T bone collision

Who Is At Fault In A T Bone Collision?

A T bone collision is one you would never wish to find yourself in. You’ve probably seen it depicted in the movies and on TV many times. The driver gets distracted for a second and in the blink of an eye, headlights are barreling towards them. As horrifying as those scenes may be to watch, they’re no match for the terror that comes with a real-life scenario. In this post, we’ll further explain a T bone accident and who is often at fault for one. 

At Gordon & Gordon Law Firm, we know how scary car accidents can be for you, let alone a T bone collision. If you or a loved one received injuries in one of these accidents, see how our attorneys can help you.

What Does T Boned Mean?

You might hear a T bone accident also referred to as a side impact or angular collision. It occurs when the front end of one car strikes another from the side. It may be either the passenger side or drivers side that gets hit. 

The reason this type of collision gets called a “T bone” is because of the way the cars align when they collide. At the moment of impact, they almost create a sort of “T” shape. One car represents the horizontal top of the T and the other car the vertical line.

What Is A T Bone Car Accident?

A T bone car accident generally occurs when one driver does not give the other driver the right of way. Most T bone accidents occur at an intersection where one of the two cars does not stop when they’re meant to. Depending on the flow of traffic, the person who runs a red light or stop sign may either be the one T boning someone or the one getting T boned themselves.

T bone car accidents are among the most catastrophic of all traffic accidents. Of the different kinds of road accidents, a T bone collision often results in the severest of injuries and fatalities. The reason T bone car accidents are so dangerous is due to the lack of a barrier between one vehicle and the person within the other.

With a rear end or head on collision, the front hood or trunk of the car generally offers some degree of protection. When struck from the side, the person only has a door and a window placed between them and the impact. 

What Type Of Injury Is Commonly Associated With T Bone Accidents?

T bone accidents bring a serious variety of injuries, a lot of which can prove to be fatal. In most of these types of accidents, the driver and/or passengers in the car that gets hit from the side suffer more harm than the opposing driver. This is because the other vehicle will have more safety features to protect them in their head-on collision, like airbags and crumple zones. All that stands between the other driver is the mere inches of width on the car’s side panel. 

This lack of protection from the side often makes T bone accident injuries critical. Types of injury associated with T bone accidents include the following:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head trauma/brain injury
  • Crushed and potentially amputated limbs
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Internal injuries

If these injuries do not prove to be fatal, they still bring with them both physical and emotional trauma. While recovering from this, extensive financial burdens can accumulate. This can place significant stress on any individual. This is the reason it is so crucial to have experienced representation in the court of law. A good personal injury attorney can help to ensure you receive the compensation you need to successfully recover.  

Who Is At Fault In A Car Accident Tbone?

Though it is often assumed that the driver who T bones another vehicle is at fault, this isn’t always the case. Either party may be responsible for the accident. The blame might also get split between the two parties. Say one driver didn’t give the right away to the correct person. They’re definitely at fault, but if the other person broke the law or was driving distracted, they may be at equal or partial fault.

Road engineers and designers could also be liable if the scene of the accident had the following:

  • Poor sight lines
  • Inappropriate signs or signals
  • Confusing layout

In the case that the vehicle itself malfunctioned, automotive parts manufacturers may also be at fault if you can prove liability on their part. 

To determine fault requires evidence. Evidence can be in the form of photographs, police reports, or eyewitness accounts. That is why car accident attorneys often stress the importance of taking pictures at the scene of the accident soon after its occurrence. If you’re able to, include several angles of the collision as well as any damage done to both vehicles.

When the police write their report at the scene, they’ll provide details of any broken driving laws that might’ve contributed to the accident.

When crafting a solid accident claim, you need to prove more than that the driver was negligent. You need to prove that because of that negligence, an accident resulted that in turn resulted in someone receiving injuries. Further, you (your attorney) should be able to prove that the injury led to you suffering serious financial damages. 

Evidence for this may come in the form of medical bills or a pay stub that shows what you generally earn and how much of those earnings you lost while recovering.  

Avoid A T Bone Collision

At Gordon & Gordon, we’ve seen our hand of bad car accidents. We urge you to take the proper precautions to remain safe on the road. While there’s no way to control other drivers, you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself from accidents like a T bone collision. 

The first most obvious way to avoid a T bone collision is to obey traffic lights and signs. This especially applies to when you’re approaching intersections. Make full and complete stops at stop signs and slow down at yellow lights instead of speeding up.

When turning left on a green light, make sure you take the time to yield. Check and make sure there is no oncoming traffic before assuming it’s safe to go. That goes with any situation, really. 

When driving, you should never assume that other drivers are going to be following traffic laws. This may sound distrustful, but it will make you more aware of your own driving and surroundings. 

Lastly, take extra precautions on days when visibility is poor due to weather conditions. Be prepared to make any sudden stops, especially when encroaching on an intersection.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one received injuries in a T bone collision, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. Do not speak with an insurance company investigator or adjuster before you’ve had the chance to get a lawyer. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Gordon & Gordon have been helping victims of auto accidents with their injury claims for over 20 years. Call our office today at 318-716-HELP to schedule your free consultation.

Rear ended collision settlement

Who Is At Fault In A Rear Ended Collision?

Many people will experience a rear ended collision at some point in their life, whether they’re the car that’s hit from the back or the car rear ending someone. Although many people assume that the car striking from the back is always at fault, that is not always the case. Fault gets determined by factors separate from the position of the cars in the accident. Despite which position you are in, you might be able to receive a rear ended collision settlement. 

Just below 2 million rear ended collisions occur every year in the United States. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that almost 30 percent of all car crashes are rear ended collisions. If you find yourself in one of these accidents, these numbers should tell you that you are not alone. If you’re curious about whether you’re able to receive a rear ended collision settlement, contact Gordon & Gordon Law Firm today. Our lawyers will help you through the legal process and fight for your right to compensation.  

What happens to your body in a rear end collision hit from the back?

Injuries sustained in a rear ended collision depend on a variety of factors. One pertains to how fast the cars involved were going. A car traveling at 50 mph could cause significantly more damage than a car going 15 mph. Even cars traveling at what most would consider a slow speed can cause serious damage to both your car and your body. 

This is because when another vehicle strikes yours, the momentum of the other vehicle transfers to your car and body as a result. So if a car is traveling at 15 mph and hits your vehicle from behind, that momentum is suddenly shifted to your body. This can be especially severe if you were at a complete stop when the crash happened. Human bodies aren’t meant to take on that kind of momentum all at once, which is why injuries often occur as a result.

If you got hit from the back in a rear ended collision, there are a few things that could happen to your body. With the force of the impact, both you and your car propel forward all at once. After the initial impact occurs, your body snaps backward. This is usually a result of your seat belt catching you. (If you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, the result could be much more catastrophic.) 

When this happens, your head and spine slam against the seat behind you. This sudden motion can leave you with several injuries in your back and spine. You also risk internal injuries due to the unnatural momentum placed on your body. And while airbags may save your life, they can also cause injuries on their own, like a broken nose, for example. Whiplash, herniated discs, muscle strain, and headaches/migraines could also result from this kind of wreck.

