The insurance company can take you in circles regarding the settlement for your personal injury case in New Orleans. Moreover, they can leave you with zero updates on the status of your insurance claim. You are not the only victim of this irritating back-and-forth.
Most insurance companies purposely frustrate the plaintiffs and push them to the point of surrender. It’s their strategy to make complainants desperate to accept nothing close to what they deserve.
Fortunately, you can say no to the sick mind game by hiring Wright & Gray Law Firm.
The New Orleans team of competent personal injury attorneys has the resources, skills, and knowledge to help you build a strong case and, most importantly, speed up the settlement process.
How Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Work?
Accident lawsuits vary. However, the basic steps of a personal injury case usually remain constant. Here are the stages any typical injury case will follow.
At the heart of every personal injury claim are injuries of some sort, whether severe or minor. The parties can reach an amicable settlement if the actual damages are minor.
However, if the damages are severe or the parties can’t reach an out-of-court settlement, the plaintiff usually consults an attorney.
After the initial consultation, the attorney may agree to investigate the claims to determine if the case is viable. The plaintiff could have a strong case if it involves a negligent driver. They can sign a fee agreement and jump-start the legal process.
Complaint Filing and Serving the Defendant
Immediately the plaintiff’s attorney determines a case exists, they move to a civil court and file the first official case document, a personal injury complaint. This document details the plaintiff’s complaints against the defendant.
After filing the complaint, the attorney has to physically deliver the complaint documents to the defendant within the time limit of one month.
The Defendant Consults an Attorney
Before the court date, the defendant has to hire an attorney. However, if an insurance policy exists, the defendant notifies the insurance company.
The insurance company hires a lawyer. No fee agreement is signed since the defense lawyers work hourly.
During the pre-trial process, both the plaintiff and defendant ask each other for witness information and evidence. The phase is called the discovery and takes three different formats;
- Request For Admission. The plaintiff’s lawyer asks the defendant to deny or admit the claims. The answer gives the plaintiff’s lawyer an overview of the issues to contest.
- Request For Production of Documents. The plaintiff’s lawyers ask the defendant for specific documents used as evidence.
- Interrogatories. Interrogatories are questions addressed to the defending to gather more evidence the plaintiff’s defense is unaware of.
A typical personal injury case can last several days before the judge or jury determines if the defendant is at fault. If either party is not happy with the judgment, they are at liberty to file an appeal.
However, if the defendant is found liable, they abide by the law and pay the plaintiff the established amount during trial or appeal.
When Should I File a Lawsuit?
Most personal injury claims don’t get to court. However, parties should prepare for any possibility, such as standing before a judge, if the following situations emerge.
- The defendant has a firm stand and is unwilling to settle
- The defendant is suggesting an unfairly low compensation
- There are punitive damages involved
How Long Does It Take To Solve a Personal Injury Case in New Orleans?
Settling a personal injury case can take weeks, months, or even years. Ultimately, no accident case is identical to the other. Each has its timeline due to varying details and complexity.
The truth is, a quick settlement is, in most cases, not an ideal scenario. It means accepting the insurance adjuster’s initial offer, which could be way below the fair compensation.
However, some factors may influence the timing of a personal injury claim. They include;
Before a personal injury attorney settles a case, they gather all the medical and damage reports. If the complainant sustained severe injuries or aggravation of a previous injury, it might take time for the information to come in.
The Complexity of the Case
If multiple parties are involved in the case, it will take longer to settle. The back-and-forth process before determining who was at fault means wasted time. Additionally, the type of accident, magnitude of the accident claim, and type of damages can also affect the claims process.
If a case is subject to multiple interpretations and the defendant contests liability, it may take longer to settle. In such a case, the jury may require more time to hear and determine which party was responsible for the damages.
The responsible insurance company can potentially determine the case duration. Some insurance companies have in-house policies that dictate how long a case should take. Others take time to study and evaluate the merits of each case.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Case in New Orleans Worth?
Most personal injury damages are compensatory. The injured party qualifies for compensation for the injuries and loss sustained after the accident.
But is it possible to put an economic value on all the injuries sustained?
It’s impossible to put a dollar figure on the pain and suffering. The payment aims to help the plaintiff stand on their feet again financially.
Here are some of the common compensatory damages.
Almost every personal injury claim includes medical expenses associated with the accident. Accident attorneys consult the medical provider and collect medical records such as ambulance rides, emergency treatment, and medication to determine the medical costs.
They also include future medical care expenses.
The accident victim is entitled to compensation if the accident impacted their salary and wages. If they are incapacitated and unable to work, the responsible party must compensate for all the lost income until the plaintiff returns to work.
If the personal injury accident leads to property damage, the parties at fault are liable and should cater for all the repair costs. If replacement is the only option, compensation should be calculated in regard to the current market value.
Pain and Suffering
The injured party is entitled to compensation if the accident injuries resulted in severe pain and suffering. Also, psychological distress compels the liable parties to compensate for the mental anguish.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is damage that affects the complainant’s relationship with their partner. In some States, loss of companionship or inability to sustain a healthy sexual relationship qualifies for compensation.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
The moments following an auto accident or injury can be overwhelming. Here is what you should do if you or a loved one get injured due to negligence.
- Seek Medical Attention. Some injuries can lead to severe complications if left untreated.
- Call the Police. Police will document the accident scene. Police reports are crucial pieces of evidence in any personal injury claim.
- Document the Scene. Take clear and audible videos or photos of the accident scene. They will strengthen your case.
- Talk to Expert Witnesses. Eye witness testimonies will help you build a strong case.
Looking for an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in New Orleans?
How much are two or three broken ribs worth to you? Such a tricky question to answer, right?
That is the situation you are likely to find yourself in if you do not consult a legal professional.
Wright & Gray is a personal injury law firm in New Orleans with years of experience handling personal injury cases.
We fight for our clients during the settlement or court hearings until they get fair compensation without charging upfront costs.
Our New Orleans accident lawyers are thorough with the evidence collection process.
From eyewitness statements surveillance footage to police reports, they ensure every piece of evidence is available before the case commences. They are also bold and do not give in to settlement demands without putting up a fierce fight.
So, call us today to see if we can help you get fair compensation for your personal injury claim in New Orleans.