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At the Law Office of John W. Redmann, LLC, we assist injured people in obtaining the full measure of justice and compensation they are due following a personal injury accident. If you were injured due to another person’s negligence, our extensive experience in personal injury law could benefit you.

We assist clients in obtaining compensation for medical bills, lost wages, ongoing rehabilitation, and other lasting effects of personal injuries.

These cases are often highly complex. You can learn what you need to know about your injury and options by scheduling a free consultation now. Below, you can find some information about personal injury cases in Louisiana.

Table of Contents

  • What to Do First after a Personal Injury
  • Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
  • What is the Personal Claims Process in Louisiana? 
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury Cases

What to Do First after a Personal Injury in New Orleans

It is essential that you take the right steps following your personal injury. The following recommendations will help you avoid undermining your case before it can go to court. 

1. Seek medical attention immediately

You should always seek medical attention as soon after your injury as possible. This will allow your doctor to make records of all of the injuries that are present.

Remember that you will not feel all injuries immediately. It may take several weeks for pain, nerve, or other conditions to develop. After the shock of the accident wears off, you may notice greater pain or pain that is not responding to treatment. 

If you fail to fully document your injuries immediately after the accident, insurance companies and opposing lawyers can use your lack of documentation against you

They may claim that your injuries happened at a different time or that you are exaggerating the pain and disability that may have occurred. 

When you schedule your visit with your doctor, request any relevant tests. X-rays, blood work, CT scans, and other documents can play a significant role in proving the existence and extent of your injuries. 

2. Avoid sharing the details of your injury with anyone except your doctor and lawyer

Your doctor and your personal injury lawyer in New Orleans have a professional duty to your privacy. 

Doctors who improperly share medical details may violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Health care providers who are found to have violated this law can face fines of up to $50,000, loss of license, and even jail time.

In New Orleans, LA, personal injury lawyers who violate attorney-client privilege can lose their licenses or face other sanctions imposed by their local Bar Association. 

Few other people you will speak with during the course of your case will have any duty to you. Anything you share with close friends or family—even if it’s inaccurate or said in sarcasm or anger—may be used against you in court.

Sharing information with friends and family is dangerous. Sharing information publicly over social media can be even more dangerous. 

You should expect that opposing lawyers and insurance companies will fully document anything you have said on social media. Even if your profiles are private, these parties may approach people you have connected to on social media for screenshots of your private posts and messages.

3. Gather as much evidence as you can until your lawyer can take over

Unless you have a family lawyer who can respond immediately to your accident, it is likely that you will need to wait a few days to schedule and complete your consultation. During this time, a significant amount of evidence can be lost. 

Here are some examples of ways that evidence can be lost:

  • Witnesses may leave the scene without providing contact information
  • Vehicles or other accident-related debris may be removed by road crews and cleaners
  • Security camera footage may be discarded or taped over 
  • Dangerous property conditions may be promptly repaired

Take all of the following steps to ensure that you have access to the evidence that you need to claim compensation for your personal injury:

  1. Request contact information from everyone at the scene
  2. Use your phone or call a friend to take pictures of the accident scene from all angles
  3. Go to nearby businesses to ask if camera footage exists and if it can be preserved (a court order may be necessary to obtain it)

4. Take note of Louisiana’s statute of limitations 

The state of Louisiana has one of the strictest statutes of limitations for personal injuries in the United States. You have a single year after the event that caused your accident to make any personal injury claims.

That may seem like enough time to manage your injuries and prepare a claim, but that time can move incredibly quickly when you’re recovering from a serious injury. Hospital stays and physical therapy can take months to complete, and you may spend most of that time exhausted.

The good news is that beginning a claim is not an arduous process and can often be done after only a few meetings with your lawyer. Your lawyer will work around your care needs to ensure that your recovery is not unduly affected by moving forward with the case.

Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

You may be unsure of whether or not your injury is considered a personal injury under the law. Nearly any injury that results from another’s negligence is eligible for civil claims. The list below includes just some of the examples of injuries that have ended in successful claims:

What is the Personal Claims Process in Louisiana? 

The Louisiana personal claims process typically works the same way for all types of personal injuries. 

Step 1: Consultation & investigation 

Most claims begin with a personal consultation with a lawyer. This is an important step because lawyers alone have the expertise to assess the validity of your claim. 

