New Orleans Car Accident Attorneys Answer Common FAQs

Being involved in a car accident can be a frightening experience. It’s hard to know what to expect as an accident victim or how to protect your rights. That’s why it is so important to work with New Orleans car accident attorneys who can help you recover compensation and guide you through the various twists and turns of the legal system in general.

At Bloom Legal, we provide compassionate representation to accident victims and the family members of those who are killed in collisions. We will work hard to help you understand the ways in which you can obtain compensation and will represent you during settlement negotiations or in court to get full and fair compensation for your economic and non-financial loss. Give us a call for a personalized evaluation of your case. Get an advocate on your side today – let Bloom Legal help.

Read on to learn more about auto collisions and get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions that New Orleans car accident lawyers often hear from clients.

How Often Do Car Accidents Occur?

 Car accidents occur far more frequently than most people realize, which is why it is so important to be prepared for accidents and understand what to do in their aftermath.   In fact, the latest data, which was released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2017, revealed that there were 37,461 people killed in traffic accidents over the course of 2016 alone. This was a 5.6 percent increase compared with the prior year.

While most car accidents are not fatal, any collision can cause life-changing injuries. The laws protect victims of car accidents caused by negligence, so you should make certain that you contact New Orleans car accident attorneys if you are one of the thousands whose life is impacted by a car crash. 

What Are Common Causes of Car Accidents?

 There are many different causes of motor vehicle collisions. NHTSA identified the leading causes of fatal crashes, which included:

  • Driving while distracted: Approximately 3,450 fatalities were caused by distracted drivers in 2016.
  • Drowsy driving accidents: Fatigued drivers killed an estimated 803 people in 2016.
  • Driving while intoxicated: Drunk drivers were responsible for 10,497 fatalities. This was an increase of 1.7 percent compared with the year prior.
  • Speeding: Drivers who traveled too fast caused approximately 10,111 fatalities in 2016.

Driving while distracted, drowsy or drunk can result in a motorist becoming responsible for any car accident that he or she causes due to their negligent behavior.  A driver who is speeding can also be held legally liable for causing a crash to happen. Accident victims will need to prove that the driver was unreasonably careless or violated safety rules in order to hold the motorist accountable for the crash. 

What Are Some of the Laws Pertaining to Auto Accidents?

 There are many traffic safety laws in place that are designed to prevent auto accidents from occurring. These include speed limit laws, rules on yielding, traffic signals rules and more. If you become involved in an auto accident, there are also laws that protect your rights and determine who is responsible for compensating you for crash-related losses.

For example, liability laws require drivers who are deemed responsible for causing injuries or fatalities to be held legally liable for the consequences of a crash. A victim can pursue a car accident claim and seek compensation from a driver who hurt them  if the victim can prove:

  • The driver was negligent: Negligence is proven by showing the motorist was unreasonably careless or violated a safety rule, such as a speed limit law or a law against drunk driving.
  • The driver’s negligence was the direct cause of the crash: You’ll need to show that the irresponsible or unlawful actions the driver undertook were to blame for the car accident happening.
  • The accident caused losses to occur: Victims can be compensated for financial losses, such as missed work and medical expenses. They can also be compensated for non-financial loss, such as pain and suffering.
  • You can prove that losses happened: Our New Orleans car accident attorneys can help you demonstrate the extent of your damages, so you can get fair compensation.

There are also laws in place that both require drivers to carry liability insurance and make sure motorists stop at the scene of a car accident, so they can provide insurance information and, if necessary, ensure victims of the accident are provided with medical attention.  Every New Orleans car accident lawyer at Bloom Legal understands these laws and can make them work in your favor so you can recover the compensation you deserve following a collision. 

What Should You Do After a Car Accident Occurs?

In the aftermath of an auto accident, you should not leave the scene of the crash. This is required to avoid being charged with the crime of hit-and-run. You should also contact law enforcement to come to the collision scene.

Calling the police is important, as it provides you with a way to report the accident and ensure you get a detailed police report that explains how the crash occurred. A law enforcement officer may ticket a driver who was believed to have broken the rules of the road. The officer can perform testing as well, such as a breath test, if there is reason to believe one of the motorists at the crash scene was intoxicated.  The evidence collected by the police and the information from the police report could prove to be very useful later when dealing with your car accident claim.

When possible, you should take pictures at the crash scene of the vehicle, the damage to the cars and the area where the collision occurred. All of this can help you demonstrate the crash cause, which may be important if you are trying to show that the other driver was to blame when attempting to recover compensation.

Getting medical attention is also essential after an accident. You’ll want to make sure you see a doctor because not all serious injuries immediately manifest with symptoms. You could have a severe head injury or internal bleeding and be unaware of the extent of your injuries if you do not seek prompt medical attention.

The doctor you see in the aftermath of the accident should keep detailed medical records of the injuries you sustained, as well as your treatment regimen. These medical records can help prove that you sustained serious injuries and that those serious injuries were a result of the accident—both of which will be useful when trying to gain compensation.

Finally, you should report the accident to your own insurer and contact a New Orleans car accident lawyer as soon as possible. You’ll need to report the crash to your own insurer, so you have coverage in case you are found to be at fault for the accident, or in case the other driver has no insurance and you want to make a claim on any uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your policy. You are encouraged to call a lawyer early on so that they can help you deal with insurers and make certain you do not inadvertently do anything to damage your accident claim. 

What Should I Tell the Insurance Company About My Car Accident?

