New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney

A serious injury sets you back physically, financially, and emotionally. In a worst-case scenario, the injury leaves you permanently disabled and either unable to work entirely or unable to work in your current occupation. When that injury occurs because of another party’s negligence or recklessness, you can hold them liable for the damage they have caused. 

An experienced New Orleans personal injury attorney at Douglas & London protects your rights and fights for you so that you can receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our track record is second to none.

How a New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You After an Accident

Do not agree to any settlement with an insurance company, no matter how good it sounds, until you speak with a New Orleans personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies want to settle claims quickly and cheaply. That is their business model. Settlements are final, so there are no second chances if you find out your injuries are more debilitating than originally thought. A personal injury attorney at Douglas & London knows a fair settlement amount for the type of injuries suffered and your individual prognosis. Most personal injury cases are settled, but if an insurance company fails to agree to a reasonable settlement, we can take your case to court.

Working with a Douglas & London Personal Injury Attorney

A personal injury attorney in New Orleans, Louisiana at Douglas & London helps you navigate the legal process and answers all of your questions. We make sure you understand what is going on every step of the way. Good communication between a lawyer and a client is paramount.

How We Will Fight for You

We review all of the evidence available in your case. That includes police and medical reports, any surveillance video from cameras near the incident scene, and eyewitness interviews. In some instances, we may hire accident reconstruction specialists who can determine exactly how a motor vehicle accident occurred and who was at fault.

At Douglas & London, we identify any possible defendant in your personal injury claim. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident, the other driver is not necessarily the only responsible party. If the accident occurred due to vehicle malfunction, the manufacturer or a repair facility may also prove liable. If a traffic light was not working properly and contributed to the accident or poorly maintained roadways played a part, the government agency in charge of the traffic signals or road maintenance may bear responsibility.

Because of Louisiana’s short statute of limitations, it is not uncommon for a severely injured person to not have a definite prognosis within a year and the amount and kind of medical treatment they will need. In such situations, a New Orleans personal injury lawyer may file a lawsuit to preserve the client’s claims.

Common Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle

Personal injuries can happen to anyone, at any time, in any place. The most common types of personal injury cases we handle include:

  • Birth injury
  • Car accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Defective products
  • Medical malpractice
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Slip and fall
  • Truck accidents

What to Do After Suffering a Personal Injury

Every personal injury case is unique. However, personal injury cases are won or lost depending on the evidence. That is why it is important to start collecting that evidence immediately if you are able.

Always call the police if the accident involves a motor vehicle. If you are injured in an accident, try to take photos of the accident scene as well as your injuries. Get the name, address, and insurance information of the driver in a motor vehicle collision. If there are eyewitnesses, obtain their names and contact information.

Always seek prompt medical attention after an accident. If you are seriously injured, it is likely an ambulance will take you from the scene to the nearest emergency room. Some people may not think their injuries are serious or that they were injured at all. Adrenaline coursing through the body after an accident can mask pain, so the severity of the injury is not always apparent right away.

Failure to go to the emergency room or an urgent care physician will harm your claim. Insurance companies look for ways to avoid paying claims or paying as little as possible. If you are not examined shortly after the injury occurs, the insurer will likely allege that your injuries are not as serious as you claim or even that something else caused them. It is also crucial to follow the doctor’s treatment plan. If you do not follow the doctor’s orders, you can jeopardize your personal injury claim.

The Process of Personal Injury Claims

Under Louisiana law, “Every act whatever of man that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it.” The first step in filing a personal injury claim involves dealing with the insurance company of the party responsible for your injury. As noted, you should let your attorney handle this part of your claim.

Your lawyer sends a demand letter to the at-fault person’s insurance company, stating the amount of compensation you should receive. The insurance company generally replies with a counteroffer. The negotiation process goes on until a viable settlement offer is reached or you decide to head to court.

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How long a claim takes to settle depends on various factors. Such issues include the facts surrounding the claim, injury severity, and the quality of the evidence. If liability is not in question, the claim could be settled within weeks or a few months. More complex claims will take longer.

If the decision is made to go to trial, your attorney will file a complaint with the court. The defendant must file an answer to the complaint within 15 days of having been served with the citation, although there are exceptions provided by law. The discovery process then starts, in which both sides gather evidence, request documents, and take depositions via oral examinations or written responses to questions. Physical or mental examinations may be required.

The case is then presented in court. After hearing the testimony, the jury issues a verdict. Keep in mind that it is still possible for your case to settle even during the trial. That option ends when the jury is instructed to deliberate.  

It is possible that a jury will award a plaintiff a larger amount than they might have received in a settlement. There is also the possibility that the jury will decide that the defendant is not guilty, and the plaintiff receives nothing. Settlements are confidential. That is not the case with jury trials. Your attorney will discuss the pros and cons of settlements vs. litigation with you.

Statute of Limitations

In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is just one year from the date of the accident. That is among the shortest such deadlines in the country. There are certain exceptions that extend this timeline, but they are not the norm. Because you have such little time to file a personal injury lawsuit, it is imperative to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Waiting too long can mean you lose the ability to file a lawsuit and obtain compensation for your injuries. It also means the defendant is not held accountable.

What Does Compensation Cover?

Compensation, or damages, in a personal injury case may include:

  • Medical expenses, current and future
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future income
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of living

Contact a New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you know was seriously injured due to another party’s negligence or recklessness, you need the services of the seasoned New Orleans injury lawyers at Douglas & London. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.  Because we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless you receive compensation.