no win no fee case louisiana

What is a No Win No Fee Case?

A no win no fee arrangement is a common course of action for personal injury attorneys. In a no win no fee case, if you do not receive any damages, you do not have to pay any attorney’s fees. Some attorneys refer to this arrangement as a “conditional” fee arrangement.

At Gordon & Gordon, we understand that a personal injury might leave our clients unable to pay any fees at first. In this post, we will explain the finer points of a no win no fee arrangement, how it works, and answer some common questions.

What Does No Win No Fee Mean?

Most of the time, clients pursuing a personal injury claim are not able to pay attorney’s fees upfront. In essence, if your personal injury attorney does not obtain any damages for you in court, you will not have to pay a fee for their services. 

The idea behind this arrangement is that anyone, regardless of their financial background, can retain excellent legal service. When you sustain an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence and you need legal representation, whether or not you can pay steep legal fees upfront should not matter.

Some of the advantages of a no win no fee arrangement are:

  • Less risk and a higher level of compensation
  • If you lose, you’re no worse off than you were before 
  • Many no win no fee claims are successful 
  • There is no reason not to attempt your no win no fee claim.

This last bullet is the most important element. If you win a no win no fee claim, your attorney gets their fees and you get the remainder as your damages. If you lose, while you do not receive compensation for your personal injury claim, you will also not suffer any further financial injury.

How Does A No Win No Fee Claim Work?

If you reach a no win no fee agreement with your attorney, they will front the costs of your case. These types of costs can include:

If you win your case, your lawyer will take a pre-arranged percentage of the damages the court awards you as their contingency fee. This will cover all the costs the lawyer absorbed while they were working on your case.

Contingency Fees

The legal term for the fee in a no win no fee case is “contingency fee”. 

As we said, a contingency fee is a percentage of the damages the court awards you in your personal injury case. In a no win no fee case, the lawyer getting their fees is contingent on them winning your case. 

How Do Lawyers Determine Their Contingency Fee?

Lawyer’s fees will vary from case to case. It will depend on the time they spend on the case as well as the complexity of the case. 

But in a no win no fee arrangement, your personal injury attorney will explain their fees to you after they have assessed your case. You will not receive any surprise bills or hidden fees once you receive your damages.

How Do I Know If My Claim Will Be Successful?

The short answer is that you don’t. But at Gordon & Gordon, we will not advise you to enter a no win no fee arrangement unless we are reasonably sure it will succeed. 

This is a question we get all the time. Of course, lawyers are not the only ones who need to win a case to get their fees. You need those damages as well. This is why it is wise to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after you sustain the injury in question. Seek medical attention first, and then contact an attorney.

Making A No Win No Fee Claim

No win no fee simply refers to your arrangement with your personal injury attorney. Otherwise, your claim will follow the same simple steps as any other personal injury case. 

We can break down the process of personal injury claims with Gordon & Gordon into three simple steps.

Consultation

You can schedule an initial consultation with Gordon & Gordon at any of our offices. We have locations in Shreveport, Bossier, and Mansfield, Louisiana. During this consultation, our personal injury experts will assess your case and advise you accordingly. 

Investigation 

Gordon & Gordon will research the circumstances surrounding your claim, and gather the documents necessary to file it. This will generally involve obtaining your medical records so that there is proof of your injuries. 

Case Settlement 

Many personal injury clients worry that they will have to attend a trial. This is very rare. The majority of personal injury claims reach a settlement outside the courtroom.

When someone else is liable for your injuries, their insurance company is responsible for paying your damages. Using our knowledge of prior personal injury cases, we will work with you and determine a dollar amount that you feel will compensate you for your injuries. 

The other party’s insurance policy will be doing the same thing. If the two numbers don’t match up, we will negotiate on your behalf until we arrive at an appropriate number for both sides. Only if the two parties cannot reach an agreement will the case go to trial. 

If we do go to trial, Gordon & Gordon will call witnesses and present evidence of your injuries. In a personal injury trial, we must also prove that the injuries were the result of a specific accident and that that accident was the result of the other party’s negligence.

But as we said, a personal injury case going to trial is very rare. More than likely if the facts are reasonably clear, the parties will be able to reach an agreement. 

Call Gordon & Gordon

At Gordon & Gordon, there is no fee unless we win in a personal injury case. To discuss your personal injury claim with us, call 318.716.HELP. Lines are available 24/7. You can also send us a message directly to begin the consultation process by filling out the form on this page. 

What is the Average Settlement for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

What is the Average Wrongful Death Settlement?

The first thing you should know is that no two cases are alike. The average wrongful death settlement will differ depending on the magnitude and circumstances of your case. 

In fact, there isn’t an average wrongful death settlement. Amounts vary so much it would be impossible to settle on one average number.

The second thing you should know is that you shouldn’t feel guilty for wondering about money in the wake of a tragic death. If your family loses its breadwinner, it’s only natural that once the funeral is over, you might begin to think about money.

Louisiana law allows family members to receive compensation after a loss if another person’s negligence caused it. The amount of compensation you can receive depends on a variety of factors, including tangible and intangible losses.