You may learn that your injury is not eligible for a claim. This may happen when there is insufficient evidence to prove fault, or when there is reason to believe you are wholly responsible for the injury.

If your personal injury lawyer in New Orleans believes that your claim is actionable, they will complete their own investigation to determine the facts of the case. Your lawyer may interview witnesses, submit orders for evidence, or perform other research to establish who is responsible. 

Once that investigation is complete, your lawyer will typically reach out to the responsible party to offer them the chance to settle. 

Step 2: Attempt at settlement

Your lawyer will complete a letter that spells out the findings and submit it to the party that is considered to be responsible (the defendant). The defendant will be given time to consider and respond to the letter. This response will typically follow their consultations with their own lawyers. Their lawyers will also typically send the response.

The defendants may choose to immediately enter into a negotiation. When this happens, claims can be completed in mere months. However, negotiations are not guaranteed to end in a settlement, and the two sides may reach an impasse.

If negotiations fail, the lawsuit will be filed. 

Step 3: Filing a personal injury suit

Personal injury claims become significantly more complicated once the case goes to trial. Trials begin with a discovery process where you and the defendant will need to submit testimony, evidence, and the identities of key witnesses (both witnesses to the event and expert witnesses).

As part of this process, you will be asked to provide a sworn deposition. The defendant’s lawyers will be allowed to question you. This can be stressful for anyone, but your lawyer will work with you to prepare for your deposition properly.

Your lawyer will be allowed to depose the defendant. The testimony that is given during this deposition may be used to establish a strategy for the ongoing case. The trial will be scheduled after discovery is complete.

Step 4: Going to Trial

During the trial, both parties will present their evidence to the jury or the judge. Louisiana’s Civil Justice Reform Act of 2020, House Bill 57 protects each participant’s right to a jury trial if the damages that are sought exceed $10,000.

Your lawyers may recommend that you request a jury or recommend that you allow a judge to make the final decision. 

Each party will have the chance to question witnesses, argue over the interpretation of image or video evidence, and supply expert testimony.

The following expert witnesses may be used to prove or challenge the validity of your claims:

  • Independent medical examiners
  • Accident reconstructionists
  • Vocational rehabilitation care providers

The trial will conclude in one of several ways.

First, the defendants and their legal team may decide to re-enter negotiation rather than proceed with the rest of the trial. If this happens, a settlement may be drawn up based on the new evidence that was submitted in the trial. 

Alternatively, the trial may conclude after all evidence and witnesses have been presented. If the trial reaches this stage, the judge will determine the outcome based on the evidence presented and the findings of a jury (if applicable).

Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury Cases

Q: How can I be sure that I have a personal injury case?

A: Unless you have legal experience, it is very difficult to answer this question on your own. You may come across incomplete, out-of-state, or other flawed information if you attempt to research it on your own. 

The best way to determine your eligibility is to complete a consultation. Personal injury cases are typically completed on contingency, so you will not need to pay for your consultation or representation until you have won your case. 

Q: How much compensation can I receive from a medical claim? 

A: Hundreds of factors can affect the result of your case. Furthermore, lawyers are forbidden from promising a certain amount in recovery or predicting the outcome of a claim. Your lawyer may be able to provide you with case results for similar claims. 

Q: Am I still allowed to make a claim if I am not in pain?

A: Personal injury claims are not exclusively based on the presence of painful injuries. Disability, unemployment, and other losses may occur even if your injuries aren’t causing unmanageable pain.

Furthermore, you should never judge your condition without a medical examination. Your body will often produce significant amounts of adrenaline in the days following an injury. This chemical can numb the pain and even make you feel healthier and more energetic than you were before the accident. It will wear off, and when it does, you may find that you are in far more pain than you imagine.

Q: Should I trust my insurance adjuster with information about my accident?

A: No. Unlike your doctor or lawyer, your insurance adjuster’s duty is to their employer. That duty includes reducing payouts as much as legally possible, and if possible, declaring claims ineligible for coverage.

Any information that your adjuster uses to reduce your claim may also be used against you in your personal injury case. 

You should speak to your personal injury lawyer in New Orleans first and tell any family members who are helping you manage your injuries to direct calls from your insurance company to your lawyer. They should not provide any information to adjusters themselves. 

Q: Am I ineligible for an injury claim if I have a pre-existing condition?

