Auto Accident Lawyer
WHAT TYPES OF INJURIES CAN RESULT FROM A LOUISIANA OR TEXAS CAR ACCIDENT?
Head, neck, and back injuries are usually the most common and serious car accident injuries, and any damage to the spinal cord could lead to significant nerve damage. Both drivers and their passengers can hit their heads against steering wheels, dashboards, or even windows when involved in a high-speed collision. This jolting motion could cause traumatic brain injuries from mild concussions to comas or even permanent cognitive difficulties. Those involved in a car accident may experience less sensation of and/or control over their arms, hands, legs, feet, or other body parts, while some more serious forms of spinal damage could leave patients permanently paralyzed. Extensive medical treatment and long-term medical care are often necessary to perform after any such injuries.
Many serious injuries are related to trauma affecting the chest area. Blunt force trauma from car accidents can cause broken ribs and collapsed lungs. People with heart problems can go into traumatic cardiac arrest from an accident. Internal bleeding in the chest area might be a major problem following an accident, so make sure to have your vital signs evaluated for signs of trauma. Damage to internal organs, the pelvis, and the abdomen can also likely occur, even if they aren’t visible immediately following a car accident. These kinds of injuries will require immediate medical attention to confirm if there is any serious underlying damage that must be addressed.
Emotional distress after a car accident is also a common side effect. Usually, people drive or ride in their car with friends and family members, with car crashes leaving emotional scars on those who have suffered serious injuries, as well as those who witnessed them. Counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder and similar psychological injuries is a fairly common treatment path after a car accident and recommended to ensure positive well-being after a serious accident.
THINGS YOU ARE ENTITLED TO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT:
After a car accident, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages to compensate you for any related property damages or any personal injuries that you may have suffered as a result of the another party’s negligence. If the other party is later found to have acted negligently and is therefore legally held responsible for the car accident, then the court may award a sum of money to compensate you for your personal injuries and other losses, which also known as “damages.”
In Louisiana, courts will regularly award damages to any injured parties for their pain and suffering following a car accident, but in calculating the amount of money to which you are entitled, the court will consider a number of factors including the severity of the accident and the extent your injuries. If you are unable to back up your claim that your injuries caused pain and suffering, then you may only receive what is known as nominal (or partial) damages, or even no damages.
You should be aware that the courts do not appreciate those who waste judicial resources by initiating frivolous lawsuits or meritless claims, so a lawsuit may not be your first or best option after a minor car accident. This is especially true if both parties were insured as is required by Louisiana law, as you will easily be able to have your claims settled through the insurance process.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN A LOUISIANA OR TEXAS CAR ACCIDENT?
The driver who crashes into your car is responsible for reporting the accident to his or her car insurance company. However, you need to make sure that you contact their insurer as well. Motorists who cause accidents are often reluctant to report them. It’s very important to get complete information about the other party while still at the accident scene. You should always collect the following:
- Other driver’s name and address
- Other driver’s insurance company name and policy information
- Statements and contact information from witnesses
- Take pictures of the accident scene — most smartphone cameras are suitable.
The police will determine who is at fault for ticketing purposes. Independently, the insurer will make its own determination of fault, which may or may not match law enforcement’s assessment of fault. The insurer will take into account items such as the police report, driver and witness statements and physical evidence.
You should then inform the other person’s insurer that you have been involved in a crash with one of its policyholders. Relay only the necessary facts of the accident, even if you believe that the other driver is primarily at fault. At the very least, make sure that their insurance company has accepted liability before proceeding with any car repairs, and try to get their authorization in writing if at all possible. Most states allow car insurers to recommend car body shops, but they aren’t allowed to force you to use a particular repair shop under the law.
Although you may feel that you have not caused the accident, you should contact your insurance company also to establish your good faith in reporting the car accident which can help if the other party’s insurer denies responsibility for the accident and you need to make a collision claim later on. Technically, you should only have to notify the other party’s insurer of your damages and injuries, take your car to a body shop, visit a doctor and expect the insurer to pay your bills, but it doesn’t always work out that smoothly.
GET HELP NOW
Whether you or a loved one were recently injured in a minor rear-end collision or suffered more serious injuries in a head-on accident or otherwise, you deserve financial compensation when you weren’t the driver at fault. While it might be true that the insurance company won’t always be working on your side, you can always count on Cole Sartin to look out for your best interests and to aggressively pursue the settlement you deserve. To explore your options during a free, no-obligation legal consultation with a Shreveport car accident lawyer, please give us a call at 318-553-5577.
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