Medical Records to Collect & Keep

Medical Records to Collect & Keep

After you’ve been injured, or a loved one killed, because of the negligence and recklessness of another person, corporation, or property owner, your relevant medical records are critically important.

When it becomes time to file an insurance claim or pursue a personal injury civil lawsuit, documentation of your medical diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and expenses is necessary in order to calculate and recover monetary damages for your injuries. The more detailed, specific, and comprehensive your medical records are, the greater your chance of winning a fair monetary settlement is.

Extensive Medical Records Are Imperative for Successful Claim Negotiation and Litigation

Your medical records are evidence and should include, if applicable, the following documents and reports:

▪ Ambulance EMT intervention report
▪ Emergency room records
▪ Medical diagnosis and treatment
▪ Prognosis, short- and long-term
▪ A recommended course of treatment
▪ Physician’s notes
▪ Record of treatment pain you experienced
▪ Explanation of your emotional trauma
▪ Physician -predicted necessary future medical treatment
▪ Predicted need for physical and occupational therapy
▪ Copies of all medical bills
▪ Physician -documented future medical bills
▪ Professionally estimated, written future medical bills
▪ Psychiatric or psychology reports
▪ Current and future bills for necessary medical apparatus
▪ In-home nursing care expenses

In the event your loved one has been killed in an accident, the applicable above documentation is also necessary, including the deceased’s funeral expenses.

Keep a Journal for Personal Injury Claims

As you begin your recovery, if you are able, journal how you feel, including your pain and emotional state because of your injuries and trauma. Also, attend all doctor appointments and receive all recommended treatment and rehabilitation. Not following through with these suggestions, may negatively impact your case.

Medical Records Are Evidence for Personal Injury Cases

To win a fair monetary settlement for your injuries and pain and suffering, or to be compensated for a loved one’s wrongful death, every medical document available is necessary to settle an insurance claim or win a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The insurance company’s adjustors, medical experts, and attorneys will require your medical records before they will consider settling a claim. Should your damages require pursuit of a personal injury claim in a civil court, the prosecution is entitled to your medical records to assess damages and prepare their case. Of course, your attorney will also need these documents to prepare a vigorous defense on your behalf.

When we meet with you in one of our Shreveport, Bossier City, or Mansfield offices, please bring as many of your records as possible. But if you don’t have all your records and documentation and don’t know how to acquire them, we can help.

FREE CONSULTATION, NO UP-FRONT COST for Personal Injury Cases

Meeting with a Gordon & Gordon attorney is free. And if we agree to work together, we’ll never charge you a penny until we win your case.

To speak personally with one of Gordon & Gordon Law Firm’s experienced Shreveport, Bossier City, or Mansfield personal injury attorneys, call 318.716.HELP (318.716.4357) today.

Louisiana Laws: Statute of Limitations

Louisiana Laws: Statute of Limitations

What Are Louisiana’s Statute of Limitations Laws When Filing A Car Accident Claim?

After you were injured and your vehicle was damaged in a Louisiana car accident, caused by a negligent or reckless driver, you only have one year to file a claim under the state’s statute of limitations law. The Louisiana statute of limitations, Civil Code Article 3492, paraphrased, allows a maximum of one year from the day injury or damage happened to file a claim or pursue a personal injury lawsuit. If the injuries, or their full extent, are discovered later, the one-year statute of limitations begins when the injuries are discovered.

Car Accident Statute of Limitations Exceptions

Though the Louisiana personal injury or property damage statute of limitations limit is inflexible if the average person misses its deadline, some exceptions can be made to the one-year claim reporting. For instance, the one-year limit may be exceeded if the damaged party is a minor, mentally ill or otherwise incompetent, is incarcerated within the year following the accident, or lives out of state. In the case of a minor whose parents did not file on their behalf, the minor can file a lawsuit within one year after their 18th birthday.

When the at-fault party is a public entity or government agency, a different type of claim must be filed, possibly within a shorter period than a typical complaint.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

In the event of a wrongful death caused by an at-fault driver, the one-year statute of limitations’ deadline doesn’t begin until the actual day of the victim’s death, which may occur after the accident.

What if You Filed A Claim On-time, But It Was Denied?

So, you filed your claim on time, but it was denied.  What now?  In Louisiana, you have 15 days to appeal the denial. But the appeal process is complicated and must be done correctly, or you may still miss your chance for monetary compensation.