If you have been involved in a car accident or other personal injury one of the first things you’ll likely do is contact your insurance company. It’s why you have insurance after all, right? To cover you when something goes wrong.

However, insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They employ a number of tactics to keep their coverage payments down. You’ll want to be prepared before you talk to your insurance company, since what you say can have an impact on the payment you receive.

The best thing to do is talk to a personal injury lawyer as early on as possible. They can help you navigate dealing with the insurance company, and in many cases represent on your behalf.

Here are some do’s and don’ts when dealing with your insurance company:

  • Do not provide a statement without consulting an attorney first.
    • When you first call your insurance company to report your accident they will likely want to take a statement. Do not provide a statement without consulting an attorney first. Only give them basic information. Tell them you’ve been involved in an accident and where it happened. Provide the name and insurance information of the other person(s) involved in the accident.
  • If the insurance agent asks whether you were injured do not give a definitive yes or no answer.
    • Some injuries can show up at a later time even if you initially think you were not injured. Always consult a doctor following an accident or injury. It is important to take care of your health and receive a full diagnosis before reporting any injuries to the insurance company. If you relay your injuries to the insurance company and then later find out about another injury, you may not be able to receive the full compensation you deserve.
  • Be careful not to admit fault in any way.
    • Even if you think you were at fault, there may be other factors that you don’t know about. Even saying something like “I didn’t see them” or “It was an accident” may be considered an admission of guilt.
  • Do not agree to any recorded conversations.
  • Never sign any settlement without consulting an attorney first.
    • Insurance companies love to call you up and say “I have a check for $5000 with your name on it! Tell me where to send it!” You may be tempted to take the money since injuries are often expensive, however this is a common insurance negotiation tactic following an accident. Once you’ve accepted a settlement you cannot receive further compensation for that incident—even if you learn later your injury was worth more. The insurance companies know this, and will often try to lowball you on their offers.

Why Should You Work With Skilled New Orleans Car Accident Attorneys?

Hiring a car accident lawyer in the aftermath of an auto accident is very important. Victims need to understand how they can pursue an accident claim in order to gain appropriate compensation for damages. Oftentimes, insurance companies try to avoid paying accident victims all the money to which they may be entitled.

Insurance companies could try to disclaim liability for an accident, even if it was clearly caused by a policyholder. Insurers care about protecting profits, not about your health, so they may try to get you to say something that jeopardizes your claim for compensation. They may also attempt to get you to agree to a settlement that is far lower than what you deserve. If you agree to a low settlement, you may not be able to change your mind later.

A New Orleans car accident attorney can help you determine what your claim is worth, assist you in fighting for the compensation you deserve and help you prove your case. At Bloom Legal, we understand how much compensation victims should likely receive from injury claims, and we can help you evaluate settlement offers to determine if they are fair. We can also negotiate a better settlement with an insurer on your behalf, so you get the maximum in compensation possible without having to go to court.

Not only can our firm help you with a negotiated settlement, but we are also skilled litigators who are prepared and ready to fight for you in front of a judge and a jury. If you cannot reach a fair settlement agreement, we will go to court to prove your case for compensation. The attorneys at Bloom Legal will investigate the circumstances surrounding your auto accident, help you find expert witnesses and do everything possible to bring the strongest case on your behalf so you can obtain fair compensation.

You need to recover damages for your losses after a crash, as car accidents can cause you to experience thousands or even millions of dollars in damages. The person who hurt you should be responsible for covering these costs – not you. 

What Kinds of Compensation Should You Receive From an Auto Accident?

Victims of an auto accident should be entitled to receive compensation for both actual financial or economic loss, as well as for the pain and suffering that the crash causes them to endure.  Compensation can also be available for emotional distress or wrongful death if a crash was fatal.

Actual financial losses include your medical bills, as well as ongoing medical expenses that you may be forced to pay following an auto accident. When you have to miss work, you incur actual financial losses. You also experience monetary losses if you take vacation days or sick days. If your injuries stop you from ever resuming work or limit the work that you can do, this causes you to miss out on financial gains as well.

Bloom Legal will help you prove the losses you’ve experienced to-date and will help you find the right experts, such as actuaries and medical professionals, to testify about future loss so you can get the fair compensation you need to cover your work income or any money you’ll have to spend because of your crash injuries.

We also provide help in proving the extent of your non-financial damages. It can be much harder to calculate losses for the pain and suffering and emotional distress you endure, or for the loss of companionship of a loved one who is killed in a crash. We assist you in fighting for damages for these very important losses when negotiating a settlement or when showing the extent of the harm you’ve endured as you present your case in court.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in a Car Accident Case?

After an auto accident, you have a limited amount of time to file your claim. The time limit is commonly referred to as the statute of limitations. If you wait too long and the statute of limitations has ended, your claim is time-barred, and you will no longer be able to make a claim for compensation.

Currently in Louisiana, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases requires you to file your claim within one year of the time that the injury occurs – which is the date of the crash. If the crash is a fatal one, you’ll have a year from the time of the victim’s death.

Get Help From the New Orleans Car Accident Attorneys at Bloom Legal

If you have been involved in an accident and accrued any injuries you may be entitled to compensation. Don’t get taken advantage of by the insurance company. Call a New Orleans car accident attorney at Bloom Legal.

We will represent you whenever possible, whether dealing with insurance companies or in court, so that you can focus on the most important thing—your health and recovery. We will fight to get you the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Call us today for a free consultation!


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