What Is A Wrongful Death?

It’s important that you understand what makes up a wrongful death claim before we talk about what an average wrongful death settlement looks like. 

In Louisiana, wrongful death is when a person dies due to the fault of another. This other entity who is at fault can be another human being or a corporation. A wrongful death may happen due to an accident or a purposeful action. In other words, wrongful death can result from everything from negligence to recklessness to intentional conduct. 

A wrongful death claim is like a personal injury claim, except the injured person is unable to bring their own case to court. In this case, their surviving family members bring the case to court. 

Due to the more serious nature of a wrongful death case, the types of damages surviving family members can receive are different than in personal injury claims. The stakes are considerably higher. 

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim In Louisiana?

Louisiana law specifies the family members that can file wrongful death claims. The following parties can file a wrongful death claim in Louisiana:

  • The surviving spouse or children of the deceased person,
  • If there are no surviving spouses or children, the surviving parent or parents
  • If there are no surviving parents, the surviving siblings of the deceased person, or
  • If there are no surviving siblings, the surviving grandparents.

In any of these categories, adopted family members fall into the same category as their biological counterparts. Adopted siblings carry the same weight as biological siblings. 

Louisiana law does not allow parents who abandoned the child in childhood to file a wrongful death claim. 

How to Determine How Much Money You’ve Lost for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

There is no amount of money that can replace a lost loved one. But the loss of a family member also means financial losses, such as:

  • The value of household services. For example, if your wife cooks and cleans for you, if she dies you need to hire someone to do those things now. 
  • Future financial support 
  • Funeral and burial expenses 
  • The loss of gifts or benefits your loved one would have given if they had lived.

These calculations are not easy. It’s impossible to predict the future, after all. But you can estimate the financial support your loved one could have given based on their age, education, experience, and work history.

You can also receive medical expenses your loved one incurred before death. This can include pain and suffering your loved one endured in their final days. 

The average wrongful death settlement will revolve around these calculations. 

Intangible Losses

Tangible financial losses are not the only losses that factor into the average wrongful death settlement. Emotional losses include:

  • Loss of affection
  • Loss of moral support
  • Loss of companionship

These types of losses are different because there is no bill or receipt that defines them. There is no economist or financial expert that can put a price tag on emotional distress. An experienced wrongful death attorney can advise you on how to present proof of your intangible losses. 

In some cases, you could receive as much compensation for your intangible losses as for the tangible ones. 

Factors That May Reduce The Average Wrongful Death Settlement 

There are some cases where you might receive less than you expect from your wrongful death settlement. There are a few reasons this might happen.

For instance, your loved one may have contributed to their own accident. Though it is tragic, it is possible for victims to be negligent. As an example, your loved one might not have used a signal while riding a bicycle. A commercial truck could rear-end your family member or friend because they stopped suddenly.

In this situation, unfortunately, the victim of the tragic accident does bear some of the blame. The amount you can receive in a settlement will decrease by some percentage as a result. 

For example, if you estimate $3 million in a settlement but the court determines your loved one was 50% at fault, you will only receive $1.5 million. 

You can also receive less in a settlement if:

  • You wait too long. Like with other legal actions, there is a statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim. Louisiana gives the surviving family members one year to file a wrongful death claim. If you miss this deadline, you cannot receive a settlement. 
  • You don’t hire an experienced wrongful death attorney. Wrongful death cases are not like other cases. There are unique legal and factual hurdles. You need to hire an attorney who understands the law surrounding wrongful death claims to maximize the average wrongful death settlement. 

Contact Gordon & Gordon Today!

The law firm of Gordon & Gordon has been representing the people of Shreveport-Bossier for decades. At Gordon & Gordon, we understand that money is the last thing you want to think about after losing a loved one. 

Gordon & Gordon can handle your wrongful death claim with integrity, efficiency, and compassion. Better, they have the knowledge and experience to maximize the average wrongful death settlement for you. 

For more information about wrongful death claims, the average wrongful death settlement, or to discuss your case, call 318.716.HELP. You can also send us a message with a brief description of your case. 

how long does it take to get a personal injury settlement check

How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement Check?

Every personal injury case is unique. The time frame for a settlement can range from a few months to years. For instance, the average time for a car accident settlement may be different than other types of personal injury settlements. 

If you’re considering accepting a settlement, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. The law surrounding personal injury is complex; our attorneys at Gordon & Gordon can help advise you on which course of action is best for your family. If you’re starting to wonder “how long does it take to get a settlement check?” Gordon & Gordon has the answer!

How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement Check: What is a Personal Injury Settlement?

Before we talk about a personal injury settlement check timeline, let’s talk about what accepting a personal injury settlement means.  

A personal injury settlement is some amount of money a defendant pays to a plaintiff in a personal injury case. If the plaintiff accepts this settlement, the case does not proceed to trial. 

This is how most personal injury cases end, rather than in a jury verdict. 

To arrive at a settlement, both the defendant and the plaintiff will come up with rough estimates of what they think the case is worth. The plaintiff’s insurance will likely be the one paying the settlement rather than the plaintiff themselves.