Gordon & Gordon Louisiana Car Accident Attorneys Know the Complex Statute of Limitations Laws

Because understanding the limitations for filing claims under Louisiana’s complex and confusing statute of limitations laws is challenging for the average citizen, hiring an experienced car accident attorney who knows how to handle your claim in a timely manner and guide you through the process is important.

Acting quickly is imperative. If you delay and miss the statute of limitations deadline, you will lose the opportunity to ever collect any monetary settlement. And once the claim is filed, then begins the arduous and complex process of winning your fair, rightful financial compensation.

Gordon & Gordon Shreveport, Bossier City, and Mansfield Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Can Help Protect Your Rights Before It’s Too Late

To speak personally with a Gordon & Gordon experienced and knowledgeable car accident attorney in our Shreveport, Bossier City, or Mansfield office, contact us today. For the quickest response, call 24/7 at 318.716.HELP (318.716.4357) or tell us your story on our contact form.

How to Choose the Right Louisiana Accident Attorney

How to Choose the Right Louisiana Accident Attorney

After you’ve recovered from the initial shock of a serious car accident on Louisiana’s roads, quickly involving an experienced car accident attorney can make the difference between winning a fair monetary settlement or not.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’re entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, the cost of rehabilitation, and vehicle repairs or replacement, among other expenses.  

But with so many car accident attorneys in northwest Louisiana to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you?

Considerations for Choosing a Louisiana Accident Attorney

Experience and Reputation- To ensure your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit has the highest chance of success, the law firm you hire must demonstrate an extensive history of winning substantial car accident settlements.  A good car accident attorney should be able to provide you with examples of cases they’ve won. An attorney with a solid reputation for high wins is taken more seriously by insurance companies.

Staff -Filing and successfully settling with an insurance company, or pursuing a personal injury claim, is a complex and time-consuming process. Only a law firm that is well-staffed with attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants can handle the massive workload necessary to win a successful settlement.

Financial Resources-In a serious car accident, it may be necessary to hire investigators & expert witnesses, and interview and depose any accident scene witnesses. Further medical evaluations may be required to establish the need for current, future and long-term treatment. These necessary but high-cost preparations can only be accommodated by a law firm with the financial wherewithal to support effective case preparation.

Communication and Focus-Any car accident attorney you hire should demonstrate excellent communication skills, listening attentively to your situation, and respectfully explain what can be a confusing and complicated process.  As your case progresses, you should feel comfortable asking questions and have reasonable access to the attorney throughout the process.

Free Consultation, No Up-Front Costs-Any good car accident attorney will only accept your case if they believe your chance of winning is high. If your case is taken on after a free evaluation, they should only be paid upon winning a settlement.  And they should also be up-front about exactly what fee they’ll take from your final settlement.

Gordon and Gordon: Louisiana Accident Attorneys

With more than 30 years of experience successfully winning claims for car accident victims, our reputation is solid. Gordon & Gordon Law Firm has the necessary support, staff, and financial resources to see your case through to a successful conclusion.  As our client, you can expect consistent, clear communication and respectful treatment. And we will never charge you a penny until we win your case.

To speak personally with one of Gordon & Gordon Law Firm’s qualified Shreveport, Bossier City, or Mansfield car accident attorneys, call 318.716.HELP (318.716.4357) today.

You Don't Need a Lawyer

Gordon & Gordon: “You Don’t Need A Lawyer”

“You Don’t Need A Lawyer” Trick

If you’ve been injured because of an individual or a corporation’s recklessness and negligence, you will likely be contacted by an insurance adjuster. The adjuster will start out by saying that they just want to hear your account of what happened, “in your own words.” You may naively think that if you’re just honest and answer the insurance adjuster’s questions, you will be treated fairly. Then, they inform you the call is going to be recorded. You say, “Okay, that’s fine.” After all, you’re just going to tell the truth.

Don’t Fall for the Insurance Company’s Tricks!

While the insurance company representative may act like they care about the injuries you’ve sustained in an accident caused by their insured, they don’t! The adjuster may act like he cares about you and your resultant financial losses, but this is far from the truth. They may say that you don’t need an attorney because they want to pay you for your injuries and losses if their insured person or company caused your injuries. “If” is the important word here, because their goal is to prove you were at fault, not their insured.

