Car Accident Lawyer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Ask any experienced car accident lawyer in Baton Rouge Louisiana about traffic and car accidents in Baton Rouge, and each car accident attorney will agree that one word describes Baton Rouge Traffic – HECTIC! If you are the victim
Many auto accidents take place throughout the state but Baton Rouge has more than its share. Only in 2016, 757 people lost their lives in 704 fatal auto accidents in Louisiana. Many more incurred injuries and property damage. At that point, they turned to a local Baton Rouge car accident lawyer to help them seek compensation for their losses.
A 2016 a study analyzing traffic and crime data in more than 200 cities across the country ranked Baton Rouge as the second most dangerous city for drivers. Most of the accidents in the city occur on Nicholson Drive, O’Neal Lane, I-12, Staring Lane, Highland Road, and Burbank Drive. Although car accidents can have several causes, some are most common than others.
Common Accident Causes or Why People Need Auto Accident Attorneys
Here is a list of the most common reasons why people in Baton Rouge end up needing the services of an auto accident attorney.
Drivers under the influence or intoxicated with alcohol or drugs –
Many drivers get behind the wheel after consuming drugs or alcohol, without realizing that those substances negatively affect their attention span and reaction speed.
Drivers are often in a hurry, trying to save time and reach their destination faster. With today’s cars built for speed and comfort, many of them end up accelerating their cars to high speeds. What they don’t realize is that high speed diminishes reaction times and can cause them to lose control of the vehicle. In case of a car accident, the impact force is higher, leading to more serious injuries and damages.
Distracted driving –
Although Louisiana laws prohibit texting while driving, many drivers give in to temptation and take their eyes off the road to check their social media accounts, text their contacts, or perform some other distracting activities. They fail to notice dangers and react on time, and they get into car accidents, becoming defendants in the case of some car auto accident attorney.
Aggressive or reckless driving –
Some drivers feel strong and powerful behind the wheel. They make dangerous maneuvers in traffic, tailgate other cars, relying on the other drivers to move away from their path, let them pass, or slow down to avoid accidents. Unfortunately, that does not always happen.
Malfunctioning vehicles –
All drivers are under the obligation to maintain their cars in optimum technical condition. Unfortunately, many of them neglect important maintenance aspects, like oil changes, brake pad replacements, and more. Their cars often fail to respond to commands in traffic, making it impossible to avoid a car accident.
If you incurred property damage or injuries in a car accident in Baton Rouge, LA, having any of the above causes, you have the right to receive compensation for your losses. The easiest way to obtain that compensation is to work with the experienced car accident lawyers at Louisiana Injury Lawyers.
He managed to obtain compensations of millions of dollars for car accident victims in Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana. As he explains to his clients, the process of claiming compensation after a car accident begins with a thorough understanding of the applicable laws and with a sound, infallible legal strategy.
Louisiana Car Accident Laws and the Importance of Working with a Car Accident Lawyer
The three legal aspects anyone involved in a car accident in Baton Rouge, LA, should be familiar with refer to:
- The insurance claims’ fault system
- The compulsory coverage rule
- The pure comparative fault rule
1. The Insurance Claims’ Fault System and How It Applies to the Victims of a Car Accident in Baton Rouge
Under this system, in order to claim and recover any damages incurred in a car accident, Baton Rouge residents have to show that another party was at fault for their accident. Their chances of actually obtaining the compensation they deserve depend on the consistency and relevance of the evidence they provide to support their claim.
While gathering, organizing, and filing such evidence can be difficult for a car accident victim who is under treatment or is still coming to terms with what has happened, it is part of everyday routine for an experienced car accident attorney.
2. The Compulsory Coverage Rule and How It Influences Baton Rouge Car Accident Compensation Claims
Under Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 32:866, owners or operators of motor vehicles who do not have liability coverage cannot recover expenses related to personal injury of up to $15,000 and/or expenses related to property damage of up to $25,000.
