Q: Do we settle or litigate?
A: We open all of our client’s cases with the mind-set that we will have to go to trial. This is how you get a fair settlement or result. All of our case management and file administration is geared toward that end. Showing the insurance companies that we are prepared from the beginning, is an invaluable tool to reach settlement. Settling a case can be the better outcome, especially when the fact situation is good (such as a rear-end collision = gut cinch liability) so that the only real area of argument is only what the fair settlement value is. Our job is to leave no stone uncovered in listing, enumerating and assigning a just value to every aspect of the damages you have incurred. A case must be taken to trial only because one, or both sides just have grossly different ideas about the level of damages, or because liability is unclear. Going to trial is an expensive exercise, especially if by jury trial.You make the final decision after we answer all of your questions and give you our best advice.
Q: As I approach recovery from my injuries, where do we go from here?
A: The prime directive in a personal injury matter is to give you every opportunity to reach maximum medical improvement. We will only proceed to settlement negotiations when you, and your treating physicians, feel that you have either fully recovered, or you are as good as you are going to get.If an attorney moves forward without the client being fully recovered medically, a quick settlement will short change you.
Q: Does the other side have to pay your lawyer fee if I win?
A: No. It comes out of the total amount of recovery. Louisiana law does not require liable defendants to pay your attorney fees.
Q: How long do I have to make a claim for my injuries?
A. In most personal injury cases, you have one year from the day of the accident to file a claim. In Louisiana, this is called the prescriptive period. In many other states, it is called statute of limitations. Louisiana has the shortest statute of limitations period in the country. Call our office for advice and how to take action now!
Q: How soon should I hire a lawyer after an accident or injury?
A: The sooner you hire an attorney, the better. Evidence can disappear, witnesses can leave town and memories or recollections of events can change or fade. The sooner you have a qualified, experienced attorney working for you, documenting your case, helping you, the better.
Q: If I accept a settlement offer from the other side, can I ever go back against them for unforeseen injuries and medical expenses resulting from this accident?
A: No! That is why having a lawyer who does not want to settle quick and cheap is so important!
It is why having a lawyer who will invest time, money, staff and expertise in your case is so important. You only get one chance to have your case handled the right way.
Q: If my car has little or no damage from a collision, can I still recover medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages from the at-fault defendant?
A: Yes. Often in an automobile collision, the human body will sustain serious injury with little or no damage to the vehicle. For instance, many newer vehicles have parts that bend and snap right back into place after a collision, while the person inside of the vehicle has lasting bodily damage.
It is an insurance industry created myth that low speed car accidents do not cause injury.
Q: What would be the timeline on each course of action—settle vs. sue- so that I mentally prepare for the length of this case, overall?
A: Our job is to handle all legal aspects of your case and to monitor, track and assist in gathering evidence preserved, getting you the medical attention you need. You should do all that is necessary to make recovery from your injuries possible.
The injury or its effects should not be exaggerated. The plain truth works best. You have every right to bring to light EVERY aspect of your life that has been impacted by this accident. We will do our part in helping you achieve that. The insurance company will respect a meritorious claim that is seriously and firmly presented as true.
From a time-frame aspect, do not rush yourself or your treatment. Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is the triggering point to prepare a settlement package and present it complete; not before.