Who is at fault in a rear ended collision?

The most common reasons for a rear end collision are because of distracted driving, speeding, or following too closely. In general, the second driver is often at fault for the accident for any one of these reasons (or other reasons). However, this is not a given.

One of the common misconceptions about rear ended collisions is that the second driver is always at fault. Yes, this is often the case, but not one hundred percent of the time. It is entirely possible that the other driver or even other parties may be responsible for the accident.

To rebut the presumption that they are at fault, the rear driver must provide evidence that proves they were not the cause. This evidence may be that the other driver was acting in a negligent manner and that negligence is what caused the accident.

The following scenarios might prove that the driver in front was at fault for the accident:

  • The lead car is driving aggressively, such as erratic lane change or random, sudden braking
  • Failing to drive at a reasonable speed based on road conditions
  • Putting their car in reverse to get out of an intersection and backing into someone
  • Failing to use turn signals
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • The lead car was intentionally looking to get hit
  • The lead car has broken tail lights, making it impossible for the rear driver to see them stopping

How much compensation will I get for rear end accident?

An injured person has the ability to seek compensatory damages following a rear ended accident. This includes any costs or losses that result from the wreck. Factors that will determine the rear ended collision settlement include the following:

  • Cost of medical bills
    • Emergency room treatment, physical or occupational therapy, medical supplies and prescriptions
  • Lost wages and earnings
    • Including lost earning capacity
  • Car repair costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium for a spouse/partner
  • Survivor damages in the case of a wrongful death

In the case that the other driver was committing a crime, like driving while intoxicated, you may also receive punitive damages.

How much do you get for pain and suffering from a rear ended collision settlement?

The amount you are able to receive in compensation from a rear end collision depends on many factors. The two most contributing factors include how severe your injuries were and the amount of available insurance. Another weighing factor depends on how much pain and suffering you and your attorney are able to prove. 

Pain and suffering refers to both the physical and emotional injuries sustained as a result of the accident. If you suffered any physical pain and mental anguish following the accident, you may be able to seek compensatory damages for it.

The average rear ended collision settlement is generally in the range of $15,000 to $20,000. This is not a set amount, as each settlement offer depends on the specific details of the case. If your attorney is able to prove you suffered extreme mental and physical pain from the accident, you may receive a higher amount. 

Should I sue after being rear ended?

If you received injuries after being rear ended, you are able to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. The decision is up to you. 

The amount you receive for a rear ended collision settlement depends on the ability of your personal injury lawyer and the proof of injury you can provide. The best way to provide this proof is to collect any data or bills from doctors visits that pertained to the accident’s injuries.

In a car accident, you may not feel the effects on your body until much later. Even the smallest accidents can take a toll on your body in ways that you don’t even realize. It could take weeks for symptoms to show up. By then, you may not even realize the pain relates to the accident. 

That is why, if you plan to sue after being rear ended, you should always pay attention to any pain you experience after the accident. Keep records of your doctors visits and document as much as you can. This will help your case later. 

Contact Gordon & Gordon Today

If you received injuries as a result of a rear ended collision, contact the lawyers at Gordon & Gordon today. We have over 30 years of combined legal experience dealing with cases such as personal injury. We can help you receive the settlement needed to properly recover from your injuries. You can get in touch with us by calling 318-716-HELP or visiting our website and filling out our online contact form.

FREE CONSULTATION

Free Consultation With A Personal Injury Lawyer: What To Expect

When you receive injuries in an accident, you are able to make a personal injury claim against the responsible party. This claim can help you recover damages related to any costs or losses that resulted from your injury. To file a claim and receive compensation, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. When searching for a personal injury attorney, you’ll often hear the words “free consultation.” This may sound too good to be true, but believe it or not, it’s a common thing among personal injury lawyers. 

At Gordon & Gordon Law Firm, we offer these initial free consultations. If you want to discuss your case with our lawyers for free, we have you covered! Contact us today to see what we can do for you and your personal injury case. 

Can I talk to an attorney for free?

You’ve probably noticed many law firms advertising free consultations for clients. This is not an obligation for all attorneys, but many choose to offer this perk to attract clients. It is a way for clients to meet the attorney who could potentially be handling their case. 

It’s important to remember that a free consultation does not mean free legal advice or representation. The representation is only valid after both the lawyer and client have signed a contract declaring so.

The conversation during an initial consultation often involves the client detailing the facts of the case. The attorney will then interpret those details and break down the legal implications of their situation. With all the details provided, the lawyer will gain a clearer understanding of the case and what they can do for their client. They will likely give a summary of the legal process that might incur and what the client should expect the outcome to be. 

The information provided during a free consultation does not constitute valid legal advice. They may provide general legal information, but it is not the same as official legal advice. Official legal advice analyzes the law around a specific situation and bases recommendations off of that.

What questions should you ask a personal injury lawyer?

A free consultation is the perfect time for potential clients to ask an attorney questions to determine if they are the right person for the job. If you’re considering seeking a consultation, you may want to have some questions prepared beforehand. The following are helpful questions to ask a lawyer to see if they’re a good fit for your case:

  • How long have you practiced law?
  • How long have you focused on personal injury cases in particular?
  • What cases have you handled that are similar to my own? How successful were they?
  • Who in your firm will be handling my case? How much time will you spend on it personally?
  • Will you try to settle or will my case go to trial?
  • Do you think we can win this case?

These questions are a general outline for any consultation. If you have questions specific to your case, you should ask those as well. The answers to these questions will help you determine your comfortability with this person and if you trust them to represent you.

What makes a good personal injury attorney?

There are certain qualities that you should look for when seeking a personal injury attorney. One of the most important qualities you can find in a lawyer is that they’re committed to helping you, not just taking your money. Though law is their business, a good attorney doesn’t look at it as that only. They see it as a way to help people out of their complicated situations. If you find a lawyer who is genuine in their interest in helping you, you know they have your best interests at heart.

A good lawyer is also one that has plenty of experience within the courtroom. It is often the lawyers who have the ability to be successful in presenting your case to a jury that don’t even need a jury verdict in the long run. Those are the ones who are in the best position to settle your case outside of the courtroom, should you choose. 

Another trait of a good personal injury attorney is that they make time for you. You never want to feel like just another case in the filing cabinet. You want to feel as though your case matters to this person, and it should. If your attorney can’t provide the time to educate you and keep you updated on your case, they aren’t a very good fit. 

You should always look for an attorney who is able to answer all your questions and concerns. The best personal injury lawyers are ones that are willing to sit down with you and inform you of the details of your case. They have the proper experience and are well-versed in cases like your own.

Finally, a good lawyer is one that can bring you results. Great results. When you work with Gordon & Gordon, you can ensure you’ll be getting the best settlement you deserve.

Is it worth getting a personal injury lawyer?

If you received injuries due to someone else’s negligence, it is worth getting a personal injury lawyer. With an injury comes medical bills and expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional and financial stress. Why should you be responsible for this due to someone else’s fault? You shouldn’t, and you don’t have to be. 