If you agree to speak on their recorded line, that’s when they can strategically set you up to say things which will be used to deny your claim or at least hold you comparatively responsible for the accident. What’s more? If necessary, they’ll get it all on tape to use against you. And once you do this, you may compromise your right to a fair monetary settlement.

The Insurance Adjuster’s Real Job 

The primary responsibility of an insurance adjuster is to collect information that facilitates a claim denial.  Or, at the least, to pay you as little as they can get away with. They are specifically trained to ask questions designed to either prove you were at fault or at least shared responsibility for the accident.  And, shockingly, they are deliberately trained to “be nice” and act like they genuinely care about your well-being. Though not nice or fair, they hope you’ll let down your guard and provide evidence that will help them, not you.  

You Don’t Need An Attorney Lie

Don’t believe them!  Insurance companies have many strategies designed to deny your claim and your rightful settlement.  After they’ve recorded your account of the accident, especially when it’s obvious that you weren’t at fault or only shared some responsibility for the accident, they’ll delay paying you.  It’s another trick they use so they don’t have to pay your claim. While you’re waiting for a settlement check, they’re doing nothing about sending it.  So, you call or email them, perhaps multiple times, only to hear excuses about why they haven’t paid you yet. They hope you’ll give up, and just go away. But with Gordon & Gordon fighting for you, we won’t let them get away with such unfair tactics.

Yes, You Do Need An Attorney – Here’s Why  

As shocking and unfair as it is, the only important thing to insurance companies is protecting their financial interests.  Rest assured, they are not concerned about your financial well-being.  

To protect your interests, you need an attorney who’s on your side.  The personal injury attorneys at Gordon & Gordon know insurance companies’ strategies, which are designed to deny your claim or, at least, hold you partially responsible for the accident.

Gordon & Gordon attorneys don’t want you to fall for their tricks.  With over 30 years handling personal injury and insurance claims, we know how to handle insurance company lawyers and their adjusters so you receive the largest financial settlement legally allowed.  And when the insurance company’s settlement offer isn’t enough, we have the knowledge, resources, and skills to pursue a personal injury claim through the civil courts.

Personal Injury Law

Is My Case Big Enough For An Attorney To Handle?

Gordon & Gordon: IS MY PERSONAL INJURY CASE BIG ENOUGH?

After you’ve suffered injuries in a Shreveport, Bossier City, or Mansfield, Louisiana, accident, even if you think your injuries are minor, you should still immediately contact an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney to evaluate your case.   Until an attorney hears what happened and reviews your medical records, it’s too soon to decide whether your case is big enough for an attorney to handle.

What seems to be a minor injury may create serious complications and problems for you in the future.

For instance, what someone considers as insignificant, negligible pain can be the beginning of severe nerve damage or internal injuries, the symptoms of which could only manifest over time.   Or if you have lacerations that you assume will heal, you could still develop an infection or disfiguring scars.   Many times, minor injuries can become major injuries.

To add to your accident trauma because of someone else’s negligence and recklessness, your damages may become more substantial if they create long-term psychological issues, and even more so, could potentially impact your enjoyment of life.

 

Let Gordon & Gordon Attorneys Review Your Case to Determine Whether You Should File A Claim or Pursue A Lawsuit

If you’ve been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, a toxic or environmental spill, on the job, in an oil field or construction site, or because of a dangerous product, many opportunities exist for monetary compensation.   Even if you think your injuries are minor, it takes a knowledgeable, qualified, and experienced personal injury attorney to determine whether your injuries are serious enough to require legal representation, so you can monetarily recover.

When you personally meet with one of our seasoned personal injury attorneys during a FREE consultation, he will evaluate what reasonable course of post-accident action you should take.   

 

No Case Is Too Small to Discuss with A Gordon & Gordon Personal Injury Attorney

To determine whether your injuries are significant enough to warrant hiring a Gordon & Gordon attorney, all you have to do is call or email us to discuss your potential case.   When you contact our office, no matter how mild you think your injuries are, you will be treated with respect, patience, and compassion.  Be sure to check out our website and do not hesitate to contact us.