If the losses they incurred exceed these amounts, they can seek compensation for the difference. Also, the compulsory coverage rule does not apply if the driver at fault is in one of the situations described below:
- They have been cited for violating R.S. 14:98 after the accident and are convicted of or plead nolo contendere to the cited offense
- They caused the accident intentionally
- They fled the car accident scene
- Was in furtherance of committing a felony when the accident occurred
However, this rule does not apply to passengers, pedestrians, bikers, and other categories of potential car accident victims. The best way for a car accident victim to assess their right to claim compensation and estimate the value of the compensation they are entitled to is to discuss the case with an experienced car accident lawyer.
Knowing how confusing some law stipulations can be, we offer free case evaluations. Our clients have the opportunity to receive answers to their questions and legal advice free of charge. At Louisiana Injury Lawyers, we are confident in our ability to win car accident cases. We accept cases on contingency based agreements, meaning we only get paid if we win, from the compensation we obtain for our clients.
3. The Pure Comparative Fault Rule and Why You Need a Car Accident Attorney
Under the pure comparative fault system, even those who are partially at fault for their car accident can recover damages. Louisiana laws see car accident fault and car accident damages as 100%, and they correlated them.
Thus, someone 50% at fault for an accident that resulted in total damages of $100,000 will be responsible for 50% of the damages, namely $50,000. How much money they can recover depends on how the damages were distributed among the parties involved. Thus, if they incurred damages of $60,000, they can still recover $10,000.
The best solution for someone involved in a car accident to figure out how much the claim is worth and what type of damages they can recover is to consult a car accident lawyer. The latter will explain the types of damages a compensation claim can cover and estimate the value. Contacting an experienced car accident lawyer will be the best step you can take after a car accident.
What Type of Damages Can a Car Accident Claim Cover?
Car accident damages fall into two main categories:
- Economic damages: they include all expenses someone involved in a car accident victim incurs and can prove with the help of invoices, bills, and financial statements. Common examples include the cost of car repairs, hospital bills, treatment costs, and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages: they usually cover the emotional and more difficult to calculate losses that car accident victims incur, like disfigurement, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and more.
It is important to note that Louisiana laws limit some of the amounts one can claim and recover as damages. For example, under State Legislature Revised Statutes Section 13:5106, the total damages recoverable after a car accident involving a government agency are subject to a limit of $500,000.
Again, the best person to evaluate damages and help prove them is an auto accident lawyer in Baton Rouge. Car accident victims should contact one as soon as possible, for two reasons:
- Under Louisiana Civil Code, Title XXIV, art. 3492, the deadline for taking civil action in case of personal injury or property damage is of one year.
- Claimants who do not benefit from the advice of a car accident attorney often make mistakes. As a result, they fail to follow the necessary steps to secure their right to compensation.
Steps to Follow after a Car Accident
The first minutes after the car accident are very important. This is when most people make costly mistakes. Mistakes that cost them their compensation or diminish their chances of obtaining it. This is a list of steps everyone involved in an auto accident should follow. No matter the circumstances in which the accident took place.
1. Stop at the Scene of the Accident
All drivers involved in car accidents that involved property damages in Louisiana, no matter how small or insignificant, should stop at the scene of the accident or as close to it as possible. According to the state’s Revised Statutes Section 14:100, vehicle operators involved in accidents have the obligation to stop at the scene, provide identity information, and provide reasonable aid to anyone injured in the accident.
Those who fail to do so risk paying considerable fines and even spending time in jail. For those who leave the scene of car accidents resulting only in property damages and/or mild injuries, the penalty is a fine of up to $500, imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both.
Those who leave the scene of an accident that resulted in serious injuries or even death risk fines of up to $5,000, imprisonment for up to 10 years, or both. For those with previous convictions for driving under the influence or while intoxicated, vehicular homicide, vehicular negligent injuring, or first-degree vehicular injuring, the penalties can go as high as twenty years of imprisonment.