Getting a personal injury lawyer can ensure that the person responsible for your injury pays for these damages so you don’t have to. Damages refer to the costs and losses that you suffered as a result of your injury. These damages can be economic, noneconomic, and even punitive. Economic damages refer to measurable monetary losses. These include the following:

  • Medical expenses (both past and future)
  • Loss of earnings (both past and future)
  • Loss of employment or business opportunities
  • Cost of repair or replacement of damaged property
  • Loss of use of property
  • Economic value of domestic services

Noneconomic damages are more subjective and cannot measure as easily as economic damages. These include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Inconvenience 
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship

Punitive damages are damages awarded that intend to punish the guilty party. They aren’t for the purpose to compensate for losses, but to deter malicious or reckless behavior.

Should you seek to recover any of these damages for your case, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer. 

Contact Personal Injury Attorneys Gordon & Gordon Today

If you have a personal injury case on your hands, consult with the professionals at Gordon & Gordon. Not only do we offer a free consultation, there is also no fee unless we win your personal injury case. To discuss your personal injury claim with us, call 318-716-HELP today. Our phone lines are open 24/7. You can also send us a message to begin the free consultation process by filling out this form.

Head Injury Compensation Claim_Gordon&Gordon

Head Injury Compensation Claim

An injury to the head could lead to devastating results. A head injury has the ability to end a life or alter it forever. It is a traumatic event that no one wants to experience, especially due to another’s negligent behavior. Recovering from a head injury can be long and painful. Not to mention, it can be very expensive. If you received one of these injuries, you’re entitled to a head injury compensation claim. 

Gordon & Gordon Law Firm understands the stress and worry a head injury can place on you and your family. While you recover physically, we want to help you recover compensation for your losses and damages. We’ll answer your questions and tell you the next steps to take after receiving a head injury.

WHAT IS HEAD INJURY?

Head injuries are any type of injury sustained to your skull, scalp, face, or brain. These injuries can vary in severity from a bump or bruise to fatal brain trauma. Just as the severity of these injuries can vary, so can the treatments needed to recover. 

The brain is one of the most vital organs, which makes the head a very delicate region. Damage to the brain can alter a person’s body and life forever. Permanent impairment is not uncommon following a severe head injury.

There are many different types of head injury. Injuries of the more severe cases include:

  • Concussions
    • Occurs when the brain hit against the walls of the skull due to some kind of hard impact.
  • Edema
    • Swelling of the brain. Because your head can’t stretch to accommodate the swelling, the brain presses against the bones of the skull.
  • Intracerebral Hemorrhage
    • Uncontrollable bleeding within the tissue of the brain.
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
    • Uncontrollable bleeding in the space surrounding the brain and skull.
  • Hematoma
    • A hematoma is the clotting of blood outside the vessels. A hematoma in the brain can build up pressure in your skull and cause serious and permanent damage.
  • Skull Fracture
    • Any break in the cranial bone is a skull fracture. Swelling, tenderness, bruising, or bleeding from the nostrils or ears can be a sign of a skull fracture.
  • Shear Injury
    • A shear injury, also known as diffuse axonal injury, damages brain cells and prohibits brain function. This type of injury is not visible but can be very dangerous and can result in permanent brain damage or death.

WHAT ARE COMMON CAUSES OF HEAD INJURY?

There are many ways people receive head injuries. Any kind of sharp force or impact to the head can cause a serious injury. Excessive shaking can also cause a head injury, though this occurs the most in children or babies.

A large sum of head injuries come as a result of a car accident. Even from the less serious accidents, the force of impact can cause painful injuries. This might include slamming your head into the steering wheel or whiplash from the crash.

Trips, slips, and falls are another common cause of head injury. In fact, over a million people in the United States suffer severe injuries from slip and fall accidents each year. 

Sports-related incidents account for several head injuries every day. Sports like football, gymnastics, and baseball all produce a large number of these types of injuries. 

Another common cause of head injury comes from assault and violent attacks. In Shreveport alone, nearly 1,600 violent attacks occur per year.

Among all the different causes of head injury, there are two separate categories they fall into. These are open and closed head injuries. An open head injury occurs when something pierces your scalp and breaks through your skull. This usually means that it also penetrated the brain. Closed head injuries are much more common and leave the skull intact. These are sometimes referred to as blunt or nonpenetrating head traumas. This could include contusions or brain bleeds.

Whether the injury is a closed wound or is penetrating, it’s difficult to determine how serious it is just by looking. If you’ve experienced any kind of head trauma, you should seek medical treatment immediately to have a doctor assess your injuries.

WHAT ARE SOME SYMPTOMS OF HEAD INJURY?

There are several symptoms that suggest a head injury. Some symptoms might be immediate, while others have a delayed reaction. It is important that as soon as you experience any sort of head trauma to seek medical attention. That way, the doctor can rule out any severe damage and give you a proper diagnosis. 

Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some of these may include:

  • Bruising or swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Disorientation
  • Amnesia
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or blurred vision
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fainting episodes
  • Seizure

There are many more symptoms that indicate a head or brain injury. Physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, and behavioral symptoms may occur. If you experience any of these symptoms or otherwise notice a change in your mood or body, seek professional care.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET A HEAD INJURY AT WORK?

Over 24% of head injuries occur in the workplace. The majority of these workplace injuries are the result of something or someone falling. Falling objects, falling from heights, or slips and falls. It can also occur from car accidents experienced while on the clock.

If you suffer a head injury at work, you will need to file a workers compensation claim. Any employee who receives a head injury on the job is eligible for benefits. 

In some cases, you might be eligible for more than workers compensation. There may be other parties involved who contributed to your head injury. This could be a property owner, a manufacturer, a contractor, or another third-party entity that played a part in your injury. In this case, you’ll want to file a third-party claim with the help of an experienced attorney.

Immediately following any workplace incident, you should seek medical attention. This is especially true if the injury relates to your head or brain. Make sure your doctor knows the injury happened on the job. You will want to save any medical records or documentation as proof of your injury. Otherwise, insurance companies might try to deny your claim altogether.

HOW MUCH CAN I GET FROM MY HEAD INJURY COMPENSATION CLAIM?

Head injury compensation claims generally have a high payout. This is because the head is such a sensitive and important region. Damage to the head or brain could alter someone’s life significantly. In the case that you experience a head injury at the hands of someone else, you should file a compensation claim.

To do this, you will need the help of an attorney. An experienced attorney is one of the most important factors in determining how much you are able to gain in a settlement or lawsuit.

Another factor that plays into the amount of compensation you’re able to get is the losses you experienced as a result of the injury. Any lost earnings or loss of possible future income are some of these. Other losses include any medical expenses or property damage that occurred. 

If you need extensive, ongoing medical treatment after the incident, your attorney will work to cover those damages as well.

Any pain or suffering that you may have experienced (or still are) is also observed. Though it cannot quantify as a number amount, the judge will use this as a multiplier. Your compensation amount could multiply by two, three, or even more. Depending, of course, on how well your attorney can convince the court of the pain and suffering.

There is no set compensation rate for head injury. Every circumstance is different just as every courtroom is different. Your payout may range anywhere from thousands to millions. The more experienced your lawyer is and how well they represent you can be the difference between 5, 6, or even 7 figures. 