Because we’ve handled cases like yours for over 30 years, we know that even when an injury appears minor right after an accident, it doesn’t always stay that way.   Unforeseen complications can arise.  In the early days following an accident, you may not be aware of how serious your injuries are.   With the passage of time, serious effects and more symptoms may show up.   

What you consider an insignificant injury can become a multi-million dollar financial win that will make the damages your injuries have caused more manageable.

 

Accident Injury Monetary Recovery Options

What’s more, just because you consider your injuries minor doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for you to be financially compensated, especially when you’ve been injured through the carelessness and negligence of someone else.   There are several courses of action to take even if you think your case is too small.   Three ways to be compensated for your injuries include:

▪ Insurance claim
▪ Mass tort lawsuit
▪ Class action lawsuit

After you’ve been injured in an accident because of someone else, your Gordon & Gordon attorneys can advise what’s best for you to do.

 

Free Consultation/No Up-Front Cost

When you meet with one of our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys, we will review your case, advise you about your rights, and determine whether your case is “big enough” for us to handle. If we take you on as a client, you will never pay a penny up-front. You can be confident we’ll work aggressively and diligently on your behalf because we only get paid when we win your case.  

 

Contact Us Immediately Before Time Runs Out

Call today so we can begin the fight to win your rightful monetary settlement.  And don’t delay.   The statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims is limited.  If you don’t file in a timely manner, you may permanently lose your right to financial recovery. 

To speak personally with one of Gordon & Gordon Law Firm’s qualified, experienced Shreveport, Bossier City, or Mansfield personal injury attorneys, call us today at 318.716.HELP (318.716.4357).

Teen Driver Awareness Month

January is Teen Driver Awareness Month

January is Teen Driving Awareness Month, raising awareness for young people by highlighting the need for teen driver safety training. This is a great time to think about what parents can do to reduce the risk of accidents for the young drivers in your family.

Teens statistically become safer drivers as they gain more experience behind the wheel. The crash rate per mile driven is three times higher for teens age 16 to 17 than teens age 18 to 19.
Males ages 16 to 19 are two times more likely to be killed in motor vehicle accidents than their female counterparts. The elevated risk is typically associated with higher rates of engaging in risky behavior such as speeding and driving while intoxicated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15-19 year olds in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 2,270 teens ages 16-19 were killed and 221,313 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to a car accident in 2014.

Common causes for teen car accidents include:

  • Inexperience
  • Distracted while driving
  • Speeding
  • Texting

The serious injuries and fatalities associated with these accidents are often a result of the lack of seat belt use by teen drivers and passengers.

Often times, parents are the ones who are seriously affected by the consequences for their teen’s poor choices. These consequences may include:

  • increased cost of auto insurance
  • suspension of license or permit
  • loss of driving privileges
  • injuries or fatality

Buckle Up – Always!
It is estimated that six out of 10 drivers, ages 16 to 20, who were involved in an accident in 2011 did not wear a seat belt. While you can’t be there to ensure your teen is buckling up every time, you can still have firm rules about the consequences for failing to wear a seat belt.
Make sure to spend as much time as possible in the car when your teen first starts to drive, and you can reinforce good behavior by being a good role model yourself. Put your seatbelt on before you even turn on the car – don’t wait until you get to the end of the driveway before you buckle up your own seatbelt. Your children are watching, and their driving habits may be affected by what you do – and what you don’t do.

“Stop The Texts”
Teens learning to drive today have grown up in the digital age, spending more time looking down at their phones, texting, instant messaging and tweeting at an ever-increasing pace. Of course, being young and inexperienced, they also often believe that they are invincible, or simply unable to calculate the consequences of the risks they assume. They think they drive a car and text at the same time without a problem. Wrong.

Nearly 60 percent of teenage driving accidents today are a result of “distracted” driving. We can tell our kids that the rule is “no texting while driving.” There are even plenty of apps available to block phone calls, text messages, and notifications, as soon as the key is turned in the ignition. It might seem a bit much, but wouldn’t you rather know that your son or daughter has one less distraction while they are behind the wheel?

Restrict Driving Times And Number Of Passengers
Teen drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident at night or during the early morning hours. In fact, 16 percent of fatal car accidents involving teenage drivers occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. 24 percent of fatal accidents occur between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.

Another big distraction for teenagers while driving is the number of passengers in the car. Teens do not have enough behind-the-wheel experience to handle a carful of noisy friends. At least for the first year after your teen has gotten their license, limit the number of passengers allowed to one.