2. Take the Vehicle Out of the Roadway Area
Unless the vehicles involved in the accident are too damaged to be moved, their drivers have the obligation to move them outside the roadway area, to the nearest shoulder or parking space available, to avoid impeding traffic and causing further accidents.
3. Call for Medical Assistance
If anyone involved in the accident incurred injuries, the other parties present should call for an ambulance. It is important not to move people who incurred spine or head injuries. Also, those whose limbs are trapped by vehicle parts, as the shock may aggravate their injuries.
4. Report the Accident to the Baton Rouge Authorities
Under Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 32: 398, all car accidents that result in personal injury, death, or property damage of more than $500 should be reported to the police. For car accidents resulting in injuries, death, or property damage of more than $100, a copy of the report should be filed with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections as well, within 24 hours from the accident. Failure to file the report is punishable by fines of up to $100 and up to 60 days in prison.
It is in the best interest of the parties involved to report the accident. Law enforcement officers come to the scene of the accident to investigate what happened and file a detailed report. The report will help those trying to obtain compensation for their losses. In addition, prove how the accident occurred and who was at fault for it.
5. Obtain Contact and Insurance Information from the Parties Involved in the Accident
A car accident that seems minor at first could have costly consequences later. When that happens, it helps to know who was at fault for it or at least involved. Thus, after stopping at the scene of the accident, requesting and receiving medical assistance, and reporting the accident to the police, the parties involved should exchange contact, insurance, driving license, and car registration information.
This way, later on, when it comes to recovering their losses, they will know whom to appoint as liable for their accident and whom to ask to testify in their favor. As a general rule, all drivers should carry liability insurance of minimum $15,000 for personal injury and $25,000 for property damage. Those who are uninsured or who discover that the party at fault for their accident is uninsured should immediately contact a car accident lawyer, as their case will be a complicated one.
6. Gather Evidence and Testimonies of How the Car Accident Occurred and What Consequences It Had
A car accident’s victim success in obtaining compensation will depend on their ability to prove how the accident occurred. In addition to prove who was at fault for it, and what the consequences were. Evidence gathered at the scene of an accident is valuable. If available, it will be of great help to an auto accident lawyer.
Therefore, after completing the steps described above, everyone involved in the accident should focus on taking photos of the scene, and of the cars involved, sketching the position of the vehicles at the time of the accident, look for nearby surveillance cameras that may have recorded the accident, interview witnesses, and write down any details they consider important.
7. Consult a Car Accident Attorney
After things have calmed down, but without waiting too long, car accident victims should contact an auto accident lawyer. The sooner they do so, the more time their attorney will have to gather further evidence. We will build a strong case, and begin the compensation claim process.
In Louisiana, the compensation claim process begins by filing a complaint with the insurance company. The company will assess the damages and the available evidence and will offer the claimant a settlement. If the claimant finds the settlement offer unsatisfactory, they can refuse it. The claimant can file a complaint with the Louisiana Department of Insurance. In addition, start a lawsuit against the driver at fault.
All these procedures take time, paperwork, and knowledge and experience only experienced car accident lawyers possess. It determines not only the compensation the claimant receives but also the premium they pay to their own insurer.
Given Louisiana’s comparative fault laws, the parties involved in the accident will do everything to blame the other party. Or, at the very least, attribute as much of the fault as possible to them. Those found to have contributed to the accident they were involved in may end up paying higher monthly premiums.
If they work with an experienced car accident lawyer, the latter will not allow this to happen. The attorneys will conduct their own investigations. They will subpoena expert witnesses, cite case precedents and use every strategy available. All this to prove their client’s innocence and defend their interests.
Contact a Baton Rouge Car Accident Lawyer Now!
If you were involved in a car accident it is critical to contact a car accident lawyer. A car accident attorney will defend your interests and get you the compensation you deserve. For best results and no risks, contact Louisiana Injury Lawyers. Our knowledgeable, skilled, and dedicated car accident lawyers will not rest until winning your case. Louisiana Injury Lawyers are committed to results. We provide a Free Case Evaluation. To benefit from these legal services, call us or contact us online.