The Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys at Spencer Calahan Injury Lawyers are happy to help. Read on for our answers to some common questions about personal injury claims in Baton Rouge.
Will I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. The majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court. However, if the negligent party or insurance company refuses to offer an adequate settlement amount, your lawyer may have to take your case to court to fight for the compensation you need.
How long do I have to file?
In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is one year. Compared to this deadline in other states, Louisiana’s is relatively short.
If you wait longer than this time period to file your claim, your case will not be heard. It’s important to seek legal help as soon as possible after your accident.
What if I was hurt at work? Do I have to settle for workers comp?
In most cases, you’ll need to file a workers compensation claim after you’ve been injured on the job. However, if a third party other than your employer contributed to the accident that injured you, you might instead be able to pursue personal injury compensation.
You may be able to file a personal injury claim under a few other circumstances, but this can become complicated. A qualified Baton Rouge injury lawyer can help you evaluate your case.
Can I seek compensation if I was partially at fault?
Yes. Louisiana follows the doctrine of comparative fault. This means that, if you are found to have contributed to your accident, your compensation amount will reduce proportionately to your share of the responsibility.
How does a contingency fee work?
A contingency fee is the amount you pay an attorney if you are awarded compensation. You and your attorney agree upon a fee beforehand. If you do not recover damages, you do not have to pay the contingency fee, nor do you pay your attorney for the work done on your case.
What will I do in a meeting with a personal injury attorney?
When you contact a Baton Rouge personal injury attorney, you will discuss your case and review all the relevant details. Then, you’ll gather appropriate evidence. This may include police reports, witness accounts, traffic videos, photos from the scene, and medical records.
What if I’ve been offered an insurance settlement?
Insurance settlements often do not go far enough in meeting accident victims’ needs. Insurance companies seek primarily to protect their own profits. While a payout from insurance may cover immediate expenses, it’s unlikely to cover your long-term needs.
Also, these payouts rarely account for intangible damages, such as pain and suffering and decreased quality of life.
In most cases, it’s better to have your lawyer review your settlement offer before you sign anything.