Shreveport Car Accident Lawyers
Auto Wreck Attorney in Shreveport, Bossier City, and Mansfield, Louisiana
Helping those who have been injured due to the fault of another in a car accident.
When a car accident is serious enough to cause fatal or severe injuries, or if alcohol was involved, the state will probably prosecute the driver who was at fault. But for all other car accidents, you, the other driver, and your insurance companies may be left to deal with medical bills and car repair expenses. Often, these issues are ultimately resolved in court with the help of experienced personal injury or car accident lawyers.
What Causes a Car Accident?
There are a number of potential causes for a car accident, with any number of people holding liability. However, the number one cause of car wrecks in the United States is distracted driving. Most often, this is a result of a driver texting or otherwise playing on their cell phone while operating a vehicle.
Other common causes of collisions in Shreveport include but are not limited to:
- Driver fatigue
- Intoxication (DUI)
- Recklessness or deliberately dangerous driving, including “road rage”
- Driver inexperience and accidents caused by young drivers
- Mechanical or design failures in a vehicle or any of its parts
- Speeding or other traffic law violations
- Dangerous or badly-designed roadways
- Inclement weather resulting in wet or slippery roads or poor visibility
What To Do After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident can be a scary and stress-inducing situation. However, it’s important to know what to do after a car accident. Whether it’s a motorcycle accident, an 18-wheeler accident, or anything in between, here are some general but critical steps that you should follow in the wake of an accident:
- Move to a safe area before you stop the vehicle, if possible.
If moving your car isn’t possible, flip on your hazards to warn other drivers that your vehicle isn’t going anywhere. Take a moment to catch your breath. Check to make sure it’s safe to get out of your car before opening the door.
- Check on others involved in the accident.
Check on all the other parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians to make sure that nobody is injured. Call 911 immediately if anyone appears to be injured at the scene. Even a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness or slight pain should be checked out by a healthcare professional to make sure there is no internal injury. Call the police to the scene of the car accident.
Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can prove invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. Cooperate fully with the officers, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the crash.
- Gather information.
- Driver and passenger names
- License plate numbers
- Insurance carrier/policy number
- Makes and models of all vehicles involved
- Contact information of any witness to the accident
- The name and badge number of any responding police officers
- Notify your insurance provider.
Call your insurance provider from the scene of the car accident, or file it through your smartphone. If you aren’t sure who to call, check your insurance ID card for your insurer’s contact information.
- Contact a Shreveport car accident attorney.
After notifying your insurance company of the accident and BEFORE speaking with the insurance company of any other parties involved, contact a Shreveport auto wreck attorney. Your car accident lawyers will walk you through the legal process and ensure you don’t do or say anything that could potentially harm your case in any way.
How Long Do You Have to File a Police Report After a Car Accident?
In addition to Louisiana’s statute of limitations that establishes a one-year time period for filing a personal injury claim, the state also has deadlines in place for reporting automobile accidents. Louisiana legislation requires drivers to report accidents that result in the injury or death of another person or cause over $500 in property damage to the local police station or nearest sheriff’s office. Drivers must do so “immediately, by the quickest means of communication.”
The law also specifies that drivers who cause the death of another individual or $1000+ in property damage must file a written report with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections within 24 hours of the accident. Failure to do so may result in a fine of up to $100, 60 days in jail, or both.
Check out our blog for more information on how to report a car accident.
How Much Money Do You Get from a Car Accident Settlement?
There is no way to determine exactly how much one might receive from a car accident settlement, as there are a number of factors involved that determine the final outcome. The typical automobile accident settlement amount is calculated in an ad hoc manner by the insurance company. For example, what you should expect from a rear end settlement might not be the same as what you should expect from a T-Bone collision settlement. If the damage to your automobile was relatively minor, you’ll typically be paid only up to the policy limitations.
Only when you have received injuries from a car accident will you be compensated for your pain and suffering. As a result, even if you don’t believe you’ve sustained any injuries, it’s critical that you see a doctor as soon as possible. If you don’t seek medical treatment and the injuries become evident much later, you may miss your opportunity to file a personal injury claim.
Though there’s no exact way to measure how much your settlement may be worth, a good rule of thumb is to add up your medical bills, automobile repairs, and any lost income and multiply that number by 3. This can give you an approximate idea of how much you might anticipate obtaining from your car accident compensation. For more serious or permanent injuries, however, the compensation is usually much higher.
How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?
Just as there’s no sure way to tell how much you might receive from a car accident settlement, there’s also no way to give an exact estimate for how long the settlement will actually take. It could be anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on the circumstances. Generally, the minimum amount of time is about two months, but this is often for less serious damages or injury.
Depending on the severity of your injuries and the nature of your claim, it could end up taking years to settle. It’s important to keep in mind that a claim should only be settled after you’ve completed all necessary treatment for any accident-related injuries. Any settlement reached before you have fully recovered from your injuries is speculative. To put it another way, a settlement is meant to recompense you for your losses, and you won’t know exactly how much your losses are worth if you haven’t made a full recovery yet.
Other factors that determine the timeframe of your case include the accident investigation, the number of parties participating in your claim, and the amount of research required. So while a quick settlement might sound appealing, it often is not the best route to go in regards to receiving maximum compensation. However, by obtaining the help of a seasoned Louisiana personal injury attorney like Gordon & Gordon, you can ensure that the case moves along as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Why Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney?
It should come as no surprise that those who are involved in car wrecks often accumulate substantial medical bills, lost earnings, property damage and repair costs, and many other losses. You may also find that these expenses persist long after the wreck’s occurrence. It should also come as no surprise that victims of car accidents who obtain skilled legal representation receive significantly more compensation than those who do not. According to research, victims who equip themselves with car accident lawyers can receive up to 3.5 times more in settlements and awards.
This is due to the fact that car accident lawyers are well aware of the common strategies insurance providers use to settle cases faster and minimize the payout of claims. Your attorney will recognize these tactics and combat them by negotiating with insurers and demanding they pay you what you’re entitled to.
The losses that may occur as a result of car wrecks are not always obvious in the days or even weeks following the accident, especially not to someone who has no experience dealing with automobile accidents. Victims typically underestimate their expenses and the length of time they will endure, resulting in insufficient settlements that do not meet the costs their families must pay following an accident. Fortunately, a skilled personal injury lawyer can provide a better estimate of future expenses and include them in your claim.
When To Get an Attorney for a Car Accident
Now that you know why it’s important to obtain legal services following your accident, let’s address the question of when to get an attorney for a car accident. The best thing you can do to ensure maximum compensation from your claim is to hire an attorney as soon as possible. As we mentioned before, it’s critical that you have a lawyer on your side before ever speaking with the other party’s insurance adjusters. The sooner you hire a car accident attorney, the better your chances of obtaining a larger payout and the quicker your case will move forward.
Injury & Accident Lawyers Gordon & Gordon are Ready to Help You Recover from Your Auto Wreck
While the services we provide to our clients are extensive, the types of claims we handle at Gordon & Gordon are highly focused on those resulting from Louisiana auto accidents or other personal injuries.We believe that focusing our practice on Louisiana motor vehicle accident claims makes us much more effective.
Through the years, our Shreveport personal injury attorneys have established a high level of credibility handling claims all throughout the Ark-La-Tex. This level of experience and industry saturation means that insurance adjusters take us seriously. They know that when we make a personal injury claim, we’re prepared to go to great lengths to prove fault in pursuit of the compensation our clients are entitled to.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, call the car accident lawyers at Gordon & Gordon at 318-716-HELP right away to get them working for you.