Have you been involved in a car accident in New Orleans? Accidents can have serious, lifelong consequences for those involved. You may be facing massive medical bills, permanent injuries, and income loss when you are no longer able to work.
You shouldn’t face these dangers alone. Talk to a lawyer today to learn how you can protect yourself and get compensation for injuries and lost income after an accident.
Below, you’ll learn more about why you need to protect yourself after a car accident. You’ll also learn how a lawyer can help and why you can trust the lawyers at Allan Berger & Associates to give you the support that you truly need.
Table of Contents
- What do I Need to Do to Protect Myself after a Car Accident?
- How do I begin protecting myself after an accident?
- What kind of injuries result from car accidents?
- How Does Louisiana Law Apply to Car Accidents?
- How Can A Lawyer Help Me After a Car Accident in New Orleans?
- Why Should I Choose Allan Berger & Associates to Handle my Car Accident?
What do I Need to Do to Protect Myself after a Car Accident?
You need to protect yourself after a car accident because the hardships can be nearly impossible to manage on your own.
The lasting physical effects of severe injuries from a car wreck can impede a person’s ability to perform the duties of their job and can result in lasting financial hardship to the injured party and their families. Hardship can include medical bills, funeral costs, lost income, and the loss of property.
An injured party in an auto accident has a legal right to recover these expenses from the party or parties responsible. By hiring an experienced auto accident attorney, individuals may also seek compensation for the pain and suffering caused by their injuries from a car accident.
While financial compensation will never repair the damage that is done to an individual, it can ease the hardships faced by the injured and their survivors.
If you choose not to protect yourself as soon as possible, you may lose your chance to claim compensation. Deadlines and limits apply to most personal injury claims associated with car accidents.
How do I begin protecting myself after an accident?
There are some steps that you should remember when you are involved in any car accident. Remember:
- Do not leave the scene of the accident. Doing so may void your insurance coverage and expose you to serious criminal charges
- Collect insurance and contact information from the other drivers
- Collect contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident
- Take some pictures of the scene of the accident
- If you need immediate medical care, call a friend and ask them to take pictures and speak to any nearby witnesses for you
- Be careful when speaking to other drivers or insurance companies. Avoid making statements before you speak to a lawyer, and do not make any statements about the accident on social media
- Speak to a lawyer as soon as possible
If you follow these steps, your lawyer will be in the best position to help you. It’s important that you do not declare fault at any time, even if you suspect you may have been most responsible for the accident. Remember that you can’t see all the angles of the accident, and other drivers may have engaged in reckless behavior that happened out of your view.
Your lawyer will be able to provide you with better instructions on how to deal with the unique circumstances of your case as soon as you schedule your consultation.
What kind of injuries result from car accidents?
It’s important to understand how serious the injuries that result from car accidents can be. Car accidents can affect nearly every sensitive system in the human body. Many of the following conditions may never heal properly:
- Limb injuries requiring amputation
- Broken bones
- Back Injuries
- Internal Bleeding
- Neck injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Shoulder injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Treating any one of these conditions can require overwhelming medical expenses. If you do not protect yourself after a car accident, you may have to bear all of the following types of expenses by yourself:
Long-term inpatient care
Even mild collisions may require you to remain in the hospital for weeks or months. This recovery time can exceed the limits of your insurance and leave you on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs.
You may not be able to work while you’re receiving this care, which can make it even more difficult to cover your medical costs.
Surgery is often necessary to treat injuries that result from car accidents. Even minor surgeries can be prohibitively expensive, but major surgeries may be needed to correct many of the conditions listed above.
Your injuries may also require a series of surgeries to correct. Even after multiple surgeries, you may not recover full use of your limbs. You may also still suffer from permanent pain after all surgical options have been exhausted.
Prescription medications are often prescribed to treat pain, stress, and other issues that result from car accidents. Not all prescriptions may be adequately covered by your policy. You may be confronted with high up-front costs.
While short-term prescriptions can come with high costs, not all car accident victims will be able to quit their prescriptions. You may need medication to manage your conditions for the rest of your life.
Physical therapy is often needed to recover from soft tissue damage, broken bones, neck injuries, and any other injuries that affect the muscles or joints. This therapy may require you to work with specialists who charge more than most other therapists.
Even with the best physical therapy available, you may not be able to recover your range of movement fully. You may need to live with impairments for the rest of your life.
After all of your medical options have been exhausted, you may simply not be able to manage your life on your own anymore. You may require long-term assisted care from an aide to continue your life. This kind of care is not covered by most routine health insurance policies, and the costs may come directly out of pocket.
How Does Louisiana Law Apply to Car Accidents?
States have broad power to pass and enforce their own traffic laws. For that reason, the rules that apply to car accidents may be different in each state. You should be aware of some of the ways that Louisiana accident laws are different from other states.
In particular, you should note that Louisiana is an at-fault state, that personal injury protection is not required, that a “no pay no play” law is in effect, and that you may only have a single year to make a claim against another driver.
