Shreveport Car Accident Lawyers
Auto Wreck Attorney in Bossier City, Mansfield, and Shreveport, LA
Helping those who have been injured due to the fault of others in Louisiana car accidents.
Car accidents can be scary for anyone involved, and the initial stress and shock doesn’t always wear off when you leave the scene of the accident. For some people, the effects of a car wreck can follow them around for years to come, even a lifetime. When someone else’s negligence causes a car accident that leads to an innocent victim’s injuries, they need to be held accountable, and the victim deserves fair compensation for those injuries. If this is the case for you or a loved one, you may need the help of an experienced Shreveport car accident lawyer like those at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm.
At Gordon & Gordon, our personal injury law firm is dedicated to helping injured clients throughout Shreveport, Bossier City, and Mansfield, LA. For a free consultation, give us a call at 318-716-HELP today.
What Causes a Car Accident?
There are a number of potential causes for car accidents, with any number of people holding liability. However, the number one cause of auto accidents in the United States is distracted driving. Most often, this is a result of a driver texting or otherwise playing on their cell phone while operating a vehicle.
Other common causes of collisions in Shreveport include but are not limited to:
- Driver fatigue
- Drunk driver (DUI)
- Recklessness or deliberately dangerous driving, including “road rage”
- Driver inexperience and accidents caused by young drivers
- Mechanical or design failures in a vehicle or any of its parts
- Speeding or other traffic law violations
- Dangerous or badly-designed roadways
- Inclement weather resulting in wet or slippery roads or poor visibility
What To Do After a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident in Shreveport can be a scary and stress-inducing situation. However, it’s important to know what to do after a car accident. Whether it’s a motorcycle accident, an 18-wheeler accident, commercial vehicle accident, or anything in between, here are some general but critical steps that you should follow in the wake of any traffic accident:
- Move to a safe area before you stop the vehicle, if possible.
If moving your car isn’t possible, flip on your hazards to warn other drivers that your vehicle isn’t going anywhere. Take a moment to catch your breath. Check to make sure it’s safe to get out of your car before opening the door. If you believe yourself to be seriously injured, stay where you are and wait for medical attention to arrive.
- Check on others involved in the accident.
Check on all the other parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians to make sure that nobody is injured. Call 911 immediately if anyone appears to be injured at the scene. Even a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness or slight pain should be checked out by a healthcare professional to make sure there is no internal injury. Call the police to the scene of the car accident.
Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can prove invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. Cooperate fully with the officers, but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the crash.
- Gather information.
- Driver and passenger names
- License plate numbers
- Insurance carrier/policy number
- Makes and models of all vehicles involved
- Contact information of any witness to the accident
- The name and badge number of any responding police officers
- Notify your insurance provider.
Call your insurance provider from the scene of the car accident to file an insurance claim. In some cases, insurance claims can even be filed directly through your smartphone. If you aren’t sure who to call, check your insurance ID card for your insurer’s contact information.
- Contact a Shreveport car accident attorney.
After notifying your insurance company of the accident and BEFORE speaking with the insurance company of any other parties involved, contact a Shreveport car accident lawyer. Your attorney will walk you through the legal process and ensure you don’t do or say anything that could potentially harm your case in any way.
How Long Do You Have to File a Police Report After a Car Accident?
In addition to Louisiana’s statute of limitations that establishes a one-year time period for filing personal injury claims, the state also has deadlines in place for reporting automobile accidents. Louisiana legislation requires drivers to report accidents that result in the injury or death of another person or cause over $500 in property damage to the local police station or nearest sheriff’s office. Drivers must do so “immediately, by the quickest means of communication.”
The law also specifies that drivers who cause the death of another individual or $1000+ in property damage must file a written report with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections within 24 hours of the accident. Failure to do so may result in a fine of up to $100, 60 days in jail, or both.
Check out our blog for more information on how to report a car accident.
How Much Money Do You Get from a Car Accident Settlement?
There is no way to determine exactly how much one might receive from a car accident settlement, as there are a number of factors involved that determine the final outcome. The typical auto accident settlement amount is calculated in an ad hoc manner by the insurance company. For example, what you should expect from a rear end settlement might not be the same as what you should expect from a T-Bone collision settlement. If the damage to your automobile was relatively minor, you’ll typically be paid only up to the policy limitations.
Car repair expenses aren’t the only thing to consider. The amount of bodily injury damages also varies depending on the extent of your injuries. For instance, someone who suffers a traumatic brain injury from an accident will likely receive much more than someone who experiences whiplash or a broken bone. This is because the victim with the brain injury will cost incur much more financial strain in terms of lost wages, medical expenses, physical therapy, and much more. This is not even to mention the emotional strain such an injury can bring.