Once both sides have rough estimates, they’ll start sending demand letters back and forth. Depending on how strong the plaintiff’s case is, the amount each side finds acceptable may increase or decrease. If the plaintiff is likely to win at trial, the defendant may choose to accept a higher settlement offer. If the plaintiff’s chances at trial are neutral, they may, in turn, be willing to accept a somewhat lower settlement. 

Once either side makes an offer that is acceptable to the other, both sides will sign a settlement agreement. The plaintiff will also sign a release giving up all future right to pursue a lawsuit against the plaintiff.

This process is one reason it is so important to have a personal injury attorney. Without an attorney to advise you, an insurance company might convince you to accept a lower settlement than you deserve. 

How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement Check: Why The Delay?

There are three reasons why the answer to “how long does it take to get a settlement check” could be quite some time:

  • Legal or factual problems with the case
  • The case involves a large sum of money 
  • Your doctor is still treating you for injuries related to the accident 

Legal or Factual Problems 

One of the key factors in a personal injury case is determining liability. Determining liability for an accident depends on whether someone was careless or negligent

If liability is difficult to prove, the defendant’s insurance will offer a lowball settlement, if any settlement at all. In this case, it may take a while to arrive at a settlement amount. 

There may also be problems determining damages. If your doctor can’t determine whether the defendant’s negligence caused your injury, the defendant’s insurance will lowball you again. You need a doctor to testify that the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries to get a reasonable settlement offer.

The Case Involves Large Damages

Insurers won’t just pay out large sums of money without thorough investigation. They will investigate every facet of liability. 

In cases of large damages, the insurance company will also want to interview you, the plaintiff. They will ask you to recall parts of the accident and your injuries. The insurance company may take quite a while to evaluate damages if they are at risk of paying out large sums of money. If your case involves huge amounts of damages, you may be wondering “how long does it take to get a settlement check” for quite a while.

Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement 

You should not agree to a settlement while your doctor is still treating your injuries. If you settle before you are at a point of maximum medical improvement, and an injury suddenly comes to light that increases your medical bills, you have lost the right to go after the defendant for more money. 

If it takes you a considerable time to reach maximum medical improvement, that could, of course, delay your settlement. 

How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement Check: Settling For Less

It is obviously best if you don’t settle for less than you deserve.

But if you need a personal injury check right away, you should still consult a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you get your settlement as quickly as possible.

After You Agree On A Settlement, How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement Check?

The typical timeline for the settlement process is four to six weeks. This will vary on a case by case basis. 

However, the largest delay in receiving your settlement check is the negotiation phase. Once you and the insurance company arrive at a suitable number, the rest of the process should be fairly quick. 

The insurance company will have you sign a release that officially settles your claim. The release will state that you are giving up your right to sue the plaintiff. Once the insurance company receives this release, you will receive the agreed-upon sum of money. 

Your attorney will receive your personal injury settlement check first. They will handle any liens on your settlement funds, such as your medical bills. They will also take their own fee out of this lump sum, as well as out-of-pocket expenses and other costs. 

You will then receive the rest in the form of a check from your attorney’s office. 

How Long Does It Take To Get A Settlement Check: Call Gordon & Gordon And Find Out!

The process for receiving a personal injury settlement is intricate and requires experience in personal injury. If you don’t hire the services of a personal injury attorney, an insurance company may persuade you to accept a small settlement. 

At Gordon & Gordon, our attorneys have a combined legal experience of 30 years handling personal injury cases. If you’re wondering “how long does it take to get a settlement check?” we can help you, too. 

If you or a loved one is dealing with a personal injury in the Shreveport-Bossier area, give us a call at 318.716.HELP. Lines are available 24/7. You can also drop us a message with some of the details of your case. 

im at fault in a car accident

What Happens If I’m At Fault In A Car Accident?

What happens if I’m at fault in a car accident?  When you’re in a car accident, who is at fault is one of the first questions the police try to answer. It’s also one of the first questions we ask ourselves: what if I’m at fault in a car accident?

Fault isn’t always immediately evident. When cars collide while merging, for example, or for a collision that happens in a parking lot, fault is difficult to determine. 

At Gordon & Gordon, we know that the time following a car accident is fraught with worry, especially if you believe you were at fault. But what exactly does being at fault mean?

Well, that depends entirely on your insurance and the circumstances of your accident.

In this post, our attorneys will give you an in-depth guide on determining fault, what it means for you, and answer the question: what happens if I’m at fault in a car accident?

How Do You Determine Fault in a Car Accident?

Louisiana is what is known as a “tort state”. This means that one driver or the other will be at fault in an accident, and their insurance will be responsible for the other driver’s damages. 

Insurance adjusters determine who was at fault in the accident. These insurance companies will gather information about the wreck and the events surrounding it, look at witness statements, and, based on their findings, decide which insurance company will have to pay up.

Sometimes it’s cut-and-dry: for instance, in Louisiana, if you rear-end someone you are automatically at fault. Insurance companies can use police-issued citations as evidence of fault as well. 