Louisiana is an at-fault state
Louisiana is an at-fault (also known as “tort”) state. This means that the driver who is found responsible for the accident is responsible for losses endured by the other drivers.
One of the features of at-fault laws is that the coverage is only paid out after fault has been determined. This can mean a waiting period before you can collect disbursements from insurance.
Another important feature of this type of law is that you can sue the driver who is found at fault for almost any type of loss after their coverage has been exhausted.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to make claims to cover:
- Hospital bills
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
The fault in accidents is determined by investigations performed by law enforcement and insurance company investigators. This is why it’s so important that you take pictures and witness statements at the scene of an accident. You may be found at fault if evidence that could provide more information is missing.
Drivers may be found to share responsibility. For example, in a multi-car collision, two different drivers may both be found 50% responsible for the accident. Alternatively, one driver may be found 90% responsible while the other driver is found only 10% responsible.
Even if you are found overwhelmingly responsible for the accident (for example, 95%), you can still collect the 5% owed from the other driver’s insurance.
Louisiana does not require drivers to carry PIP (Personal Injury Protection)
Unlike some states, Louisiana does not require automobile insurance policies to include Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This protection is meant to cover your own expenses, rather than the other drivers.
Louisiana policies carry an (optional and expensive) provision known as MedPay. This provision covers your own injuries and the injuries of people in your vehicle up to the coverage limits. However, many policies in the state do not include this provision.
If your insurance policy does not include a MedPay provision, making a personal injury claim may be necessary to cover the costs of medical care.
Louisiana has a “no pay no play” law
Louisiana has had a “no pay, no play” law in effect since 2011. This law limits the amount that uninsured motorists can recover when they are involved in accidents with insured motorists.
Uninsured motorists cannot collect the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury damages against an insured driver. That means that if you are not insured and your medical costs are less than $15,000, you won’t be able to claim compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
You can still make a claim for a greater amount, but $15,000 will be deducted from whatever you are qualified to recover for medical expenses.
The limits on property damage claims are even stricter. Uninsured motorists cannot collect the first $25,000 in property damage claims.
There are some important exceptions to this rule that may protect you if you get into an accident without insurance. For example, this law may not apply to your claims if:
- The other driver is convicted of driving under the influence
- The other driver intentionally caused the accident
- The other driver was engaged in a felony (for example, leaving the scene of a crime)
- The other driver flees from the scene of the accident
- You are an out-of-state driver
Your lawyer can tell you more about the exceptions that apply to your case.
Louisiana gives you one year to file personal injury or property damage claims
Louisiana has one of the shortest deadlines in the US for making claims after a vehicle accident. The statute of limitations for any claim involving injury or property damage is only a single year after the date of your accident.
This is a restrictive limit if you want to have your claims assessed appropriately. It’s easy to lose track of the limit while you’re recovering, waiting for your insurance investigation to conclude, or working with doctors to determine the true extent of your injuries.
This short limit is one of the reasons that it’s so important to start working with a lawyer as soon as possible.
How Can A Lawyer Help Me After a Car Accident in New Orleans?
A lawyer can be a vital resource in the days following a car accident in New Orleans. Their role is to provide you with advice, knowledge of the law, and advocacy when you’re dealing with the legal system.
Your lawyer can assist you in many different ways, but in particular:
- A Lawyer Can Help You Defend Yourself from Being Found at Fault
- A Lawyer Can Help You Fight Back Against Insurance Company Claim Denials
- A Lawyer Can Help You Claim Additional Compensation
A Lawyer Can Help You Defend Yourself from Being Found at Fault
Whether or not you are found at fault for your accident in New Orleans can have serious consequences for your case. Louisiana is an at-fault state, so being found responsible for the accident can restrict the amount that you can rightfully collect from the other party or their insurance company.
One of your lawyer’s first responsibilities will be to ensure that you do not bear an unfair amount of blame for the accident. Every car accident is unique, but protecting you may require your lawyer to:
- Challenge police reports that contain inaccurate information
- Investigate the scene of the accident
- Hire specialists to collect additional evidence
- Assess medical records
- Track down witnesses who aren’t responding to information requests
- File formal requests for video evidence captured by public cameras
- File subpoenas to recover security camera footage from private owners
- Make sure that you don’t miss filing deadlines
Most of these actions cannot be easily performed without legal experience or the powers that a lawyer has as an officer of the court.
A Lawyer Can Help You Fight Back Against Insurance Company Claim Denials
When you are in a car accident, you may expect that you’ll have to defend yourself against the claims of other drivers or law enforcement. However, many injured drivers find out that they also have to go to court to compel their insurance companies to honor the provisions of their policy.
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always pay out the amount that should be guaranteed by the contract they signed with you. They may begin the process by offering to settle with you for a much lower amount.
After being the victim of an automobile accident, you should not be a victim twice by having the insurance company take advantage of you.
It is in your best interest to acquire an experienced auto accident attorney to handle litigation when the opposing insurance company attempts to dispute your claim for fair compensation.
Resistance from your insurance company must always be taken seriously. These companies have the resources to hire their own legal team. They may attempt to scare you with dense legal letters and implications that if you don’t take a low offer, you may end up with even less compensation at a later time.