No Drugs Or Drinking While Driving – Ever!
One bad decision can have a deadly ripple effect that will last a lifetime and impact many innocent people. And, while there must be a strict rule against underage drinking, the reality is that teens will make mistakes. They still need to know that they can always call somebody for a ride, even if they’ve made a bad choice.

The last thing we want our children to do is get behind the wheel simply because they’re afraid of what we might do if we discover they’ve been drinking. Make sure that your kids know you will pick them up, no questions asked, in order to avoid even more serious consequences if they do decide to get behind the wheel.

Special Concerns For Teen Drivers
Accidents may happen even if parents do everything in their power to keep their teen driver safe. All it would take is one wrong decision, a brief distraction, or an error in judgement, for a teen to cause an automobile accident.

The ability to seek compensation for injuries resulting from an accident depends on who is the at-fault driver. When a teen driver is at fault in an accident, Louisiana law allows the other driver to pursue a personal injury claim against the teen’s parents under the doctrine of parental vicarious liability. However, these types of claims require that the defendant prove the parents knew or should have known that the teen had a history of unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding, running red lights, or texting and driving.

A teen who is found to have only partially contributed to the accident can still collect compensation for his injuries from the other driver’s insurance company, but compensation will be reduced by percentage of fault.

Protecting Your Teen Driver’s Legal Rights
If your teen has been injured in an auto accident, seeking the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to protect his/her legal right to compensation. A skilled attorney can negotiate on your teen’s behalf for the highest possible settlement, even if your teen was partially at fault for the accident.

Gordon & Gordon Law Firm is committed to assisting Shreveport / Bossier City drivers in resolving their personal injury claims. To learn more, please contact us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Our lawyers are experienced in handling auto accident claims and complicated insurance concerns, especially those that may come about in the event of a teen driver’s accident or injury.

Holidays Mean More Trucks On Area Roads

Holidays Mean More Trucks On Area Roads

Commercial trucking is one of the top 10 deadliest industries in the United States. Although truck drivers face scores of hazards on the road every day, the holiday period is a particularly dangerous time to get behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.

Northwest Louisiana sees its fair share of cold days during the month of December, and all it takes is one night of below-freezing temperatures to make the roads extra slick and dangerous to drive on. In addition to an increase in freight truck delivery vehicles on the roads, holiday travelers will be flooding the highways to visit distant loved ones. If you combine these hazards with an increase in drunk driving, then it’s easy to understand why designated drivers get nervous around the holidays.

Just like every other driver, commercial truckers have a duty to behave in a way that does not put other road users at risk. If a trucker breaches this duty of care, then he or she may be liable for any injuries that result. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 342,000 large trucks were involved in crashes in 2013. These crashes caused 95,000 serious injuries and 3,964 deaths.

If you will be driving over the holidays, you can reduce your risk of commercial truck & 18 wheeler accidents by following these five safety tips:

  • Be Patient: You may run into congested holiday traffic, and you might fall behind schedule due to adverse weather. Do not let your schedule cause you to drive recklessly, and plan your route with extra time to make it to your destination.
  • Avoid Distracted Driving: Texting, eating and drinking, gawking at billboards and adjusting climate controls can all contribute to accidents. According to the American Automobile Association, looking away from the road even for just two seconds can double your risk of crashing.
  • Check Your Blind Spots before Changing Lanes: With more drivers on the road, there is a higher risk that your vehicle will be in a trucker’s blind spot. According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, nearly 10 percent of large truck collisions are same-direction side-swipe accidents.
  • Take Breaks: If you notice the signs of fatigue, pull over to a safe place and rest for at least 20 minutes. Pack some items to help keep you awake if you will be driving at night or during times with little rest.
  • Do Not Speed: If the roads are slick, you will require a longer stopping distance. This increases the risk of causing a rear-end accident. You can avoid this by reducing your speed and extending your following distance.

National Impaired Driving Protection

December Is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

On average, a person in the United States is killed in a vehicle crash involving alcohol every 50 minutes. We have seen too many lives cut short by impaired driving, and too many drivers continue to put themselves and others at risk every day. During National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, we reemphasize that impaired driving is never acceptable. We recognize that we can eliminate impaired driving through our choices, and we pledge to make the right choice by driving sober.

