Personal Injury Law News

Why Should Only an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Handle My Car Accident?

Monday, February 19, 2018

There are close to 20,000 attorneys in the State of Louisiana—you probably know at least one of them—and, after experiencing a traumatic event, it might be tempting to call on a familiar face to represent you through the recovery process. However, nowadays most attorneys specialize, handling only one or two of the following types of legal work:

  • Successions and estates
  • Banking documents
  • Oil and gas
  • Domestic (divorce)
  • Criminal
  • Insurance defense (personal injury attorneys who represent insurance companies)
  • Personal injury plaintiff (attorneys who represent claimants)
  • Transactional attorneys (contracts)
  • In-house legal counsel (attorneys employed by one large company)

Even attorneys who have a general practice (i.e., handle multiple types of legal business) rarely have the experience and financial commitment necessary to pursue and try substantial personal injury claims. Just as you should not trust a family medicine physician to perform back surgery (you need an orthopedic surgeon), you should not rely on a domestic, criminal or general practice attorney to handle your personal injury claim.

What is personal injury?

Just about any act that causes harm can be legally recognized as personal injury, if properly framed. Personal injury law is generally governed by Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315. Article 2315(A) requires every injurious action to be repaired by the person who inflicts it.

Louisiana law compensates personal injury plaintiffs for both minor and major injuries caused through the negligence of another. Anderson, Dozier, Blanda & Saltzman limits their practice to personal injury law, further specializing in catastrophic career-ending injuries, wrongful death and claims involving extensive medical treatment and expenses as well as significant wage losses, disabilities and lifestyle changes.

Louisiana law additionally allows some relatives of the injured plaintiff to bring claims for their own losses called consortium and spousal service.

Who may bring a claim?

Louisiana Civil Code articles 2315, 2315.1 and 2315.2 outline who may bring a claim on behalf of an injured party and when. Generally, any person of legal age (18) may bring a claim on their own behalf within one year from the date of injury. Louisiana law additionally provides a statutory framework by which other family members may bring associated claims, including always spouse and children and sometimes more distant relative if no spouse or child exists.

Wrongful death claims are generally complicated by the absence of the injured person and, once again, require a personal injury attorney experienced in wrongful death and survival of claims. If you or your loved ones have been seriously injured in a vehicular or maritime accident, please contact Anderson, Dozier, Blanda & Saltzman, with more than 60 years of personal injury law experience in Lafayette, Louisiana.