Calculating the right value of a claim for personal injury due to an auto accident is a complicated process that deserves the attention of experienced auto accident attorneys. The insurance company will move swiftly to reach the lowest possible settlement.
A Lawyer Can Help You Claim Additional Compensation
There is only a limited amount of funds that can be recovered from your insurance company and the insurance company of the driver who may have caused your accident. You may have expenses that go far beyond what is covered in both policies.
Your lawyer can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against drivers who caused you additional harm through negligent or reckless behavior. These suits can help you make up the difference between the costs of your damages and the amount that is covered by insurance.
You may be able to claim additional compensation for:
- Ongoing medical care
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Excess property damage
- Lost wages and earning potential
It can be difficult to determine what you are owed in cases like these. You should speak to a lawyer to learn more about what is possible when you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Why Should I Choose Allan Berger & Associates to Handle my Car Accident?
The personal injury law firm of Allan Berger and Associates has represented the people of New Orleans for over 40 years.
Since 1974, Allan Berger has worked to establish himself as one of the region’s preeminent personal injury law attorneys. He and the other experienced attorneys who represent the firm are supported by specialized support staff, who work to ensure the best outcomes possible for car accident victims.
The firm’s main areas of practice include auto accidents, medical malpractice, pharmaceutical liability. The experienced car accident attorneys at Allan Berger & Associates have successfully handled automobile accident cases, in particular, for over 40 years.
In 2011, Berger was recognized by Gambit Weekly as one of the best attorneys in New Orleans. Allan Berger & Associates was recognized as one of the top-rated firms in Louisiana’s Legal Leaders magazine, achieving an AV Preeminent® rating by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell®.
How we’ve helped clients in past car accident cases
- $ 500,000 to help a client recover from cervical disc fusion surgery after an automobile accident
- $ 300,000 to help a client recover from cervical and lumbar epidural steroid Injections after an automobile accident
- $ 450,000 to help a client recover from a lumbar laminectomy procedure after an automobile accident
- $ 375,000 to help a client recover from cervical disc fusion surgery after an automobile accident where liability was disputed
Allan Berger & Associates –Statistics of Uninsured Motorists in Louisiana
Driving without car insurance is a big risk -but it’s surprising how many people take that risk in Louisiana. In the Bayou State, 11.7% of drivers are on the road without insurance .Even for the most cautious driver, being hit by an uninsured motorist means you can be responsible for all of the costs of repairing your vehicle and medical bills for your injuries.
In Louisiana, a car accident also poses the risk of being hit by an underinsured driver. Louisiana Revised Statute §1295 states that insurance companies are required to include uninsured motorist insurance in their packages -unless the driver explicitly rejects that coverage
If You Are In an Accident With an At-Fault Driver in Louisiana
Navigating the claims process when you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist can be stressful and confusing. Dealing with damage to your vehicle and injuries sustained in the accident are difficult enough, without knowing if you will be compensated to cover your costs. Contact us and we’ll be there to help.
How to Find Us
Allan Berger & Associates is located at 4173 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119, United States. From Louis Armstrong, New Orleans International Airport, get on I-10 E from Terminal Dr and follow I-10 E to Pontchartrain Blvd in New Orleans.
Take exit 231A from I-10 E and drive to Canal St. Continue onto Pontchartrain Blvd and use the right lane to turn left onto Metairie Rd. Then continue onto City Park Ave and turn right onto Canal St. Make a U-turn at David St. Allan Berger & Associates will be on your right.
For additional questions, you can call us at 504-468-9481 or contact us here.
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What People Say
“Allan Berger & Associates was there for me from Day 1 and can’t thank Andrew and Miss Melanie for all of their help. I wish I had them around the house!”
– Dolores A.
“Allan and Andrew fought for every dollar for me and I will be forever grateful. They aren’t just my attorneys, they are family.”
– Charles P.
I am so grateful to you for all you did to resolve my case. You were wonderful and made me feel so comfortable and calm. I could not have asked for a better attorney. God Bless.”
– Darlene C.
“Calling Allan Berger & Associates after my car accident was a blessing. I don’t know where I’d be without their help, and I’d recommend the firm to anyone else!”
– Tarra R.
“Thank you for your sensitivity and professionalism in your awesome handling of my case. First class representation and you treated me like I was a family member. Even though my case settled I’d like to stop by the office just to say hi.”
– Donna C.
Experienced Car Accident Lawyer In New Orleans, Louisiana
Allan Berger & Associates is located at 4173 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119, United States. From Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport get on I-10 E from Terminal Dr and follow I-10 E to Pontchartrain Blvd in New Orleans. Take exit 231A from I-10 E and drive to Canal St. Afterwards, continue onto Pontchartrain Blvd and use the right lane to turn left onto Metairie Rd. Then continue onto City Park Ave and Turn right onto Canal St. Make a U-turn at David St and Allan Berger & Associates will be on your right.
We are open 24/7.
For additional questions, you can call us at 504-468-9481 or find us on Yelp