Being injured in a traffic accident in New Orleans can result in shock and confusion. You may not know what to do or where to turn if you or your family members have been injured.
Our New Orleans car accident attorneys discuss car accident facts in this mini-guide to help you understand car accident laws in New Orleans.
In this article we discuss:
- What are the Common Causes of NOLA Traffic Accidents?
- What are Common Injuries Accident Victims Sustain?
- How Much is My Accident Claim Worth?
- Insurance Company Tactics Used to Deny or Undervalue Your Insurance Claim
- How Long Do You Have to File an Insurance Claim in New Orleans?
What are the Common Causes of NOLA Traffic Accidents?
One of the most common causes of New Orleans car accidents is driver error. Driver error includes distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving, speeding, reckless driving, tailgating, and ignoring traffic laws. When a driver is negligent or careless in causing an accident, that driver can be held liable for the damages caused by the crash.
Some other factors that might contribute to the cause of motor vehicle accidents in New Orleans include poor weather conditions, hazardous road conditions, defective car parts, and road debris. Even though these factors might also be present, a driver’s actions or inactions are usually an additional factor in the cause of the crash.
Some common types of car crashes we see in and around New Orleans include:
- Rear-end Accidents
- Multi-Vehicle Crashes
- Head-On Collisions
- Side-Impact or T-Bone Crashes
- Rollover Accidents
- Sideswipe Collisions
- Backover Accidents
Determining the cause of the crash is a crucial step in filing a successful insurance claim. Our New Orleans car accident lawyers investigate traffic accidents to determine the cause and identify the party or parties who might be responsible for paying compensation to you for your damages, losses, and injuries.
What are Common Injuries Accident Victims Sustain?
Some types of car crashes can increase your risk for traumatic injuries. For example, a head-on collision can increase the risk of head and brain injuries and internal organ damage (from crushing the victim between the dashboard and the seat). A rear-end collision can increase the risk of whiplash and back injuries. A motorcycle accident can increase the risk of broken bones, abrasions, and lacerations.
The fact is that each crash is unique because of the numerous variables involved in the collision. Therefore, an accident victim can sustain a variety of injuries in any traffic accident.
Some common injuries that victims sustain in auto accidents include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Lacerations, scarring, and disfigurement
- Head and brain injuries
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns
- Nerve damage
The injuries sustained in a car accident can cause chronic pain and suffering. They can also result in significant financial hardships for the victim and the family.
How Much is My Accident Claim Worth?
Determining the value of your accident claim depends on several factors including:
- Your injuries;
- The total financial losses sustained because of the accident;
- Whether you suffer permanent disability or impairment;
- The fault of all parties involved in the crash; and,
- The amount of available insurance coverage.
Your economic or financial losses include medical expenses, loss of income, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Economic losses are easier to value because you have tangible proof of your financial losses.
However, you may also be entitled to non-economic or “pain & suffering” damages. Your economic damages include the physical, emotional, and mental anguish, suffering, and pain you suffer because of the crash. An experienced New Orleans car accident attorney uses the evidence in your case to maximize the value of your non-economic damages.
An insurance company will not tell you the actual value of your claim. Therefore, it is always in your best interest to check with a NOLA accident attorney before accepting a settlement. You want to ensure you receive all compensation you are entitled to receive by law.
Insurance Company Tactics Used to Deny or Undervalue Your Insurance Claim
Insurance companies are interested in saving money to increase their profits. Therefore, the company will attempt to pay as little for your claim, preferably nothing, as possible. Some tactics you might encounter that are designed to gather evidence and information that may hurt your claim or lower the value of your claim include:
- Requesting recorded statements
- Requesting written statements
- Asking for a signed medical release
- Offer a low, quick settlement offer
- Telling you that an attorney will only charge you money for something you can do
It is typically a wise idea to consult with a New Orleans injury lawyer before making any statements or signing any documents for the insurance company. Likewise, accepting a quick settlement may get money in our pocket right now, but it prevents you from seeking additional compensation in the future if you have additional damages or injuries.
How Long Do You Have to File an Insurance Claim in New Orleans?
If you are injured in a traffic accident in Louisiana, you have just one year from the date of the car accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. In other words, if you have not settled your claim with the insurance company and you don’t file a lawsuit within one year, the insurance company does not have to compensate you for your injuries.
There may be circumstances in your case that could shorten the period to file a claim, such as the involvement of a government agency or employee in the accident. Therefore, it is best to contact a New Orleans insurance claims attorney as quickly as possible after a motorcycle accident, truck accident, or car accident.
Get Help With Your Car Accident Claim From Experienced New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyers
Learn more about insurance claims and traffic accidents during a free consultation with one of our NOLA accident attorneys. We are here to help you as you continue to recover from your injuries. Your time to file a claim is short! Call now so that we can begin preparing a claim to fight for a fair and just settlement.
Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule your free case review.