CALL GORDON & GORDON TODAY

If you suffered a head injury at the hands of another person, call our law offices today. Gordon & Gordon Law Firm has been helping residents of Northwest Louisiana for over 30 years. Our legal experience provides us with the tools you need to get the compensation you deserve. We won’t even charge you unless you get a settlement. Call us today at 318-716-HELP or visit our website to begin your journey towards compensation.

Do You Have A Wrongful Death Lawsuit_Gordon&Gordon

Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Frequently Asked Questions

Nothing can make up for the wrongful death of a loved one. It is something nobody ever wishes to experience. If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may want to file a wrongful death lawsuit. While this doesn’t bring the victim back, it can help compensate you for the devastating loss. 

Wrongful death refers to the death of someone as a result of negligence or misconduct. This means that someone caused the person’s death by failing to act in a reasonable or careful manner. 

Gordon & Gordon Law Firm understands the burden that losing a loved one can put on a family. We want to ensure that you recover financially so you have more room to recover emotionally. In this post, we’ll cover the who’s, what’s, and how’s surrounding this lawsuit. Here are your most frequently asked questions about a wrongful death lawsuit. 

What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is different from any criminal charges that may have resulted from the fatality. It is a separate civil action brought against the person or people responsible for the death. A criminal charge seeks punishment like prison or probation for the guilty party. The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to recover compensation from losses or damages. We’ll cover those types of losses later on.

Most wrongful death lawsuits follow behind a criminal trial. They often use the same evidence, but need a lower standard of proof. This means that while someone might not be found guilty of a crime, they can still be liable for a wrongful death. 

There are many circumstances that might bring about a wrongful death lawsuit. Some of which might include any of these situations that result in the death of an individual:

  • Criminal Behavior
  • Auto, Train or Airplane Accident
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Workplace Accidents
    • Occupational exposure to harmful substances or conditions
  • Negligence During a Supervised Activity
    • Drowning, poisoning, etc.
  • Product Liability

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

To file the lawsuit, many states require the decedent’s personal representative to make the claim. This is most likely the bank or person who was responsible for managing their estate. If they did not already have a personal representative, the court will appoint one. This person will become the personal representative of the estate of the victim. It’s generally one of the wrongful death beneficiaries that’s appointed by the court.

In other states, like Louisiana, the estate can only file a claim if there are no surviving relatives to do so. This means that family members of the deceased get first priority. The following is the order in which family members are able to file in Louisiana:

  1. The surviving children or spouse of the deceased.
  2. If no children or spouse are living, the surviving parent(s).
  • A parent that abandoned the decedent in childhood is treated as deceased.
  1. If no parents are living, the surviving sibling(s) of the deceased.
  2. Finally, if no siblings are living, the surviving grandparent(s) of the deceased.

Adopted family members have equal rights to biological family members in any of the above categories.

How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?

Wrongful death settlements are often paid out by insurance providers. If the settlement exceeds the liability coverage limit, the defendant might need to pay the remaining amount. In the case that the guilty party doesn’t have insurance at all, they’re still held responsible for the settlement. 

A wrongful death suit covers both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses refer to measurable sums. This includes the following:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Damaged property bills
  • Lost benefits and wages
  • Value of household services lost

Some states allow the recovery of the decedent’s total lifetime earning capacity. 

Noneconomic losses refer to losses that are not available in the form of a bill or receipt. They are still losses, but cannot measure in the same way. These include:

  • Pain and suffering the victim may have suffered before their wrongful death
  • Pain and suffering of the family members
    • Loss of:
      • Care
      • Companionship
      • Emotional support
      • Guidance
      • Goods and services provided by the decedent

The money you collect from a wrongful death lawsuit is generally not taxable. Yet there are some cases where it might be. It depends on the circumstances behind the awarded money. 

For example, compensatory payments may not be taxable, but punitive damages are. Compensatory payments refer to the economic and noneconomic losses. Punitive damages mean to punish the guilty party for their behavior. A wrongful death attorney will help you determine what damages you’re able to recover and what of those is taxable. 

Who Gets The Money In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

It’s obvious that the victim cannot recover damages from a wrongful death lawsuit. So who can?

The money is generally distributed between the deceased’s estate and their surviving family members. This can include the victim’s spouse, children, parents, siblings, and sometimes grandparents.

In Louisiana, the money goes to whoever is successful in filing the lawsuit. If a year passed before a spouse filed and the deceased’s children file, the money would go to them.

In states like Texas, the jury decides how the money gets distributed. There are also some states where anyone who would’ve inherited from the deceased person is eligible to file a lawsuit and receive damages. 

How Long Does It Take To Settle Wrongful Death Claims?

Before we get into how long it takes to settle the claims, we should inform you of how long you have to file one. Every state has its own statute of limitations. In Louisiana, the statute gives surviving family members one year to file a wrongful death claim. This means that family members have one year from the date of the death to file in court.

In some states, only the spouse is able to file a lawsuit within the first year following their partner’s death. If a suit is not filed within a year, the right becomes available to any surviving children. 

After filing a wrongful death lawsuit, it can take anywhere between 1-4 years to settle.There are some cases when it might take as little as a few months. If the case gets filed outside of court, it’s likely to take much less time. If it’s taken to court, you can expect a longer time frame. It comes down to how your lawyer and court system works with you.

Contact Gordon & Gordon Today

If you lost a loved one due to negligence or misconduct, you may have a wrongful death lawsuit on your hands. Contact Gordon & Gordon today to file your claim. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys will make sure you get the compensation we know you deserve. Let us help you through this difficult process. Visit our website or give us a call at (318) 716-HELP.

Should I settle my insurance claim?

Should I Settle My Insurance Claim?

Settlement Secrets Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know

Do you find yourself asking “Should I settle my insurance claim?”

When you make a personal injury claim, you’ll eventually negotiate with the other party’s insurance company. Even if you end up filing a lawsuit, negotiations will be ongoing. Your case may reach a resolution out of court at any time. 

Presenting the insurance company with a strong demand letter with plenty of evidence in your favor is important. In this case, negotiations might only take a few phone calls. This is one reason it is essential to have an attorney from the beginning of your personal injury process. The attorneys at Gordon & Gordon put together a few tips that will help you get the best settlement possible in Louisiana. We also discuss why it may or may not be in your best interest to settle your case, and some tips for negotiations. 

How to Negotiate a Settlement in Louisiana: The Negotiation Process

Every personal injury claim is different. This means that the negotiation process can vary widely. Sometimes all it takes is a few phone calls.

However, the average settlement negotiation tends to be a bit more complex. Negotiations take place between your attorney and the other party’s insurance adjuster. Both sides will make points about the strengths and weaknesses of your claims. 

Consider this scenario. Your attorney points out there are eyewitness accounts confirming the other person was responsible for your injury. Obviously this evidence would be in your favor. The insurance adjuster should accept your attorney’s settlement demand. The insurance company might come back and say that another person might have been equally responsible for your injury. This might be a weakness in your claim and might mean you and your attorney should accept a lower settlement amount. Your attorney then proposes a number a big higher than the counter-offer but still lower than the original offer. 