Other times, your insurance may determine you are “partially at fault” and agree to some percentage of the damages. For instance, if you are merging onto the interstate while another driver is exiting and you collide, you may both be at fault. Your insurance company can agree to 70% of the damages while the other driver’s insurance covers the remaining 30%. This is often what happens in multi-car accidents where fault is impossible to determine.

Determining fault is unique for every car accident. If you are at fault, the amount of money your insurance pays depends on the policy you have.  

Liability in Car Accidents

So you were at fault in a car accident. Maybe you were distracted by your phone, maybe you were just unlucky. Either way, since Louisiana is a tort state, you and your insurance company are now liable for any damages.

What Happens If I’m At Fault In A Car Accident: Vehicle Damages

When you’re at fault for a car accident, the other driver may submit a claim to their insurance company for damages to their car. Though their insurance company will cover these damages, they will then look to your insurance company for reimbursement. 

The most likely outcome is, again, that your insurance premiums will go up when your policy renews. 

What Happens If I’m At Fault In A Car Accident: Crash Injuries

If you are at fault in a car accident in which someone was injured, you and your insurance may be liable to pay them even more damages. You can be responsible for their medical bills or lost wages during recovery, for instance. 

However, for a routine insurance claim, they cannot ask for more than your policy covers, or your insurance adjuster will simply not reply. It doesn’t matter how much their claim is theoretically worth. Even if their damages total more than $200,000 if your liability insurance only covers $100,000, they can only get $100,000 out of your insurance.

In order to get more money out of you, the other driver will have to bring a personal injury lawsuit.  

What Happens If I’m At Fault In A Car Accident: Personal Injury Lawsuit 

When people wonder “what happens if I’m at fault in a car accident?” this is the worst-case scenario. This is the case even in no-fault states, where the law allows those who have been injured in a crash to bring personal injury lawsuits against at-fault drivers. If you are involved in a collision in which someone was injured, you become vulnerable to a personal injury lawsuit, no matter your location or the circumstances. At that point, you need legal counsel. 

Car insurance companies will happily sell you as much liability insurance as you can stomach to protect you from this type of claim. However, unless you can afford an astronomical amount of liability coverage, your policy will not cover a catastrophic injury claim.

For example, if you have $150,000 of liability insurance and you are sued for $500,000 in a personal injury lawsuit, you are personally liable for that $350,000 if you lose.

In order to win a personal injury lawsuit, the injured driver must prove that their injuries were a direct result of their collision with you. They must also prove that the collision was a direct result of your negligence.

In this situation, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. They can help negotiate damages to a reasonable amount between you and the other driver. However, hiring legal counsel when you are already faced with a lawsuit. If you are in a serious car accident, it is always advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible; if you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side from the beginning, they can help guide you through the insurance and legal process more easily than you would be able to navigate it on your own. 

What Happens If I’m At Fault In A Car Accident? Call Gordon & Gordon!

If you or a loved one is currently involved in the fallout of an accident, and you’re wondering “what happens if I’m at fault in a car accident?” contact Gordon & Gordon. Our personal injury attorneys have been helping the people of Shreveport-Bossier for decades, and we can help you too. 

Give us a call at 318.716.HELP, or send us a message about your case. You can make an appointment for a consultation at any of our convenient locations in Shreveport, Bossier City, or Mansfield. Don’t just sit around wondering “what happens if I’m at fault in a car accident?”; call Gordon & Gordon for compassionate legal counsel and peace of mind. 

sued after a car accident

Can I Be Sued After a Car Accident?

Can I be sued after a car accident? In the state of Louisiana, the short answer is: probably.

However, it’s more complicated than that. Anyone can sue anyone for anything, but the question is whether or not another driver can sue you successfully after a car accident. 

Generally, any time after you are involved in a car accident litigation may result. Being sued for a car accident is never fun, so it’s important for you to be informed, and to hire experienced personal injury attorneys in case of a lawsuit. 

Here is a look at the circumstances surrounding personal injury lawsuits after a car accident from personal injury attorneys Gordon & Gordon.

When Can I Be Sued For A Car Accident?

If you are driving a car and cause an accident, you could potentially be sued by the other driver or their passengers. 

Louisiana is what is known as a tort state, meaning the insurance of the at-fault driver is responsible for paying the fees and expenses of the other driver. In the case of a personal injury lawsuit, this could mean the at-fault driver’s insurance could be responsible for:

  • Medical bills
  • Auto damage
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering 

Fault is determined in any number of ways: the police have methods of determining fault at the scene, such as tire marks, witness statements, or the location and positioning of the accident. When you are being sued for a car accident, it will be the responsibility of the plaintiff and their legal team to prove you were at fault for the accident. 

Louisiana requires that all drivers have auto liability insurance. However, if for any reason you don’t have liability insurance, or if you are driving a car with insurance that you are not named on, you may be personally responsible for paying the fees and expenses of the other driver if they file a personal injury or property damage lawsuit against you.

If you find yourself in this situation and you do not have the financial means to pay out of pocket, the injured party has multiple ways to collect the money. For example, they could garnish your wages. 