A: No. The presence of a pre-existing condition alone does not make you ineligible for a personal injury claim. Accidents can make existing conditions more difficult to manage or more expensive to treat. You can make claims based on the additional harm that resulted.

Pre-existing conditions can make personal injury cases more difficult. The testimony of medical specialists may be necessary to determine the extent to which existing conditions have been aggravated by the personal injury. 

Q:  Am I ineligible if I am partly responsible for the accident that injured me?

A: Louisiana is a comparative fault state. That means that the responsibility for the injury can be held against both the accused and the claimant.

Courts and juries resolve this issue by first establishing the total amount of losses experienced by the injured plaintiff and then assigning a percentage of responsibility for the accident.

For example, imagine that the court finds you have $100,000 in losses and that you are 30% responsible for the accident. In that case, you would only be entitled to receive $70,000 from the defendant. 

Q: What factors may make me partly responsible for my accident?

A:  Opposing lawyers or insurance companies may attempt several maneuvers to hold you partially or wholly responsible for your accident.

If your injury is the result of a car accident, the defendant’s legal team may attempt to show that you were distracted or that you didn’t properly maintain your vehicle. If the injury is a result of a slip-and-fall accident, they may attempt to show that you were not permitted or invited onto the section of the property where the accident occurred.

Q: How long does it take to settle a personal injury claim in Louisiana?

A: The time it takes to complete a claim will depend on many different factors. As a result, the time it takes to complete a case may range from several weeks to several years. 

The extent of your injuries and the defendant’s willingness to challenge your claims will play a significant role. Other factors, such as the court’s caseload and the cooperation of witnesses, can also affect the completion of your claim.

Q: Will I have to go to court to complete my claim?

A: In fact, the majority of all claims are resolved without court dates. This is because both parties are encouraged to resolve their differences through settlements. A settlement is a negotiated agreement between the two parties and their lawyers. 

The judge will certify most agreements without further intervention. While it’s very rare, the court may refuse some agreements. This typically only happens in cases when the judge feels that the agreement is unfair. For example, the judge may refuse to certify a settlement if he or she believes that one party was coerced into an agreement.

Q: How can I afford my bills if an injury leaves me out of work? 

A: People who are injured often rely on insurance payments while they are fighting their case. Personal Injury Protection (PIP), worker’s compensation, and disability programs may help. 

Some hospitals and doctors will also accept proceeds from a settlement at a later time rather than charging you for care immediately. These arrangements typically require special contracts that your lawyer can help you negotiate. 

Q: If I win a claim or negotiate a settlement, how long will it take until I receive my payment?

A: Typically, payments are delivered within weeks after a case has been closed. If your lawyer is working on contingency, you’ll need to sign a settlement statement that diverts some of the payment to attorney fees, court costs, and reimbursements to insurers who have already paid out. Your lawyer will then provide you with a check that covers the rest of the settlements.

Defendants will sometimes fail to honor court orders or settlements. This is rare because the legal consequences can be significant. Your lawyer may need to return to court to have the order enforced. A judge may enforce the order/agreement by seizing the defendant’s assets or applying additional penalties. 

Get the Compensation You Need And Deserve from Experienced Injury Lawyers in New Orleans

We welcome all individuals who have been injured through negligence or disregard for safety, including victims of catastrophic accidents who have suffered serious or permanent injuries. 

Whether you or a loved one has suffered fractures or lacerations or a traumatic brain injury or paralyzing accident, we are committed to comprehensive coverage for the medical needs, the financial hardships, and the personal suffering and disability. We also pursue wrongful death lawsuits to compensate families coping with economic and emotional loss.

If an insurance company is refusing to honor your injury claim, we can hold that insurer accountable for its obligations to pay damages according to the terms of the insurance policy. Your insurer may not talk to you now, but with experienced New Orleans personal injury attorneys on your side, you may be surprised at how much more willing the insurance company will be to discuss your claims.

Attorney John Redmann prides himself on the personal touch. He and his excellent team of associates and staff are dedicated to doing everything they can not only deliver quality legal representation and results but even more importantly, to make sure that our clients are completely satisfied with our level of service and efforts on their behalf.

To consult with New Orleans accident injury attorney John Redmann about how we can help you, contact us online or call our office at (504) 500-5000. We offer a free consultation and contingency fee representation — there are no upfront costs, and we collect attorney fees only if we are able to recover compensation for your losses.

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