This process continues until both parties arrive at a figure everyone is sufficiently happy with. The final number will probably be lower than what your attorney first offered. But it should at the very least be higher than what the insurance adjuster first offered.

Should I Settle My Insurance Claim? 

This depends entirely on your specific case. The easiest way to know if you should settle is to ask a Gordon & Gordon personal injury attorney

Settling is usually in the best interest of both parties. The alternative to settling an insurance claim is to take your case to trial. Keep in mind that trials are unpredictable. They may drag on for months and even years. 

Take the advice of your personal injury attorney. The rare case in which you should go to trial is if you have strong evidence and the insurance company refuses to negotiate. 

How to Negotiate A Settlement in Louisiana: Quick Tips From A Shreveport Bossier Attorney 

There are a few practices you can employ to put your claim in the best possible position during negotiations. Here are some of these tips from a Manassas personal injury attorney. 

Have A Settlement Amount in Mind

Figure out the minimum amount of money you’re willing to accept. 

As part of your personal injury settlement demand letter, you and your attorney at Gordon & Gordon will help you determine how much your claim is worth. Working within the range of that number, you and your attorney will decide the smallest amount of money you would be willing to accept. The number in your demand letter is the amount of money you want, but it helps to keep your bottom line in mind during negotiations. Don’t share any of this information with the insurance adjuster. If they catch wind of your willingness to accept less money, they won’t budge later on. 

Don’t be too stubborn about the figure you have in mind. If an insurance adjuster points out that some key weaknesses in your claim you hadn’t considered before, it might be wise to review your minimum amount. If the adjuster begins by offering an amount near your minimum, you should move your figure upward. 

What is a Reservation of Rights Letter?

Sometimes an insurance company will send you something called a reservation of rights letter. Don’t let this intimidate you. 

This simply means the insurance company is investigating your claim. They reserve their right not to pay you if the other party’s policy doesn’t cover your accident.

This just means the insurance company is trying to protect itself. It prevents you from claiming that the policy covers your accident simply because the company opened negotiations with you. 

Don’t Jump At The First Offer

Insurance adjusters almost always offer an extremely low amount for the first offer to see if you will accept the fast cash. Their main goal is not to help you. It’s to save the insurance company money. This is why it’s important to have an attorney.

If the offer is reasonable but just a bit low, you should counter with a slightly higher number, but still less than your original demand. This shows the adjuster that you are being reasonable too. 

Make the Adjuster Justify A Low Offer 

Ask the adjuster you’re working with for specific reasons they made such a low offer. It’s possible they just made the low offer to call your bluff and see if you know how much your claim is really worth. 

Just because they made an offer that is unreasonably low doesn’t mean you should lower your original offer. Instead, ask them to explain why they are offering so little. 

Write them a response and answer to each of their points. See if they will budge after that. If the adjuster is being reasonable, you should be able to reach a fair settlement with them. 

Emphasize Emotional Points

Don’t shy away from talking about emotional factors. Although facts are necessary, strong emotional claims help too.

If your injury prevented you from taking care of your child, talk about your child’s suffering. You can’t put a real price on pain and suffering. But emphasizing your emotional pain can go a long way in getting insurance companies to bring a reasonable offer to the table. 

Put the Settlement in Writing 

Once you and the insurance adjuster finally reach an agreement, confirm it with a letter. This will be addressed to the insurance adjuster. It can be short and sweet. Simply name the amount you agreed to, the injuries involved and the date you expect to receive the settlement money

Should I Settle My Insurance Claim? Call Gordon & Gordon!

The attorneys at Gordon & Gordon are experienced in working with insurance companies to get you the best results possible for your settlement. If you’ve been injured and don’t want to have to face the insurance companies alone, contact us for a free consultation. 

personal injury claims process

10 Steps for the Personal Injury Claims Process

Anyone who’s been in a car accident knows: the stress and trauma take a toll. The steps you take in the following minutes and hours might make or break your health and wallet. You must ensure you do everything the law requires you to do. We’ve put together a 10 step process of a personal injury claims process. Use this to prepare yourself if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of being involved in an auto accident.

What are the 10 Steps for the Personal Injury Claims Process?

  1. Check for Injuries After an Accident
  2. Document Evidence for Your Personal Injury Case
  3. File a Claim with your Insurance Company
  4. Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Auto Accident Attorney for your Case
  5. Determine the Severity of Your Personal Injury
  6. Demand a Settlement
  7. Case Settles or a Lawsuit Is Filed
  8. Discovery
  9. Mediation
  10. Trial 

1. Check for Injuries After an Auto Accident

Make sure that you stop your car in a safe place. Do not leave the scene of the accident. This is a crime. Check yourself and others for injuries. Call 911 to get medical help for anyone with injuries.  According to Louisiana law, drivers involved in an auto accident must report the accident to the police if any injury or death occurs, or if there is over $500 in property damage. Many insurance companies also require you to call the police after an auto accident. Check with your policy to find out the terms and conditions.

After the shock of an accident, you may not realize you have suffered a serious head, neck, back, or organ injury. Just because you can’t see an injury or think you only received minor cuts and scrapes, it is still best to have a medical professional evaluate you. Listen to the advice of a medical professional. 

Lots of people choose not to call the police after an accident because at first, it seemed like there were only minor damages or injuries. But often, property damage and injuries arise later. Failure to document an accident with a police report may make it harder to get compensation for your damages later on. 

2. Document Evidence for Your Personal Injury Case

If you can, we recommend that you take photos of the:

  • vehicles
  • license plates
  • surroundings
  • nearby traffic controls
  • any visible injuries

Write down the:

  • driver’s name
  • address
  • phone number
  • license plate number 
  • the vehicle owner’s name

If there were any witnesses, you should also collect their names and contact information. Try to limit conversation with other parties. Do not admit fault or assign blame. In order to aid your memory, write down as many details as possible as soon as you can. It is easy to forget important details in the aftermath, but the more information you have, the easier your case will be. 

3. File a Claim with your Insurance Company

Most insurance companies require you to report the accident very soon after the crash.

Your insurance company might ask you to provide a statement. We do not recommend this. Keep in mind that YOU pay your insurance company. They technically work for you, and you don’t owe them anything.

Your attorney should help you with the personal injury claim process, not your insurance company.

It is best to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an auto accident. Then your attorney can advise you how to approach your insurance company. The attorneys at Gordon & Gordon provide free initial consultations. It will cost you nothing to double check with an attorney. This could end up saving you thousands later on.

Even though your insurance company is supposed to be on your side, they might try to diminish your accident and injuries to avoid paying for your damages.Insurance companies always do everything in their power to maximize their profits. They do this by limiting their payments to you as much as possible. 

In most cases, your insurance company is best equipped to help you get your vehicle fixed or pay for a total loss. Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, your insurance company can help you get back on the road, as long as you have collision coverage under your policy. After that, your insurance company will seek reimbursement from the insurance company of the driver at fault.

