uninsured motorist claim cannot be used against you to raise your rates or cancel your insurance.

SHOULD I GIVE A STATEMENT?

It is our position not to allow statements of our clients unless an attorney is present at the time a statement is taken. The insurance adjuster’s job is to represent the insurance company and to settle your case cheaply. The adjuster is not on your side. A statement may be used against you later in the claims process.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A LAWSUIT?

Under Louisiana law, you must file suit against the at fault driver within one year from the date of accident. If you let this time period elapse and no suit is filed, your rights will be forever lost.

HOW MUCH CAN I RECOVER FOR MY INJURIES?

Louisiana law recognizes full compensation for automobile accident victims. This includes mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, loss of wage earning capacity, and medical bills, both present and in the future. The amount you can recover depends upon the severity of your injury and the amount of insurance the at-fault driver possesses, as well as any uninsured motorist you may have.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SEE THE DOCTOR?

This is strictly between you and the doctor. However, we urge people to obtain medical treatment as long as symptoms persist. Insurance companies evaluate your case based upon your medical treatment. If you are in pain and in need of medical care, not going to the doctor indicates to the insurance company that you are not hurt.

IS IT EXPENSIVE TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY?

Our personal injury law firm represents accident victims on a contingency fee. This means we receive a percentage of your recovery. If there is no recovery, we are not paid.

HOW LONG WILL MY CLAIM TAKE?

This depends on the severity of your injury. We typically attempt to settle cases immediately upon your discharge from the doctor. However, the length of time that you were under doctor’s care differs from case to case.

WILL I BE CHARGED FOR A CONSULTATION?

No. We do not charge for an initial consultation in accident cases. We will come to your hospital room or to your home if you are unable to come to our office. You do not incur any obligation by making your first telephone call to us.