What to consider when serious or catastrophic injuries happen
When clients call my office after a catastrophic injury or a serious car wreck, they are still trying to come to terms with their new situation. Sometimes they are torn between ‘not being the type to sue people’ and having to contend with doctors and hospital bills. They have to deal with calls by the insurance companies and trying to figure out how to put their lives back together. They are worried about their lost income and how their medical bills will be paid.
Serious injuries are not simply about the pain and the damage to their bodies; they are about how much the life they were accustomed to has changed. Some may now need specialized equipment to go about their day, while some may need to come to terms with a permanent disability and an altered life style.
We have represented victims of accidents who will never be able to return to work they spent a lifetime on training.
Injuries can be life altering and you will have to learn to cope with this new existence, which can lead to depression and anxiety. Insurance companies often brush off the impact of future medical expenses, additional care, lost income and emotional distress, but you can’t ignore their realities.
The more serious a person is injured, especially when it comes to life-altering events, the more difficult it becomes to navigate the laws, medical information, insurance requirements and hospital records. Your attorney has to be able to advocate for you with an in depth knowledge of the law and a working knowledge of the medical, physical and emotional circumstances involved in injury and recovery.
Several things need to be considered. First is the prescriptive date or statute of limitations, which is the time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit following that injury. In Louisiana, the deadline in most cases is one year from the date of the accident. It is important to contact my office immediately after a traumatic accident to protect your rights.
The second important consideration is the fault. While many of our clients are hurt due to no fault of their own, Louisiana’s comparative fault rule means that even if the accident was partially your fault, you are still entitled to be compensated for the portion of your total damages that were not your fault.
These laws are of course applicable state-wide, whether you get into an accident on the Interstate or in a city like Alexandria or Pineville. No matter what, we recommend contacting an attorney to get advice on any serious accident – because you owe it to yourself and your family to make the most informed decision possible.