4. Free Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Auto Accident Attorney 

In many cases, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will contact you. They might ask you to provide a written or recorded statement. It is not in your best interest to do so. They might also offer you a small amount of money and ask you to sign a release. Again, it is not in your best interest to do so. 

In our many years as Louisiana personal injury auto accident attorneys at Gordon & Gordon, we often advise clients to contact insurance companies as little as possible and never to accept fast cash. Your injuries might last longer than you thought they would. When you sign a release, you will not be able to reopen your claim. Never accept settlements or sign any documents without legal counsel. 

The Louisiana attorneys at Gordon & Gordon have a long history of representing anyone that has suffered a personal injury. Hiring us for your case will help ensure your insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you during the the personal injury claim process. Our attorneys can help you manage the numerous calls you receive from insurance adjusters. We can fight against low settlement offers from insurance companies. 

Scheduling a consultation with one of our attorneys after your personal injury from an auto accident will be free. We only receive compensation for our legal services if we help you recover damages. 

5. Determine the Severity of Your Personal Injury

Once you’ve reached this stage in the process of the personal injury claim process, your legal team will lead you going forward. Our personal injury attorneys at Gordon & Gordon conduct further investigation into the accident. We follow up with you regularly regarding your medical treatment. We also order your medical bills and records as you continue treatment.

Sometimes your pain or injury might not go away. If this happens, we contact your doctor and get a report to submit along with any treatment records. This step can often take a long time because it depends on how you are feeling. Before you consider accepting any offer from an insurance company, you need to have a clear idea of how you’re feeling. 

6. Demand a Settlement

After your injuries have stabilized, we usually demand the insurance to offer a settlement. A settlement is a sum of money an insurance company offers to resolve a dispute with you, the accident victim. 

The insurance company will make the first offer. In almost all cases, the first settlement offer is extremely low. It is often an almost laughable amount. They want to see if you’re willing to accept fast cash now rather than wait for a bigger payout later on.

Insurance companies know that many victims don’t understand how quickly medical bills can pile up. They try to make an offer quickly before accident victims have the chance to consult a lawyer. Don’t let the insurance company do this to you. 

7. Case Settles or a Lawsuit Is Filed

After receiving settlement offers from insurance adjusters, you get the chance to decide whether you want to settle your case or file a lawsuit. Many clients are afraid of going to trial and say that they would prefer to settle. Insurance companies know this too well and offer low settlement amounts.

At this stage of the personal injury claim process, your attorney at Gordon & Gordon will provide guidance. We can tell you whether the offer from the insurance company is fair and whether it makes sense to continue with a lawsuit. 

During this part of the personal injury claim process, your attorney will provide guidance on whether the offer from the insurance company is fair and whether it makes sense to continue with a lawsuit.

There are pros and cons for settling and going to court. The experienced Louisiana personal injury auto accident attorneys at Gordon & Gordon will advise you on which option is best for you. 

8. Discovery

In the event you decide not to accept the settlement offer and file a lawsuit, the case begins a discovery period. Discovery means that your personal injury attorney at Gordon & Gordon get to find out more information about the other side. The other side will also learn more about you. Both sides are permitted to request documents, pictures and depositions. 

Attorneys have the chance to ask questions of involved parties during a personal injury deposition. These people could include police officers, witnesses, treating doctors, or anyone else who might provide evidence in the case of the trial. 

Once this process is complete, the court usually orders mediation prior to the start of a trial.

9. Mediation

Mediation is the final, informal alternative to going to trial during a personal injury claims process. In a mediation, a neutral third party facilitates a discussion between both sides. The goal is to promote a resolution of the disputes before a trial. The mediator gets to lead the discussion but does not get to make decisions about the case. During a trial, the judge has the ultimate power and influence over the outcome of the case. 

10. Trial 

In the event a mediation is unsuccessful, the case goes to trial. If you’re in a busy Parish, a trial might take a year to start after filing. As long as you filed your personal injury lawsuit claim within a year of the accident, you’re in the clear.

The injured person needs to prove that the other driver was negligent during a trial. He or she must also show how much money the jury should award in damages. The court asks the jury to decide if you were negligent and if your negligence caused your own injuries. Once everyone testifies, the jury decides on a final verdict. 

Fault and liability are determined by the “pure comparative negligence” standard in Louisiana. This means that each driver involved in an auto accident is responsible for their own share of the liability or fault in the accident. 

If you were injured or sustained property damage from an accident and you were partly at fault, you can still recover some damages. The exact amount of compensation you recover depends on how much you contributed to the accident. 

Let the Personal Injury Attorneys at Gordon & Gordon Handle the Personal Claims Process For You

If you were the victim of a personal injury due to another person’s negligence in a car accident, you have nothing to fear with the help of Gordon & Gordon Law Firm. Our clients can tell you about the great results we produce for our clients. If you have a personal injury case and want to speak to a personal injury attorney, contact us to schedule a free consultation. We know how to help you navigate the personal injury claims process.

report a car accident

How to Report a Car Accident

While no one wants to find themselves in a situation involving a car accident, knowing how to report damages and get the most out of any potential insurance claims can take away many potential pitfalls and headaches.  The information below serves as a guide for individuals who find themselves looking for guidance when it comes to how to report a car accident and the various aspects of a complete, correct report.  

How Long Do I Have to Report a Car Accident?

Whenever involved in a car accident in the state of Louisiana, an individual has an obligation to stop at the scene.  Once the condition of each person involved has been verified, exchanging information with the other involved parties is the next step.  Then, calling local police and notifying them of the accident should follow.

In the event that any parties find themselves injured as a result of the crash, contacting medical personnel and providing aid if possible should be among the first tasks completed.

Once an initial assessment of the scene ends and all individuals are safe and accounted for, any vehicles involved in the accident should be removed from traffic.  This should take place only if safely moving the vehicles is possible.

If the accident occurs within an incorporated city or town, the driver must report the accident to the local police department.  For accidents that occur outside of incorporated cities and towns, drivers must report accidents to the nearest state police station or sheriff’s office.  In both scenarios, a driver must make a report “immediately, by the quickest means of communication.” 

Do I Have to Call the Police After a Minor Car Accident?

When determining whether or not to notify the police of a car accident, following Louisiana State Statutes serves as best practice.  Accidents involving injury, death, intoxicated drivers, hit-and-runs, or property damages totaling more than $500 must be reported to law enforcement immediately.

State statute section 32-398 also states that “the driver of any vehicle involved in a an accident resulting in injury or death to any person, or total property damage to an apparent extent of $100 or more must also send a written report of the accident to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections 24 hours after the crash.” 

If an individual fails to report a car accident to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections within 24 hours, they face a fine of up to $100 or imprisonment for up to 60 days, or both.

What Information Should I Report After a Car Accident?

In order for a thorough accounting of the incident to take place, the following items should be reported at minimum:

  • Names, addresses, and driver’s license numbers of all driver involved
  • Any insurance information relevant to all drivers involved
  • Vehicle license plate numbers and registration numbers for any vehicles involved or damaged during the car accident.
  • Details surrounding the accident.  These items include weather conditions, road conditions, time, specific geographic location of accident, lighting conditions, and anything else that could have contributed to the cause of the accident.