Only when you have received injuries from a car accident will recovering compensation for your pain and suffering be an option. As a result, even if you don’t believe you’ve sustained any injuries, it’s critical that you see a doctor as soon as possible. If you don’t seek medical treatment and the injuries become evident much later, you may miss your opportunity to file a personal injury claim.
Though there’s no exact way to measure how much your settlement may be worth, a good rule of thumb is to add up your medical bills, automobile repairs, and any lost income and multiply that number by 3. This can give you an approximate idea of how much you might anticipate obtaining from your car accident compensation. For more serious or permanent injuries, the compensation is usually much higher.
How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?
Just as there’s no sure way to tell how much you might receive from a car accident settlement, there’s also no way to give an exact estimate for how long the settlement will actually take. A personal injury lawsuit can last anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on the circumstances. Generally, the minimum amount of time is about two months, but this is often for less serious damages or injury.
Depending on the severity of your injuries and the nature of your claim, it could end up taking years to settle. It’s important to keep in mind that a claim should only be settled after you’ve completed all necessary treatment for any accident-related injuries. Any settlement reached before you have fully recovered from your injuries is speculative. To put it another way, a settlement is meant to recompense you for your losses following a car accident injury, and you won’t know exactly how much your losses are worth if you haven’t made a full recovery yet. This is especially true in cases involving serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment.
Other factors that determine the timeframe of your case include the accident investigation, the number of parties participating in your car accident claim, and the amount of research required. So, while a quick settlement might sound appealing, it often is not the best route to go in regards to receiving maximum compensation. However, by obtaining the help of a seasoned Louisiana personal injury attorney like those at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm, you can ensure that the case moves along as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Why Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney?
When a car accident is serious enough to cause fatal or severe injuries or if alcohol was involved, the state will likely prosecute the driver who was at fault. But for all other car accidents, you, the other driver, and your insurance companies may be left to deal with the aftermath. Often, these issues are ultimately resolved in court with the help of an experienced auto accident lawyer.
It should come as no surprise that those who are involved in car wrecks often accumulate substantial medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage and repair costs, and many other losses resulting from their personal injuries. You may also find that these expenses persist long after the wreck’s occurrence. The losses that may occur as a result of a motor vehicle accident are not always obvious in the days or even weeks following the accident, especially not to someone who has no experience dealing with automobile accidents. Victims typically underestimate their expenses and the length of time they will endure, resulting in insufficient settlements that do not meet the costs their families must pay following an accident. Fortunately, a skilled personal injury lawyer can provide a better estimate of future expenses and include them in your claim.
What’s more, car accident victims who obtain skilled legal representation receive significantly more compensation than those who do not. According to research, victims who bring personal injury cases with the help of a skilled car accident lawyer can receive up to 3.5 times more in settlements and awards. This is due to the fact that injury lawyers are well aware of the common strategies insurance providers use to settle cases faster and minimize the payout of claims. As someone familiar with Louisiana auto insurance laws, your attorney will recognize these tactics and combat them by negotiating with insurers and demanding they pay you what you’re entitled to. If the at-fault party denies responsibility, having legal assistance is also critical in proving the defendant acted negligently.
When To Get an Attorney for a Car Accident
Now that you know why it’s important to obtain legal services following your car crash, let’s address the question of when to get an attorney for a car accident. The best thing you can do to ensure maximum financial compensation from your legal claim is to hire a motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible.
As we mentioned before, it’s critical that you have a lawyer on your side before ever speaking with the other party’s insurance adjusters. The sooner you hire a personal injury attorney, the better your chances of obtaining a larger payout and the quicker your car accident case will move forward.
The same applies for the surviving family members who wish to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of their deceased loved one. If you lost a loved one in a fatal crash, the Shreveport, Bossier City, and Mansfield wrongful death attorneys at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm can help.
Free Consultation With Shreveport Car Accident Lawyers Gordon & Gordon
While the services we provide to our clients are extensive, the types of claims we handle at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm are highly focused on those resulting from Louisiana car accident cases. We believe that focusing our practice on Louisiana motor vehicle accidents makes us much more effective.
Through the years, our law office has established a high level of credibility handling all types of car accident claims all throughout the Ark-La-Tex. This level of experience and industry saturation means that insurance adjusters take us seriously. They know that when we make a personal injury claim, we’re prepared to go to great lengths to prove fault in pursuit of the compensation our clients are entitled to.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact the car accident attorneys at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm for a free legal consultation today. From there, we can see if an attorney-client relationship would be beneficial for you. Give us a call at 318-716-HELP or reach out via our online intake form.