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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Burnham

When to Contact a Lawyer After a Louisiana Car Accident

Updated: Nov 9, 2023


Two cars involved in a head-on collission at a city intersection.

Car accidents can be traumatic experiences, often leaving victims physically injured and emotionally shaken. In the aftermath of a collision, it is crucial to understand when and why it's advisable to contact a New Orleans personal injury lawyer.


While not every car accident requires legal intervention, there are specific situations where seeking legal counsel can significantly benefit victims. In this blog article, we will explore the key factors to consider when deciding whether to contact a New Orleans personal injury attorney after a car accident.


1. Injury


If you have suffered any injury at all following an accident no matter how minor you think the injury might be, it's imperative that you consult with a personal injury attorney right away. Insurance companies are notorious for contacting car accident victims shortly after an accident, obtaining recorded statements, and using those statements against the victims later in the case to argue that they were never really that hurt.


After a wreck occurs, there is a lot of adrenaline running and it’s normal to not feel the full impact of injury until days or even weeks after an accident. Consult with an attorney before you talk to anybody from an insurance company.


And if a police officer at the scene of the wreck asks you whether you are hurt, be truthful, and no matter how minor the injury, tell the officer about it. The existence or non-existence of injuries is routinely recorded in police reports, and insurance companies will review the reports to see whether injuries were reported at the scene of a wreck.


2. Liability and Fault


Determining who is at fault in a car accident can be a contentious issue. When liability is disputed, or if you believe you were not at fault, contacting a personal injury attorney is crucial.


They can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and help establish fault, which is essential for seeking compensation from the responsible party. Insurance companies may try to shift blame or offer inadequate settlements, and a personal injury attorney can protect your interests.


3. Insurance Issues


Dealing with an insurance company can be a daunting task, especially when trying to secure the compensation you deserve. If you encounter any of the following issues, it's advisable to consult with an experienced New Orleans personal injury attorney:


a. Delayed or Denied Claims

Insurance companies sometimes delay or deny claims unfairly. A personal injury attorney can help challenge these decisions and pursue the compensation you are entitled to.


b. Low Settlement Offers

Insurance companies may offer settlements that do not fully cover your losses. Sometimes they will offer you early settlement offers to close the claim, and you might not be sure whether the offer is a fair offer, or whether you should even consider it. An attorney can assess the true value of your claim and negotiate for a fair settlement.


c. Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists

If the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured, or if you were hit by a hit-and-run driver, you may need legal assistance to explore other avenues for compensation, such as your own uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage.


4. Complex Legal Procedures


Car accident cases can involve intricate legal procedures and timelines that can be overwhelming for someone without legal expertise.


A personal injury attorney is well-versed in these processes and can ensure that all necessary documents are filed correctly and within the statute of limitations.


5. Long-Term or Permanent Injuries


In cases where car accident injuries result in long-term or permanent disabilities, contacting a personal injury attorney becomes even more critical.


A personal injury attorney can help you calculate the long-term costs of your injuries, including ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and lost earning capacity, and ensure you receive adequate compensation to cover these expenses.


6. Emotional Distress


Car accidents can be stressful events, leading to emotional distress, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you are struggling emotionally after a car accident, a personal injury attorney can help you pursue damages for pain and suffering, in addition to economic losses.


7. Mounting Medical Bills


If you went to the hospital after a car accident, you may be surprised when you get a bill in the mail for thousands of dollars. “Shouldn't my health insurance have covered this?” you might wonder.


After a car accident, medical providers don't immediately bill health insurance. Instead, they will attempt to collect the full amount of their bill from the car insurance proceeds that are available.


A personal injury attorney can help you manage your medical bills, negotiate them, and try to get them billed to your health insurance, if you have it. Also, your personal injury can recommend doctors for you to start treating with, with the goal of making your pain go away.


Conclusion

Car wreck between two cars at an intersection in New Orleans.

Knowing when to contact a New Orleans personal injury attorney after a car accident is crucial for protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. If you find yourself facing any of the situations discussed in this article – injuries, liability disputes, insurance issues, complex legal procedures, long-term injuries, emotional distress, or mounting medical bills – don't hesitate to seek legal counsel.


A New Orleans personal injury lawyer can guide you through the legal process, advocate on your behalf, and help you achieve the best possible outcome in your car accident case.

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