How Long Do I Have To File A Lawsuit Related To My Car Accident?

When considering filing a lawsuit related to a car accident, Louisiana places a one-year statute of limitations on any claim related to “injury or vehicle damage by driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist after a traffic accident.”

The timing mechanism for this statute of limitations begins on the date of the car accident.

Claims filed outside of this timeframe run the risk of a procedural dismissal.

Should I Take Photos of the Car Accident?

When filing a claim with insurance, the incident documentation plays a key role in how to report a car accident.  Police reports will contain a great deal of detail regarding the car accident. As much factual information provided to the insurance company will bolster your claim.  Scene photos, vehicle pictures, and surrounding street signs also provide additional context when determining the insurance claim validity.

Giving the insurance company or agent as much detail as possible can influence the determination of compensation.  Weather conditions, the other driver’s demeanor, and surrounding traffic signals/signs paint a clear picture for insurance companies.

What are the Car Insurance Requirements for Louisiana?

The State of Louisiana requires all vehicle owners to maintain minimum liability insurance.  Those coverage minimums include:

  • $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the driver of the insured vehicle
  • $30,000 for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the driver of the insured vehicle, and
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident caused by the driver of the insured vehicle.

These amounts for coverage are used to pay for bills related to medical treatment, damage to property, and any other associated costs to individuals involved or injured in a car accident.  The amount allocated to each party falls under the coverage limits.  Additional coverage protects against costs associated with serious injuries or damage

In the event that coverage limits do not pay for the associated bills, individuals at fault are personally responsible for remaining balances.  Any additional coverage helps offset these unwanted expenses. 

Liability coverage also covers family members or friends behind the wheel, as well as damage following rental car accidents.

The coverages listed above do not apply to the driver’s own damages or injuries.  Additional coverage, such as collision coverage or uninsured motorist coverage, serve the purposes of filling these gaps.  Collision coverage pays for repairs/replacements to damaged vehicles.  Uninsured motorist coverage provides coverage in the event that you have an accident with an individual without insurance.  This insurance coverage also covers hit-and-run accidents.   

Louisiana Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

Louisiana imposes fines on drivers found driving without insurance.  These fines can run upwards of $1000.  Driving privilege suspensions also commonly take place.  In some cases, vehicle impounding, the registration revocation, and license plates cancellation occurs.

Louisiana also has a “No Pay, No Play” law that prohibits uninsured drivers from collecting damages following an accident.  These amounts include the first $25,000 in property damages and the first $15,000 in personal injury damages.

Wondering How to Report a Car Accident?  Need Help With a Personal Injury Claim?

If you have been in a car accident and aren’t sure of where to turn, contact the Gordon & Gordon. Speak with us today for a free consultation.  Get a trusted attorney on your side, fighting for your rights. Fair compensation can ease the burden of dealing with insurance companies and get you back on track where you belong.  Call us today at (318) 716-HELP or contact us through our website.

rear-end settlement

Rear-end Settlement

If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, you are not alone.  Around 33% of all highway accidents are rear-end collisions. In Louisiana alone, more than 50,000 rear-end crashes occurred in 2019.  If you’ve been involved in a rear-end accident or want knowledge in case of an accident or potential rear-end settlement, here’s what to know.

How Do Rear-end Collisions Happen?

Careless or inattentive drivers commonly result in rear-end collisions.  Many people fit this category, such as drunk drivers, drivers on cell phones, or individuals attempting to multitask while driving.

Rear-end collisions and accidents can happen suddenly and without warning.  The consequences are far-reaching and carry with them serious legal ramifications.

Am I Automatically At Fault If I Rear-End Someone?

Following existing legislation, a rear-ending driver carries the presumption of fault.  According to Louisiana Revised Statute 32:81, the driver of a motor vehicle has a duty to maintain a “reasonable and prudent” distance from the vehicle being followed.  The statute goes on to state that drivers must have “due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon.”  This means you shouldn’t drive at unnecessary speeds.  The condition of the road is also noted as a factor to consider.  

In basic terms, drivers should pay attention to the vehicles ahead of them. They also must leave proper amounts of distance for safely stopping without collisions.

Under the following conditions, a driver can avoid fault for a rear-end accident by being able to prove:

  1. The vehicle was being driven under control
  2. The lead vehicle was closely observed
  3. A safe distance for the circumstances was followed

Instances of drivers in rear-end accidents avoiding fault do occur.  These instances include drivers rear-ending someone after another driver crosses into the lane, leaving drivers nowhere to avoid a collision. Drivers may claim the leading vehicle stopped short, had no brake lights, or slowed down for no apparent reason. 

Another example of drivers avoiding fault for rear-end accidents comes from instances where another driver enters the highway unsafely.  This can occur when entering from a private path or the shoulder.  By appearing in front of someone suddenly and not allowing for maintenance of safe distance, the rear-ending driver escapes fault.

When Am I At Fault For A Rear-End Accident?

Following motorists generally bear the majority of blame for rear-end car accidents.  This rule finds its basis on the principle that the following motorist fails to responsibly maintain close watch of the preceding vehicle.  Another reason for fault occurs when the following driver fails to allow for sufficient space to stop.

Left-turning motorists involved in collisions occurring across the center-line receive the presumption of fault for accidents. The driver must offer evidence showing freedom from negligence to avoid liability. 

Left-turning motorists must make sure, before turning, that they can turn without danger.  They must also yield to oncoming traffic.  

In instances of motorists turning at intersections with green arrows, drivers can show freedom from negligence.  This happens by proving green arrow illumination at the time of the turn.

A motorist in an accident should never assume that they are at-fault for accidents without proper examination of the situation.

Auto insurers of tailing or left-turning motorists try to avoid paying for property damage and injuries.  They refuse to acknowledge or attempt to refute these well-established presumptions. 

Prior to dealing with insurance companies, communicate with an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney for assistance.

What are the Car Insurance Requirements for Louisiana?

Louisiana requires the following :

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: The minimum legal requirement – $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: The minimum legal requirement – $25,000
  • Medical payments: The minimum legal requirement – $1,000
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: The minimum legal requirement – $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident

What are the typical injuries from a rear-end car accident? Do They Influence A Rear-end Settlement?

During a rear-end collision, injuries range from minor bruising and superficial cuts up to paralysis or even death.

Frequently neck and back injuries occur due to whiplash.  Whiplash typically occurs when a vehicle strikes an unmoving car from behind.  This causes the head to snap backward, then forward violently.  Common symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, neck stiffness, headaches, shoulder pain and stiffness, and back pain.

Another common injury as a result of rear-end collisions comes with long-lasting effects.  Traumatic Brain Injuries can occur as a result of violent blows or jolts to the head.  Traumatic Brain Injuries can result in permanent brain damage and loss of many basic physical capabilities.

Considered perhaps the most identifiable injury associated with rear-end collisions — broken bones — can occur to any part of the body and often require intensive therapy for full recovery.

Only a trained medical professional can properly diagnose the injuries sustained in a vehicular collision.

Based on the extent of injuries, the settlement can grow quickly.