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month (3D Month), which is supported by both public and private sector organizations devoted to preventing impaired-driving crashes. To achieve the national health objective, communities like our own need to develop comprehensive and effective strategies to prevent alcohol-impaired driving. The Center For Disease Control (CDC) has determined that carefully planned and well-executed mass media campaigns that attain sufficient audience exposure and are implemented in conjunction with other ongoing prevention activities are effective in reducing alcohol-impaired driving.

Forty years ago, alcohol was a factor in almost two-thirds of all traffic fatalities. Through the tireless efforts of States, communities, and advocacy organizations, we have made tremendous progress in reducing impaired driving and protecting the American people. Unfortunately, for the second consecutive year, we have seen an increase in the number of alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities on America’s roadways. In 2016, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes, accounting for 28 percent of all traffic fatalities. We must reverse this trend.

How Can We Prevent Impaired Driving?

December seems particularly suited to this observation because traffic fatalities that involve impaired drivers increase significantly during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period. On average, 25 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes per day during December 2010. Young adults are among those at greatest risk for driving impaired. During December 2010, drivers 21 to 34 years old were alcohol impaired and involved in fatal crashes at a higher percentage than any other age group.

Six primary interventions determined to be effective include:

  • sobriety checkpoints,
  • 0.08g/dL blood alcohol concentration laws,
  • minimum legal drinking age laws,
  • zero-tolerance laws for young or inexperienced drivers,
  • school-based approaches to reduce riding with drinking drivers, and
  • some types of server-intervention training programs.

Comprehensive approaches that implement several interventions simultaneously will further reduce alcohol-impaired driving.

Why Do We Recognize National Impaired Driving Prevention Month?

A 2010 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) revealed that 13.2 percent of all people aged 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol and 4.3 percent drove under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year. Furthermore, rates of impaired driving differed dramatically by age. In an average year, 30 million Americans drive drunk, and 10 million Americans drive impaired by illicit drugs.

Drinking and driving affects all Americans. In 2012, 4.2 million adults reported having driven at least once within a 30-day span while impaired by alcohol. Driving while impaired, even after one drink, can dramatically change the lives of drivers, passengers, innocent bystanders, and their loved ones. My Administration is committed to raising awareness about the dangers of impaired driving and to eliminating it from our communities. Additionally, by reducing hundreds of harmful regulations, we are supporting our innovative American companies as they create new technology that can help us address impaired driving, from ride-hailing services to advanced vehicle technology. My Administration is also providing vital resources to law enforcement to support their efforts to keep our surroundings safe.

Ultimately, the responsibility for preventing impaired driving lies with each of us. We care for our loved ones when we keep them safe and prevent them from taking the wheel after drinking alcohol. By taking action to educate our fellow Americans, through coordinated efforts with family, friends, neighbors, schools, churches, and community organizations, we can reduce deaths and accidents and personal injuries arising from impaired driving.

Disability

Personal Injury Vs. Workers’ Compensation: Which One Should I File?

Have you been injured at your workplace or while performing your work duties, such as a slip and fall? If so, you may be thinking of filing a workers’ compensation claim to pay for your medical bills and help to recover your damages. However, did you know that you may also file a personal injury claim, which could provide you with a better settlement than workers’ compensation?

Generally, workers assume that when they are injured at work, the only option they have is through workers’ compensation; but in some situations, it’s possible to file a personal injury claim as well. Many believe that this is considered ‘suing’ your boss, when in reality a third party may be responsible, such as the owner of the building. In this scenario, the third party’s insurance would be responsible for handling the cost of their safety shortcomings.

When Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim

When you are injured at your workplace or off-site while carrying out work-related tasks and decide to file a workers’ comp claim, you don’t have to prove that your employer, co-worker, or any other party caused the injury. Instead, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits even when the injury was your fault in some way. This is exactly what this type of coverage is for. It’s meant to protect workers who become injured in any way, since even if the injury was their fault, they would not have been injured if they were not on the job working for someone else.

If you decide to go with workers’ compensation, you will not receive anything outside of economic costs, but you may recover damages such as medical expenses, weekly compensation for wages, permanent impairment benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. You will not, therefore, be able to claim for pain and suffering. This is because workers’ compensation is actually a form of insurance, or a trade between the business owner and the providers of labor.

