New Orleans Injury Lawyers Working Hard to Earn You Compensation
If you have been injured due to negligence or wrongdoing you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. Medical bills are one thing, but when it comes to calculating something like pain or suffering in terms of dollars the details can get a bit hazy. The New Orleans injury attorneys at Bloom Legal understand how confusing it must seem and will map out the best legal strategy to get you the most damages possible.
Damages Available in Louisiana Personal Injury Claims
There are two types of damages that apply in personal injury cases: special damages and general damages.
Special damages are those losses and expenses that are quantifiable or can easily be assigned a monetary value. Special damages include damage or loss of property, medical bills, loss of wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
General damages, on the other hand, can be more difficult to put a value to, since they refer to damages that do not have a price mark or receipt. General damages include emotional or mental trauma, physical disfigurement, and loss of quality of life, among others. General damages are also commonly referred to as pain and suffering.
Calculating Your Potential Compensation
When calculating your personal injury claim you will want to take into account both types of damages to ensure you are seeking the full compensation to cover your injury and the resulting ramifications.
Special damages are easy enough to calculate, but what about the general damages side? The most common method for calculating a personal injury claim is known as the multiplier method.
To do this, simply calculate your special damages—add up all your medical bills, wages you missed out on while out of work, any loss of property, and any other out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result of your injury. Then you multiply this number by a number 1.5 through 5.
Inevitably, calculating general damages requires a hearty dose of subjectivity. The multiplier is intended to account for this. Generally, the number you select to multiply by your special damages is dependent upon the specific factors of your injury like the severity of your injury, the apparent degree of fault on the part of the defendant, and the effects on your mental state and daily life, among other things.
Factors Considered in Awarding Pain and Suffering Damages
In a personal injury suit, “economic losses” such as medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, and past and future lost wages are relatively easy to calculate. But what is the value of not being able to play with your kids? What dollar amount is equivalent to never-ending pain or embarrassment? How do you calculate the loss of intimacy?
That is the challenge faced by Louisiana judges and juries when trying to award compensation for “non-economic” damages, including what are known as “pain and suffering” damages. Pain and suffering damages in Louisiana are typically calculated based on the severity of the accident and resulting injury and the expected length of time it will take to fully recover from the injuries.
While there is no magic equation for calculating Louisiana pain and suffering damages, some of the factors considered include:
- Cost of medications needed to treat physical and mental pain
- Expected limitations and restrictions on the victim’s day-to-day life
- The injury’s impact on the victim’s ability to sleep
- The injury’s effect on the victim’s relationships with loved ones
- The victim’s prognosis for the future
- Past and future mental anguish
Evidence Needed to Prove Extent of Pain and Suffering in a Louisiana Personal Injury Claim
Given how difficult it can be to quantify the nature and extent of an injury victim’s pain and suffering, the evidence needed to prove those damages needs to be as compelling, detailed, and thorough as possible. The more evidence you can preserve, gather, and produce to support your claim, the better your chances are of recovering damages that fully reflect your hardships.
Types of evidence that can be powerfully effective in proving pain and suffering damages include:
- Photos of the injury victim before and after the accident
- The victim’s personal diaries or journals in which they contemporaneously describe their physical and emotional state
- Letters or testimony from family, friends, and colleagues explaining how the personal injury has negatively impacted the victim’s life
- Proof of mental health treatment
Be Sure to See the Doctor After an Accident
Getting checked out by a doctor should be at the top of your post-accident list of things to do. Bicycle, car and motorcycle accidents commonly result in latent injuries — medical issues that don’t become obvious until a week, month or even a year down the line. Medical checkups catch these sorts of problems early, so you can nip things in the bud and get treatment before your health deteriorates.
Doctors’ reports also play a critical role in the claims process. Having one that accurately documents your injuries greatly increases your chances of obtaining the settlement you deserve.
Dealing with the health care system can be overwhelming when you’re recovering from a traumatic event. You don’t have to do it alone. We’ve got the resources to help you navigate the health care system and can even get you set up with a physician to look after your health.
How Can Our New Orleans Injury Attorneys Help You Receive Compensation from the Insurance Company?
At Bloom Legal, we get how insurance companies work and the elements they take into consideration when calculating offers. We know what factors you should consider when evaluating a proposed settlement, and we make sure you don’t forget things like potential lost future earnings when deciding whether or not to accept a particular deal.
We’ve seen just about every insurance company trick imaginable. We can tell when a claim is moving towards a sensible resolution and just needs a bit more finesse and patience—or when it’s not. We have 15 years of experience identifying and countering stonewalling tactics designed to push you into an unfavorable resolution and we won’t let it happen to you. Our New Orleans personal injury attorneys understand when it’s time to negotiate and when it’s time to fight. And when it’s time to fight, we’ve got the experience and know-how to file a suit.
Can I Change My Mind Once I’ve Accepted a Settlement in Louisiana?
According to the law, once you’ve accepted a settlement for a personal injury case you cannot seek further compensation, even you later realize you did not receive enough. Far too many people who try to represent themselves in personal injury cases end up taking settlements for less than they deserve. With our experienced New Orleans injury attorneys on your side, you can rest assured we will fight for every penny you are due.
If the job cannot get done in negotiations, we will take the claim to court. We will represent you whenever possible, but you would likely need to appear at least to give your testimony. We understand that it is not always easy to appear in court—for example if you suffered your injury while vacationing or away from home. We will communicate with you and provide whatever accommodations we can to make this as easy as possible for you.
Do I Have To Go To Court For a Personal Injury Claim?
It’s a question we get asked by our clients a lot. The short answer is—it depends. A personal injury claim must be initially officially filed with a court, but a New Orleans injury attorney can do this on your behalf. However, there are a number of steps and negotiations to go through before a hearing will be necessary, at which point it is likely you would need to appear to give your testimony.
In many personal injury cases, the defendant will hope to settle before the claim goes to court. They will want to deal with the issue as quickly as possible, while spending the least amount of money.
This is why it’s so important to have experienced New Orleans injury attorneys on your side. Not only can they file the initial claim in court for you, but more importantly they can help you navigate the negotiations process effectively and intelligently.
At Bloom Legal, we fight to make sure our clients get the full compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering. We understand the impact a serious injury can have on a person’s life, their family, and their wellbeing, and we believe your settlement should fully reflect that impact. Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many cases where insurance companies or lawyers for the defense try to lowball the settlement, and individuals end up getting paid less than they deserve.
Call the New Orleans Injury Lawyers at Bloom Legal to Fight for Every Penny
If you’ve been in an accident and think you may have been partially at fault, don’t let that stop you from calling our New Orleans personal injury lawyers to discuss your case. You still may be able to get compensation for your injuries and losses. How a judge or jury assigns fault between a plaintiff and one or more defendants in a personal injury lawsuit can be complicated. Having an experienced lawyer on your side who knows the law and understands how to make the most persuasive case can make all the difference. Call us today at 504-599-9997 for a free consultation at our New Orleans office. Remember, you only pay us if you win, so you have nothing to lose!
Hear What Our Clients Have To Say
"This company is one of the most helpful and dutiful law firms in New Orleans. I have met with Seth Bloom multiple times and he has helped with out of several situations I thought had no solution. He made me feel calm, comfortable, and collected. After our first meeting, he established a genuine interest in my position and assured me that he would stand by me. Aside from that, he is one of the most professional lawyers I have dealt with, and I believe his service to be above what people in New Orleans consider to be great service."
Posted By: Zachary Klos