How Much Will a Rear-end Settlement Be?

While the amount for a rear-end settlement varies, the level of compensation depends on the scope and severity of the accident.  Factors influencing rear-end settlement amounts include:

  • Extent of serious injuries
  • The severity of the accident
  • Effects on the victim’s ability to work
  • The effects of injuries on family members
  • How quickly, if ever, the victim can heal from the injuries
  • Specialty medical care or treatments
  • Assignment of fault
  • If the victim had proper seat belt etiquette

Seasoned attorneys at Gordon & Gordon can work with you to assess the circumstances of the case and deliver an estimate of the potential worth of your case.

Need Help With Your Rear-End Settlement?  Contact Gordon & Gordon Today!

If you find yourself or someone you know in a situation where assistance with a rear-end settlement is needed, don’t hesitate to speak with the experienced team at Gordon & Gordon.  Call us today at (318) 716-HELP or leave us a message through our website to schedule your free case consultation.

how much can someone sue for a car accident

Can Someone Sue You For A Car Accident?

Each year, an estimated 37,000 people die in car accidents.  An additional 2.35 million sustain injuries.  While some accidents are truly unavoidable, a large number occur through another driver’s negligence, leading to personal injury claims.  In many instances, the question “Can someone sue you for a car accident?” arises.  The following information serves to help explain the processes associated with car accident lawsuits.

Being Sued for a Car Accident?: Personal Injury Victims

Regarding car accidents, people usually end up suing for negligence.  Negligence is often the basis of a personal injury claim. This means that a failure to exercise a reasonable level of care considering the specific circumstances occurred. This is typically what people need to determine when asking “can someone sue me for a car accident?”

For example, negligence means Driver 1 fails to use reasonable care, causing Driver 2 harm. Driver 2 can then file a lawsuit alleging Driver 1’s negligence. Examples of legal grounds for negligence include failure to comply with driving laws, texting while driving, and failure to keep a safe distance.

Insurance companies use many methods when determining the value of personal injury claims.  Basis for the amount of damages someone sues for is what the other party lost.  This includes monetary losses and emotional damages. Compensation for the medical bills provided, as well as lost wages, and possibly some amount of compensation for pain and suffering factor into the size of the claim.

 Pain and suffering refers to physical and/or emotional stress associated with an accident.  It also includes the injuries caused by the car accident. “Pain and suffering” is a subjective term, leaving a great deal up to interpretation.  When the accident is minor, pain and suffering is especially difficult to prove.

What are the Car Insurance Requirements for Louisiana?

The State of Louisiana requires all vehicle owners to maintain minimum liability insurance.  Those coverage minimums include:

  • Bodily Injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the driver of the insured vehicle – $15,000
  • Total Bodily Injury or death liability in an accident caused by the driver of the insured vehicle – $30,000
  • Property damage per accident caused by the driver of the insured vehicle – $25,000

Medical treatment, damage to property, and other costs to individuals involved in accidents are paid for by these coverages.  The amount typically allocated to individuals falls within coverage limits.  In the event additional costs, additional coverage covers the balance.

If coverage limits do not pay the entirety of associated bills, at-fault individuals hold responsibility for remaining balances.  Any extra coverage helps offset these unwanted expenses. 

Liability coverage also covers family members or friends behind the wheel, as well as damage following rental car accidents.

The coverages listed above do not apply to the driver’s own damages or injuries.  Additional coverage, such as collision coverage or uninsured motorist coverage, serve the purposes of filling these gaps.  Collision coverage pays for repairs/replacements to damaged vehicles.  

Uninsured motorist coverage provides coverage in the event that you have an accident with an individual without insurance.  This insurance coverage also covers hit-and-run accidents.  

Keep in mind insurance coverage requirements when deciding how much to carry. 

Louisiana Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

Driving without insurance in Louisiana comes with the imposing of fines.  Fines for driving without insurance can reach up to $1000.   Other penalties include the suspension of driving privileges and license plate cancellation..  It is not uncommon in some cases for vehicle impounding or registration revocation to occur.

A “No Pay, No Play” law  prohibits uninsured Louisiana drivers from collecting damages following an accident.  The first $25,000 in property damages and the first $15,000 in personal injury damages fall into these amounts.

Can I Be Sued For A Car Accident If There Is No Injury?

You can be sued for a car accident even if there is no injury.  Claims filed can attempt to recover damages as result of property damage and emotional distress.

What Determines Fault For A Car Accident in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, each driver in an accident is responsible for the relative liability or percentage of fault.  This is known as a “pure comparative negligence” standard. 

Someone injured or dealing with property damage can still recover damages even if they were still partially at fault for the cause of the accident.  Your level of compensation is reduced by the amount or percentage of fault you are assigned.

For example, if you suffered $10,000 in damages from an accident and the court determines that you were 40% at fault for the accident and the defendant was 60% liable, the defendant will be responsible for paying you $6,000 in damages.

Defendants can use pure comparative negligence standards for calculating damages as a defense argument. In cases dealing with accidents involving multiple defendants and vehicles, pure comparative negligence is especially relevant.

Can Someone Sue Me For A Car Accident If There Isn’t a Police Report?

The short answer is yes.  Someone can sue you without a completed and filed police report.  Ideally, police file a written account of the accident. The possibility of a situation where the police do not come to the scene always remains.  A lack of a police report isn’t a get out of jail free card, so to speak.  You may file a claim with or without an official police report.  

Keep in mind, police reports serve as official documentation of the incident.  Without one, the burden of proof weighs more heavily on the other information presented in the claim.

How Much Can Someone Sue For A Car Accident?

Louisiana does not place a limit on the amount of damages plaintiffs can recover from at-fault defendants following motor-vehicle accidents. Claims brought in small claims court are an exception to this.  Small claims court claims must fall below the $3,000 threshold.

Insurance providers for the at-fault parties will typically pay claims up to the limitations of the policies.  

Injured parties can file a lawsuit against the at-fault parties for recovery of any remaining damages. The amount of the plaintiff’s recovery will be reduced by the plaintiff’s fault percentage of causing or contributing to the accident. 

Generally, policy limits tend to dictate the amount that claims settle for.  Additional amounts rarely get assigned outside of the policy coverage.  Instances of additional damages usually only occur in cases with easily-liquidated assets in the defendant’s possession.

Despite this fact, it is probably in an individual’s best interest to ensure that they have some form of counsel when facing a personal injury claim.

What To Do if Someone Sues You For a Car Accident?

The benefits of consulting with a personal injury lawyer after your involvement in a car accident far outweigh the limited savings associated with self-representation.  A trained, experienced attorney can work with insurance companies and protect your interests as a client.  The seasoned team at Gordon & Gordon have the skills to handle these issues.  They also have a track record of delivering results for their clients when faced with legal uncertainty.

Involved In A Car Accident? Contact Gordon & Gordon, Personal Injury Attorneys

If you find yourself being sued as a result of a car accident, contact Gordon & Gordon today.  Our trained professionals will provide a free case consultation and help you determine the best course of action.  Protect your rights.  Call Gordon & Gordon at (318) 716-HELP or visit us at our website.

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