Gordon & Gordon understand that the time immediately following a car accident is incredibly stressful, especially if you are being sued for a car accident. Having handled many personal injury lawsuits, Gordon & Gordon are dedicated to helping the people of Shreveport-Bossier defend themselves. 

Being Sued For A Car Accident: Can I Lose My Home?

A personal injury or property damage lawsuit following a car accident is just like any other lawsuit. You may be found liable for damages to the other party, some of which your insurance may pay. 

However, insurance policies have limits: for instance, let’s say your car insurance has a $50,000 bodily injury limit and a $10,000 property damage limit, and while texting and driving you crash into a motorcyclist. The motorcyclist’s medical bills total $60,000, and his $13,000 motorcycle is completely totaled.

That’s $73,000 in damages at the least, and your insurance will only pay $60,000 of it at the most. You will likely be responsible for the other $13,000. Again, if you do not have the financial means to pay this out of pocket, your assets could potentially be in danger, including your home.  

Being Sued For A Car Accident: No Play, No Pay

There is another set of circumstances that influences lawsuits following a car accident. Louisiana is somewhat unique in this respect; only 9 other states have this policy. It is referred to as no play, no pay. 

In these states, if you do not have insurance and are injured in an accident, you may have limited ability to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver. The point of view in Louisiana and other states that have this law is that if the person in question could not come up with the compensation if they had been at fault, they have no right to claim benefits when the situation is reversed. 

Therefore if you are in Louisiana and are being sued for a car accident by someone who does not have any injuries, you probably don’t have much to worry about. However, it is always advisable to ask the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney when you are being sued for a car accident. 

Being Sued For A Car Accident: The Importance of Insurance

Though insurance companies are often vilified, they play a large part in personal injury or property damage lawsuits following car accidents. 

In Louisiana, it is absolutely essential that you have auto liability insurance, or that you are named on the auto liability insurance for the car that you drive most often. Having auto liability insurance is not just important for when you are at fault for an accident, but due to the No Play, No Pay law in Louisiana, not having insurance can affect you even if you were not at fault for the accident. 

This is not to mention all the potential fines the state could levy against you for driving without insurance. They could also potentially suspend your license if you are a repeat offender, or take away your license altogether.

Do I Need A Lawyer If I’m Being Sued For A Car Accident?

If your personal injury lawsuit goes to trial, it is crucial for you to have a thorough and experienced personal injury attorney, because proving fault, or the lack thereof, during a lawsuit following a car accident is a notoriously tricky business. 

Any car accident is an extremely fact-centric case. A good personal injury attorney will conduct their own investigation into who is at fault in your car accident and potentially help to negotiate an amount for damages that is reasonable both for you and for the other party. 

Call Gordon & Gordon!

Gordon & Gordon have been dedicated to helping the people of North Louisiana for a combined 30 years. If you are being sued for a car accident, call Gordon & Gordon at 318-716-HELP or send us an email here

hit and run louisiana

Hit and Run in Louisiana: Personal and Criminal Attorney

It didn’t happen on purpose, but when your vehicle collided with another vehicle or person or other property (including a pet), you are required by Louisiana vehicle code RS 14:100 to stop and provide certain information. And if a person was injured, you are required to provide reasonable aid to them. Though it was tempting to leave the scene of an accident—or perhaps you panicked and weren’t thinking straight—, especially if you thought there were no witnesses, the consequences of a hit-and-run accident are severe. Whatever the reason you left an accident scene, you may face stiff fines, suspension or loss of your driver’s license, criminal prosecution and possible imprisonment

Hit And Run Louisiana Vehicle Code Law—Statute RS 14:100

Louisiana Vehicle Code RS 14:100 defines hit-and-run as follows:

“Hit and run driving is the intentional failure of the driver of a vehicle involved in or causing an accident, to stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident, to give his identity, and to render reasonable aid.” 

Also, if you’ve struck an empty, parked car, you are required by law to provide a written notice placed conspicuously on the vehicle with a description of what happened and your name and contact information. Though this is a non-injury car accident, it is still considered a hit and run in Louisiana

If you collided with other property or hit a pet (the latter is considered “property”), and you can’t locate an owner, you must notify the local police or Louisiana Highway Patrol depending upon where the accident occurred.

A driver must perform all these legal requirements regardless of how or why the accident happened. 

Hit-And-Run Law Defined: Leaving the Scene of an Accident

There are two types of hit-and-run crimes in Louisiana—accidents involving only damage to property and accidents that caused injury or death

Hit and Run Penalty, Louisiana

  • Where there is no death or serious bodily injury a driver shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
  • When there is evidence that a vehicle operator consumed alcohol, used drugs or a controlled substance prior to the accident, they may be fined up to $500, jailed for not less than ten days and no more than six months.
  • When death or serious bodily injury was caused, and a driver knew or should have known that it did, they will be fined up to $5,000 and maybe imprisoned with or without hard labor for up to ten years.
  • A combination of the above conditions may result in imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 20 years with or without hard labor. 

