Injured on the Road? Avoid These 5 Personal Injury Claim Mistakes
Has an irresponsible driver turned your life upside down?
If someone else’s negligent actions behind the wheel have caused you harm, a personal injury lawsuit may be your best chance to recover compensation for financial damages such as medical bills and lost wages.
Negligent driving comes in many forms:
- Drunk drivers continue to cause many deaths on Louisiana Roads, according to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. In fact, 28 people die in the United States due to alcohol-related crash es every day—that's one person every 51 minutes.
- Distracted driving causes about 40 deaths and 5,500 injuries in our state every year. The distraction in many cases? You guessed it: drivers looking at their phones instead of the traffic in front of them.
- Drowsy driving can affect truck drivers and other commercial drivers. Figures and statistics are hard to come by, but when the timelines leading up to fatal accidents are reconstructed, sometimes the driver’s lack of sleep becomes apparent . A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report for 2013 blamed up to 72,000 accidents to drowsy driving, including at least 800 deaths.
To avoid becoming another car accident statistic, Louisiana drivers must practice defensive driving, obey traffic laws, and be on the lookout for any hazards—including drunk, distracted, or sleepy drivers—on our roadways at all times.
However, should you find yourself the victim of a negligent or drunk driver, you’ll need to decide what to do to protect yourself and your family. Before you start your case on your own, make sure you aren’t being misled by any of the following misconceptions.Mistake One: Not Hiring a Lawyer
The other driver may be at fault, but there is no guarantee that you will win your case. Sure, you can legally negotiate a settlement and even file your personal injury lawsuit without the help of an attorney.
Rest assured the other side will have a team of experienced lawyers and insurance adjustors fighting to make sure you get nothing (or next-to-nothing), especially if a commercial driver caused your injury.
Even if you make your case a full-time job, your legal knowledge will not match theirs. However, once you retain an experienced personal injury lawyer, your chances of being compensated increase significantly.Mistake Two: Thinking It’s Too Late to File
Some victims don’t realize the full extent of their injuries until weeks—even months—have passed. By then they just want to move on with their lives and forget about it. Besides, they missed their chance to file a claim, right? Not necessarily. In Louisiana, the deadline for injury lawsuits is usually one year after the date of the accidents. You shouldn’t procrastinate, however. The sooner you file, the sooner you will get what you are owed.Mistake Three: Assuming Fair Resolution Will Take Too Long
It’s true that a lawsuit could mean putting off the resolution you deserve. However, if both parties choose to settle the matter, a resolution may be a matter of months. Of course, the complexity of your case, the damage done, the injuries sustained and the outcome you and your lawyer expect to achieve can all make your personal injury case last longer. That’s where an experienced legal team can get you through the hurdles and get the outcome you seek as quickly as possible.Mistake Four: Assuming Insurance Will Cover Your Expenses
Most insurance companies are more concerned about their bottom line than they are about your well-being. They WILL attempt to settle for less than you deserve. The threat of a personal injury lawsuit is a powerful way to push back and make sure you get the compensation owed.Mistake Five: Settling for Less
The insurance company wants to settle , and they will offer just enough money to make you go away. Through the years, we have seen time and time again clients with strong cases with clear liability where the adjuster will offer 10 percent what the claim is worth.
That’s when you need to dig in your heels and file a suit. Once you settle with the insurance company, the result is typically final , so settling for less means you have waived your right to pursue further compensation.
It’s important to understand the legal issues involved in your case , which means navigating the procedures and processes involved and knowing the time limitations for asserting your claim. Not all personal injury accidents require legal representation, but yours might.
An experienced personal injury attorney will help you file a claim and, if necessary, take it to trial. The attorneys at Anderson, Dozier, Blanda & Saltzman know the law . We can advise you on the best path forward and work closely with you to build your case.
Our clients benefit from over 90 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies when we can—and we know how to fight their attorneys in court if we have to. We will help you receive the compensation you deserve. We can help you secure the recovery you need to return to the life you had before your accident. We can help protect your family’s future.
Schedule a free consultation with the personal injury attorneys of Anderson, Dozier, Blanda & Saltzman today, or complete our simple case evaluation form for help right away.