When you’ve been seriously injured because of someone’s negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct, you may be legally entitled to recover your medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering and more.
According to personal injury laws, you can recover two separate types of damages when you’ve been injured.
Personal Injury Damages in Louisiana
Economic or “special” damages: Actual expenses, costs, and losses incurred such as medical, wage loss, rehabilitation, psychiatric care, vocational retraining, home or car modification because of disability and any other actual items involving money.
Non-economic or “general” damages: Pain and suffering cover consequences of an injury other than specific, tangible expenses as described above under “special” damages. In general, pain and suffering damages include loss of comfort, happiness, and opportunity and is described in greater detail below.
To begin the process of collecting damages from an insurance company and/or the person or entity that caused your injury, a demand letter must be drafted, compiled and presented to those responsible for the harm down to you.
The Demand Letter for Personal Injury Cases in Louisiana
If you hope to collect the financial damages you believe you deserve, it’s important to follow a specific formula to calculate your losses in the demand letter. If you demand more than is considered reasonable neither an insurance company or judge will take you seriously. An over-demand of compensation will likely either be met with an outright denial or an unreasonably low counter offer.
To present a justifiable demand, specific amounts for economic (“special”) expenses should include:
Specific Amounts for MEDICAL Expenses in Personal Injury Cases
▪Emergency medical services
▪Emergency room visit
▪Medical care and treatment
▪Transportation costs to and from doctor visits
▪Psychiatrist or therapist fees
With each claim, copies of billing statements (specifically for the services provided for your injury) should be attached. If any of your medical care and treatment was covered by your own health insurance, but you paid deductibles and co-pays, those should be included and documented.
PROPERTY DAMAGE Expense in Personal Injury Cases
If because of your injury accident any property you owned was damaged, this is a compensable expense.
LOST PAY Expense in Personal Injury Cases
While receiving medical care and/or during rehabilitation, you may require time off work to treat and recover from your injury. When you can’t work, you lose income and are entitled to recover the lost amount(s). Lost pay means your regular hourly pay or salary and includes any estimated missed commissions, bonuses, vacation time if any and used sick days. It’s unusual for an employer to offer unlimited sick time, but if you are that lucky, you won’t be compensated for those days. Also, if your injury prevents you from returning to work or the same job, you may be compensated for a loss of future commensurate income.
VOCATIONAL TRAINING Expense in Personal Injury Cases
Should you not be able to return to the same career or employment because of your serious injuries, you are entitled to the cost of vocational training toward a new occupation.
PAIN AND SUFFERING for Personal Injury Cases
A figure for pain and suffering is more challenging to recover because it’s viewed by an insurance company and/or their insured as subjective. You may think your pain, discomfort, diminished quality of life, related family issues, psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, stress, inability to enjoy social experiences or loss of your partner is worth a certain total dollar amount. The intangible “general” dollar value of pain and suffering is different from the tangible, document-able “special” expenses described above. An inflated demand for pain and suffering may be rejected by an insurance company, and if your claim ends up in court, possibly denied by a judge.
Formula for Calculating Damages
To arrive at a figure that an insurance company would unquestionably agree with, no matter how realistic you think yours is, rarely occurs. It is an insurance adjuster’s job to deny your claim altogether or significantly reduce a payout to you.
For instance, to avoid paying you what you deserve, the insurance company and their insured may argue that you somehow shared responsibility for your accident, called “comparative negligence,” and reduce the amount they offer. Another tactic insurance companies use to deny your claim or reduce it is to drag things out as long as possible, hoping they’ll wear you down, and you’ll accept whatever they offer—or nothing.
Without an aggressive, skilled personal injury attorney to help handle these negotiations, they may even ignore you completely.
Gordon and Gordon: Personal Injury Attorneys for Damages Calculations
The highly skilled personal injury attorneys at Gordon & Gordon Law will not allow an insurance company to ignore or beat you down.
Throughout Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas we’ve developed a sound reputation for hands-on, aggressive representation for our seriously injured clients. Always mindful of achieving the best result for you, we make a concerted effort to understand your unique situation, develop a viable strategy and aggressively pursue the monetary damages you deserve. Both Gordon & Gordon attorneys are Ark-La-Tex residents with a firm commitment of integrity to our community and service to those within it who’ve been seriously injured.
In fact, our reputation within the insurance industry and legal community is one of a relentless, effective pursuit of injured clients’ monetary recovery. Therefore, when founding partners Stephen Gordon and Daniel Gordon get involved with an injury case, insurance companies understand you’re serious about collecting damages, and then, they are more likely to cooperate to avoid expensive litigation.
THE SUPERIOR COURT LAWSUIT
But if not, and the insurance company refuses to settle for a fair amount and attempts to mediate or arbitrate fail, our dedicated, passionate attorneys are prepared to proceed with a Louisiana superior court lawsuit. When that happens, the insurance company and their insured will be in for an aggressive, expensive courtroom battle.
To commence a lawsuit requires timely legal document filing within Louisiana personal injury claim deadlines, complex motions and interrogatories, courtroom hearings and presentation to a judge, and when there’s no other option, a trial before a jury.
Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
As your personal injury law firm, we’ll discuss what happened, learn the details of your case, and provide you with superior service and skilled legal representation backed by our full commitment to win your case. And if you’re too injured to visit us, we’ll visit you in the hospital, at home, or a rehabilitation facility.
For expert, objective and respectful help recovering the fair, legal compensation you deserve, call 318-716-HELP (318-716-4357), Northwest Louisiana’s premier personal injury law firm, Gordon & Gordon Law to schedule a free, no-obligation personal consultation in one of our Shreveport, Mansfield or Bossier City offices. As your personal injury law firm, we’ll never charge you a cent up-front because we work on a contingency basis which means we only get paid when you get paid. Or if you feel more comfortable, send us a message on our notepad, and someone from our office will be in touch with you promptly.