Hit and Run Criminal and Personal Injury Attorney

If you fled from an accident and may face charges and/or a civil lawsuit, it is imperative you seek attorney representation for any instance of a hit and run. Just because a person has been cited or charged with a hit-and-run accident, doesn’t mean there is a defense against possible consequences.

For more information about hit-and-run accidents, you don’t have to wait for office hours. Call Gordon & Gordon 24/7 at 318-716-HELP, or schedule a consultation at any of their conveniently located Shreveport, Mansfield, or Bossier City offices! 

wrongful death damages in louisiana

Wrongful Death Cases in Lousiana

When a loved one dies under any circumstances, you’re naturally consumed with sorrow, and your heart is broken. As you grieve, you struggle to come to terms with the surreal, indisputable fact that you’ll never see your loved one again. Any death is sad, but when the unexpected loss is because of another’s negligence, recklessness, carelessness or malicious misconduct and disregard for human life, you likely also yearn for justice. The wrongdoer should be held accountable, and Louisiana’s wrongful death laws governing monetary damages can ensure they are. 

Wrongful Death Cases

As you cope with your sorrow, you may feel overwhelmed by the practicalities of paying for a funeral and what you face economically if your loved one provided you and your family with income critical for your survival. Not only do Louisiana’s laws provide for income and other financial losses and expenses if the harming person or entity is found civilly liable for your loved one’s death, but it also may provide compensation for emotional pain and loss of your loved one’s companionship, shared home responsibilities and care of any of the decedent’s minor children. If the wrongdoer demonstrated egregious, wanton disregard for your loved one’s life, they may also be subject to punitive damages.

Compensable damages in a wrongful death claim may include both economic or “special” and non-economic “general” losses. 

Special or Actual Economic Damages for Wrongful Death Suits in Louisiana

  • Medical expenses including ambulance transportation, hospitalization, physician care and other costs related to the injury or illness.
  • Funeral service, burial expenses or cremation costs.
  • Wages and remunerative benefits the deceased would have generated.
  • Cost of replaced household services.
  • Damaged property bills or replacement expenses.

General or Non-Economic Damages  for Wrongful Death Case in Louisiana

  • For the pain and suffering the deceased person experienced because of the injury or illness.
  • Loss of companionship, child-rearing, family guidance and emotional support.
  • Bereaved emotional distress and anguish.

Punitive Damages for Wrongful Death Claim in Louisiana

When your loved one’s death is proven to have been caused by egregious malicious, willful, wanton or reckless conduct or gross negligence by another, a Louisiana civil court may also award punitive monetary damages separate from economic and non-economic damages. 

Wrongful Death Settlements

Gordon & Gordon’s experienced attorneys will pursue the justice your loved one deserves when you put your financial burdens and concerns in their capable hands. As they pursue your wrongful death settlement, perhaps you’ll have some respite from pragmatic concerns, which may allow you space and time to properly grieve.

Gordon & Gordon is dedicated to protecting the Shreveport, Bossier City, and Mansfield communities when a person is seriously injured or a loved one has died because of another’s negligence and recklessness. 

Who’s Entitled To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Under Louisiana law, if you are the spouse, child(ren), parent(s), qualifying domestic partner, dependent step-child(ren) or other qualifying family members of a person who was killed because of the negligence, recklessness or malicious conduct of another, you are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Though you may think you can put off filing a claim, the more time that passes after a wrongful death, the greater the likelihood that evidence may be lost or destroyed, witness’ memories may fade, and other important factors may be damaged.

Gordon and Gordon, Wrongful Death Litigation Experts in Shreveport, Bossier and Mansfield

While filing a wrongful death lawsuit isn’t foremost on your mind while you’re reeling from your loved one’s death, Gordon & Gordon strongly advises you to act as quickly as possible. The one-year statute of limitations’ deadline in Louisiana for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is strict and inflexible. 

To learn more about whether the death of your loved one can be civilly pursued in a wrongful death lawsuit, there’s no need to wait until regular office hours. Call wrongful death attorneys Gordon & Gordon 24/7 at 318-716-HELP. You can also fill out a quick online form to schedule a free consultation!

are personal injury damages taxable

Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable in Louisiana?

Unfortunately, you were seriously injured because of the recklessness and/or negligence of a person or entity. While we know that no amount of money has made what you’ve suffered a positive experience, at least one good thing came out of it—you received a financial settlement to cover your medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages (and pain and suffering if applicable).

Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable?

 However, because you were compensated for your injury, you may now wonder whether the money you received is considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In most cases, any money you acquired because of a successful personal injury settlement cannot be taxed. Generally, this means that the IRS doesn’t take anything from the monetary personal injury damages you were awarded for medical bills, lost income and non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Federal tax law excludes damages received because of injuries or illnesses from a taxpayer’s gross income.

However, there are many IRS loopholes, exceptions and exclusions that could make a part of your settlement or jury award taxable.

How The IRS Decides if Your Personal Injury Settlement is Taxable?

