Car Accident Lawyer

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TL;DR

  • Choosing not to hire or consult with a reputable legal professional regarding your car accident case may be the fastest way to a small settlement.
  • Just because there were no major injuries or fatalities does not mean that the settlement process will be simple.
  • If you choose to forgo legal representation at the start of your claim, you may inadvertently forfeit compensation to which you are entitled simply because you did not know your rights under the law.
  • Under Louisiana law, you must file your car accident suit within one year of the incident. If you file after the statute of limitations, your claim will be barred.
  • Fault is often determined through police reports and due diligence from the insurance companies, but in certain cases, the opinion of an accident reconstruction expert is required.
  • It is important to gather witnesses and evidence immediately after a car accident to ensure the at-fault is accurately determined.
  • Fortunately, most personal injury cases are settled through pretrial negotiations, but without experience negotiating claims or a qualified lawyer on your side, you may end up with a smaller settlement than you deserve or may fail to settle your case at all.

 

Car accidents happen every day, and unfortunately, many people decide to handle the settlement process without legal assistance—especially if they feel the accident was minor. They may not think hiring a lawyer is necessary and may believe that the process will move faster without one. However, not taking the time to hire a reputable legal professional may be the fastest way to a small settlement. At the Law Office of Stephen C. Gaubert, we recommend you seek legal counsel immediately after any car accident—no matter how small.

Why People Fail to Seek Professional Advice

Most people forgo hiring a lawyer because the accident did not result in major injuries or fatalities, and therefore, the driver automatically assumes that the settlement process will be simple.

Many motorists do not realize that they are entitled to specific compensation and, in some cases, may be told by their insurance company that they will likely end up with less compensation if they’re represented by an attorney. However, retaining the services of a lawyer typically increases the settlement amount, rather than decreasing it as some misinformation would have you believe.

And just because there were no major injuries or fatalities does not mean that the settlement process will be simple. It’s important to note that if you choose to forgo legal representation at the start of your claim, you may inadvertently forfeit compensation to which you are entitled simply because you did not know your rights under the law. Even passengers involved in a vehicle accident have passenger rights and can file their own claim.

Why You Should Hire a Lawyer

Being in a car accident can present many unanswered questions such as how much compensation you are entitled to and what your rights are under the law. Failing to understand your rights can result in a lower settlement, making the advice and guidance of an experienced car accident attorney invaluable to your case.

Insurance Considerations

Because the settlement process can be complex, it is important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who can speak to insurance companies and negotiate settlements with the other parties on your behalf.

Although some car accidents may seem like simple cases, determining all of your available insurance coverage is sometimes the most complicated aspect. If no serious injuries were sustained during the accident, the first item that must be addressed is any damage to your vehicle.

It is possible for insurance companies to offer less than the full settlement to which you’re entitled. They may also fail to make a rental vehicle available to you while the repairs are being completed.

Hiring an attorney helps to ensure your claim is handled efficiently and fairly by your insurance provider and anyone else involved so that this chaotic situation can be as comfortable and convenient as possible.

Lawyers also understand exactly what insurance companies require to settle a claim. Insurance coverage underwriters are simply doing a job that involves justifying their decision to pay money for damages. They do this by documenting and explaining why a certain amount should be paid to a particular motorist.

If you cannot provide the proper documentation, you will ultimately obtain less money under the settlement. Thankfully, experienced car accident attorneys can provide the exact documentation necessary to ensure you receive the maximum possible settlement.

Time Frame

Many drivers are unaware that there is a limited amount of time to pursue a settlement following a car accident. Under Louisiana law, you must file your suit within one year of the incident. If you file after the statute of limitations, your claim will be barred. Hiring an attorney helps to ensure all necessary steps are taken in a timely manner.

Determining Fault

Determining fault can be tricky for car accidents. Often times fault is determined through police reports and due diligence from the insurance companies, but in certain cases, the opinion of an accident reconstruction expert is required.

To ensure that determining fault in a car accident is as accurate as possible, it is important to gather witnesses and evidence immediately after the car accident. Waiting to begin gathering evidence and witness reports can become difficult as time passes after the incident. Should your accident become a case, a successful outcome will depend largely on what you can prove with any witnesses or evidence you present.

A lawyer well-versed in car accident cases has the experience and resources necessary to properly investigate the incident to ensure you are fully and fairly compensated for property damage, damage to your vehicle and bodily harm.

Negotiating Personal Injury Settlements

In the event of injuries (even minor ones), you will almost certainly have medical bills that must be settled, as well as lost wages from missed work. Additionally, if the accident was your fault and another driver was injured, we strongly recommend you consider hiring a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf to ensure that compensation claims are not being inflated by the opposing party.

Fortunately, most personal injury cases are settled through pretrial negotiations, but without experience negotiating claims or a qualified lawyer on your side, you may end up with a smaller settlement than you deserve or may fail to settle your case at all.

Communication

When it comes to legal cases, there are certain things you can and cannot say. Hiring a professional lawyer to handle your car accident settlement helps to inform you of what you can and cannot discuss so that your case isn’t jeopardized by a few innocent remarks.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident or if your car or property has been damaged during such an event, there is no reason to go through the stressful settlement process alone. Consulting with experienced legal counsel helps to ensure you’re protected in all areas so that you can take this situation head-on. Call us today to discuss your potential case with a qualified attorney and get the assistance you need for the best possible outcome.

 

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