When Filing A Personal Injury Claim

The biggest and most important difference is that a personal injury claim is based on fault and a workers’ compensation case is not. In order to recover damages against someone for a car accident, a slip and fall, or indeed any type of negligence claim, the other person must be negligent, meaning that he/she must have done something wrong.

Another difference between a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury claim is that the latter are not limited to any specific set of people (i.e. workers). In fact, anyone who is injured due to the negligence of another is eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit, including workers. But in order for an injured worker to recover damages through this more broad route, they must be able to prove that another person or party was at fault or negligent, and caused the injuries.

Unlike workers’ comp damages, personal injury damages are compensatory, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and damages for pain and suffering resulting from the injury.

If you have been injured in a work setting, you may wish to consider the following factors when considering legal remedies:

  • Who is liable for the injury?
  • Was the injury was directly caused by performance of work tasks?
  • Was the injury a one-time event or a recurring condition?

If you have further questions regarding an injury, it may be necessary to discuss more with your employer, or hire a lawyer for more advice.

You’ll Probably Need To Hire An Experienced Attorney

It’s unfortunate when you’re injured on the job, but there are options available to you. Injury and workers compensation laws have a special relationship that is often difficult to understand. You may need to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer to better understand and handle your case. Your attorney can inform you of the different options available to you with regards to an injury that occurred in a work setting. Also, if you need to appear in court or before a judge, your lawyer can help represent you in those times.

Gordon & Gordon Law Firm has been representing clients in the Northwest Louisiana area for over 30 combined years of experience. Attorneys Stephen Gordon and Daniel Gordon founded the law firm of Gordon & Gordon to provide legal representation for people who have been personally injured due to the fault of others. They both work and live right here in the Ark-La-Tex area and will provide a free consultation to you if you call our offices today.

Lady Justice

What Is A Contingency Fee?

A client pays contingent fees to a lawyer only if the lawyer handles a case successfully. Lawyers and clients use this arrangement only in cases where money is being claimed—most often in cases involving personal injury or workers’ compensation.

In a contingent fee arrangement, the lawyer agrees to accept a fixed percentage (often about one third) of the recovery, which is the amount finally paid to the client. If you win the case, the lawyer’s fee comes out of the money that awarded to you from your settlement. If you lose your case, neither you nor the lawyer will get any money, but you will not be required to pay your attorney for the work done on the case either. On the other hand, win or lose, you probably will have to pay court filing fees, the costs related to deposing witnesses, and/or similar charges.

The amount a lawyer can charge for a contingency fee is generally not regulated by law. There are some limited exceptions to this rule, including worker’s compensation claims or claims brought under certain federal laws like the Federal Tort Claims Act. However, because of competition, contingency fees are very uniform throughout the country. Usually, the more complex or time-consuming cases which require the expenditure of considerable costs by the lawyer will demand higher contingency fees. If the lawyer must risk substantial sums of money on risky cases, he or she will often charge a higher contingency fee.

Contingency fees could sometimes be frustrating for both clients and attorneys. In general, contingency fees might be considered a problem for the client or attorney:

  • If a case settles quickly or recovers a lot of money, clients may feel frustrated that the attorney was paid more than the attorney deserves.
  • If a case goes longer than expected or recovers little money, the attorney may be frustrated by lost time and expenses.

In other words, contingency fees by nature will not be 100% accurate, and either the attorney or client may feel somewhat shorted. Attorneys understand this risk, and they can still offset being paid too little on some cases with being paid more than expected on others. Still, clients paying a large fee to an attorney may feel frustrated and want to consider a different payment option depending on the size or nature of their case.

Contingency fees are rarely, if ever, available for these legal areas:

  • Real estate
  • Business litigation
  • Criminal defense (DUI, traffic, drug, and other charges)
  • Adoption
  • Immigration
  • Divorce and similar family law issues
  • Bankruptcy
  • Drafting a contract, will, trust, or other legal documents
  • Starting a business
  • Registering a trademark, copyright, or patent

Consult one of the experienced attorneys at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm to see if your important legal matter can be handled without any cost to you upfront. Our free initial consultation has no obligation, and we’ll work closely with you to determine what the best approach to your case might be, even if a contingency fee is not available or other options are preferable.

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