Depending upon the complexity of your personal injury case, it’s challenging to know is your personal injury settlement taxable? What the IRS taxes on personal injury settlements is based on the United States’ and Louisiana’s definitions of earned income. When the injuring party paid you (the injured person) for expenses related to your medical care, emotional distress and lost wages, the IRS considers this form of financial restitution to fall under compensatory damages, not income. Therefore, the amount of compensatory recovery you were awarded will not be taxed.

What Defines Compensatory Damages in a Personal Injury Case for Taxes?

To understand this facet of personal injury, it’s helpful to know the legal definition of compensatory damages. When a person is injured because of another’s recklessness and/or negligence and succeeds in winning an insurance claim or civil court lawsuit, they are reimbursed or compensated for their expenses, costs and suffering related to the specific physical and emotional harm they’ve endured. When a loved one (who meets certain criteria) died because of a person or entities’ conduct, compensatory damages also may be awarded to family members in wrongful death claims. In that case, wrongful death compensation is also non-taxable. 

On the other hand, if a court orders a defendant to pay for your pain and suffering, because pain and suffering compensation is not considered compensatory, you’ll have to pay taxes on that amount.

Are Pain and Suffering Damages Taxable?

Because punitive damages paid to the injured person are intended to punish the defendant for their reckless and/or negligent conduct, such monies are not considered compensatory, whereas those for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and lost wages are. 

The IRS looks at monetary recovery for pain and suffering much differently than for compensatory damages. When a judge orders a defendant to pay pain and suffering damages—which is extremely rare and occurs only when their conduct was extraordinarily egregious— this recovery is considered non-compensatory and will be taxed as income. Under IRS laws, money paid for pain and suffering is identified on your tax return as “other income.”

Personal Injury Settlement Taxes: Plans Matter

If you won a substantial, high-value financial recovery for your injuries or the loss of a loved one and invested that money in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange traded funds (EFTs), money market accounts or real estate and you were paid interest, dividends or capital gains, interest, dividends or capital gains earnings are taxable.

While it’s better than not making money on your principal dollar amount, the IRS wants its cut of your investment or bank account earnings known as “interest income” or “capital gains.” 

If you’re injured in an accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about taxes, and at Gordon & Gordon Law, we’ll provide the legal representation you need and guidance on what your settlement may be subjected to when filing a tax return.

Contact Gordon and Gordon for Personal Injury Settlement Tax Questions 

For expert, caring and respectful personal injury assistance in one of our Shreveport, Mansfield, or Bossier City offices, call 318-716-HELP (318-716-4357). Or if you prefer, send us a message on our website and someone from our office will be in touch with you promptly.

is illness a personal injury

Is Illness a Personal Injury In Louisiana?

Louisiana Attorney Represents Victims Made Sick By Another’s Recklessness Or Negligence

Illness or Personal Injury

Do you suspect you’re ill because of contaminated food, exposure to a toxic environment, defective products, or dangerous medications? Do you think the conditions surrounding your illness were caused by someone else? Did you know that if your illness is the fault of another, you may be entitled to financial recovery through a personal injury claim and/or civil court lawsuit? 

It’s true. 

When you’ve been made ill because of recklessness or negligence of another person or entity because of contaminated food, exposure to a toxic environment, defective products or a medical provider’s error, you may win a substantial monetary settlement. In such cases, you’ll be up against a powerful insurance company whose goal is to deny your claim. And if you can’t settle with the insurance company, you may be forced to pursue financial damages through a civil court lawsuit. 

If you hope to recover your fair financial damages—whether through the injuring party’s insurance or litigation—you need a skilled, experienced personal injury attorney who’ll guide you through the complex, confusing claims process and court proceedings.

To determine what constitutes an illness caused by recklessness or negligence of another, the following are scenarios that may fall under the auspices of Louisiana laws toward a compensatory personal injury claim:

Personal Injury Illness: Contaminated Food

While the American food supply is among the safest in the world, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that an estimated 48 million cases of food borne illnesses occur annually—the equivalent of making 1 in 6 Americans sick each year. And these illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths yearly. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized food contamination as a global challenge. 

The cause of such illnesses is contaminated or mislabeled food. When the business selling and/or serving the food has not exercised reasonable care in production, processing, distribution, preparation and handling, they may be held liable for a “defective” food product. 

The following describes the various ways food can become contaminated:

Biological contamination of food can result in food poisoning from bacteria in food such as salmonella, E.coli, listeria, hepatitis, norovirus, botulism, clostridium perfringens, shigellosis, campylobacter or cryptosporidium. In some cases, the symptoms may subside within a few days, but in more severe contamination, a person may develop serious, long-lasting illnesses and could even die. 

Physical contamination of food occurs when a foreign object such as plastic, glass, metal and other items that are introduced during production. When a person bites into a hard or sharp object, they may suffer severe injuries to the inside of their mouth or teeth. If the object is ingested, it may cause issues such as a perforated intestine which could lead to life-threatening medical issues. 

Chemical contamination occurs when dangerous chemical substances are introduced into food from pesticides and other toxic substances. 

Injury Illness: Toxic Environment

Though you may be sure your illness has been caused by a toxic environment, these types of personal injury cases are complex because you may have gotten sick many months or even years after the exposure. And proving your illness was caused by the toxin is challenging.

Examples of toxic exposure may include but are not limited to the following factors: 

Waste and chemical dumping into drinking and groundwater or soil. 

Release of noxious gases or toxins into the air. 

Breathing black mold and other types of mold. 

Asbestos inhalation. 

Lead paint dust. 

▪Pesticides

Cleaning products

Lead based cosmetics

Dryer sheets, room odor masking sprays, perfumes. 

If you believe you’re seriously ill because of a person or entity’s reckless or negligent conduct, it’s vital that you speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney before the one-year Louisiana statute of limitations’ deadline expires.

Illness Related Personal Injury Compensation

The compensation you may justly deserve depends on various factors that an experienced personal injury attorney can discuss with you. 

Monetary damages may include:

Medical expenses generated because of your illness such as for hospitalization, surgery, medicine, physical therapy/rehabilitation, and psychological services.

Lost wages because the illness prevented you from working for any period, as well as future earnings that will be lost.

Pain and suffering to compensate for the non-monetary damages you’ve suffered because of the illness such as depression, insomnia, grief, worry, anguish, inconvenience, loss of companionship or consortium and diminished quality of life.

A Qualified Gordon & Gordon Personal Injury Attorney Can Review Your Case And Create A Solid Strategy To Hold Those Who Caused Your Illness Accountable

Should the defendant’s party’s insurance company not want to settle fairly with you, a civil court lawsuit should commence. To pursue a lawsuit requires timely document filing, writing complex motions and interrogatories, courtroom hearings and presentations to a judge and/or jury. 

Illness is a Personal Injury in Louisiana

As your personal injury law firm, we’ll collect the facts about your case and determine how we can help. If your case qualifies, as our client, we’ll provide you with superior legal representation with the intention of winning the financial compensation you deserve. 

For expert, caring and respectful personal injury assistance, call 318-716-HELP (318-716-4357), Ark-La-Tex’s premier personal injury law firm Gordon & Gordon Law. The initial no-obligation consultation is free 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 website and someone from our office will be in touch with you promptly. And if you can’t come to us, we’ll visit you at home or at a hospital or rehabilitation center.

gordon and gordon workers compensation exemptions

Workers Comp Exemption for Louisiana

The Louisiana Workforce Commission’s (LWC) Department of Labor requires nearly all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but there are some notable exemptions. If you believe you are entitled to workers’ compensation in Louisiana, you will need to ensure that your employer is not exempt by Louisiana law from carrying workers’ compensation insurance.

What is a Worker’s Compensation Exemption in Louisiana?

Almost all employers in Louisiana are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance; money that can be paid out to an employee injured on the job. However, the following employers are exempt from carrying this insurance, and their employees are not covered if they are injured on the job:

  • Real estate brokers or sales agents licensed in Louisiana.
  • Employees of a private residential household.
  • Employees of a private unincorporated farm.
  • Musicians and entertainers with performance contracts.
  • Employees working in railroads or on trains while engaged in interstate or foreign trade.
  • Airplane crews working in dusting or spraying operations.
  • Mineral exploration, development and transportation “landmen.”
  • Employees covered by the Federal Employees Liability Act, the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act , and the Jones Act.

Therefore, if you are injured on the job and your employer is included in the above, you will unfortunately not be entitled to any workers’ compensation. 

Why Are Some Employers Granted Exemptions to Workers’ Compensation?

Oftentimes, employers will be exempt from carrying workers’ compensation due to the size of their business, or the number of employees their business has. For example, in Louisiana, if the only employee of a company is its owner, the owner would not be required to take out workers’ compensation insurance on themselves. Some independent contractors may be required to carry insurance, and any employers that hire them would not be required to carry workers’ compensation on those independent contractors. 

Am I Entitled to Workers Compensation in Louisiana?

If you’ve been seriously injured on the job in any but the above occupations, you are entitled by the Department of Labor law to have your medical expenses, lost income (past, present and future), rehabilitation costs, vocational retraining if necessary and possibly more.

Gordon and Gordon workers’ compensation lawyers have 60 years of combined experience providing vigilant, dedicated assistance to injured employees in the Shreveport area and beyond. 

As your workers’ compensation attorney team, we will fight with your employer’s insurance company to acquire the medical care and financial compensation you are legally entitled to. With extensive experience handling thousands of Shreveport workers’ compensation cases, we understand your situation, care about your well-being, and will persistently and aggressively battle for your rights as an injured employee. 

While you focus on recovery, Gordon and Gordon will handle all insurance negotiations on your behalf, document your injuries, expenses and lost income and file all the necessary complex forms in a deadline intensive manner so you don’t have to worry or be stressed by the confusing, arduous process. With respect and compassion, we’ll work with you through every step so you’re assured your case is being handled effectively and fairly.

Contact Gordon and Gordon for Worker’s Compensation Claims

Call us today at 318.617.HELP to schedule your no-obligation, free legal consultation in our conveniently located Shreveport office to discuss your unique situation and so we can answer any questions you may have. Or if you prefer, send us a confidential message via our contact form.

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