Driving in Louisiana can be a challenge or a pleasure, especially during the summer months. No matter the conditions, accidents happen. Everything from a fender bender to a major highway pile-up is possible when you get behind the wheel in the Lake Charles area. While we call these accidents, oftentimes they are a result of the wrongdoer neglecting to follow the laws or rules of the road.
When car accidents happen, you need an experienced Lake Charles car accident attorney in your corner. The Johnson Firm has been serving the Lake Charles area since 1980, dedicating decades of experience to helping you get the compensation for all of the damages and losses you sustain in a wreck . Call us today at (337) 433-1414 for a free, no-obligation consultation, and let us help you get on the road to recovery.
IF YOU NEED HELP, WE’LL BE THERE
An attorney from The Johnson Firm can be a lifesaver. Insurance companies look for any excuse to deny responsibility. Even when they can’t avoid responsibility, they almost always try to get away with paying less than what is owed.
There are important laws that you must follow that the insurance companies know and may use against you if you do not have an attorney.
- In Louisiana, if you have been the victim of a car accident, you have one-year to file a lawsuit against an at fault party from the day of the accident.
- The minimum insurance amount for injuries is $15,000 per person, and $30,000 per accident, no matter how many injured persons there are. This can be a problem in cases where people are hurt even for a short amount of time, or if several people were injured. Property damage claims have a minimum of $25,000. Insurance companies may have more insurance available, but are not required to tell you how much the limits are until a lawsuit is filed.
- The insurance company is required to investigate your claim within a reasonable amount of time, and in a reasonable way. There are consequences if the other driver’s insurance company or your insurance company refuses to try and gather the facts.
- Insurance companies will often try to settle quickly for a small amount. Louisiana law does not allow this, but insurance companies may try to pressure you to agree to a low settlement on the phone.
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENT
Adrenaline runs high after an accident and it is normal to be upset, angry, or scared. But having a plan is helpful in ensuring that you start off on the right foot.
- Call the police immediately. Sometimes people want to “handle things without insurance” or not involve the police. This is a big red flag. Doing this only makes it harder to prove what happened, and oftentimes other drivers will change their story about what happened if the police did not come out to the scene. Police officers are required to make a report any time an accident happens on a public street. This will prevent anyone from changing their story about what happened.
- After checking yourself, any passengers, and occupants of the other vehicle for injuries, take as many pictures as you can. Almost everyone has smartphones with cameras included. The more you can document, the better. Take pictures of both vehicles, road conditions, location of the accident, etc. It’s better to have too much documentation than not enough.
- Stay calm and polite. This is especially true if the other driver is angry. Nothing good comes from getting in an argument on the side of the road. If the other driver is acting out, it may be best to stay in your car until the police arrive.
- Give a full and accurate report to the officer reporting at the scene. Don’t leave anything out, but also don’t embellish or try to make guesses. Just state the facts. Keep calm, and just tell what needs to be told – no more, no less. Remember also that when you are talking to the officer, you are probably on camera. A calm, respectful demeanor can go a long way.
- Talk to the other driver and any witnesses. Again, your smartphone can come in handy here, as you can record their statements. Do NOT apologize, as this can be taken as an admission of guilt and hurt your chances at compensation. Keep conversations short, civil, and to the point.
- Contact your insurance company. This is often required by your insurance policy, but just as with the police and others at the scene, keep your report short and to the point.
- Get medical attention if you are hurt. People do not always feel injured immediately after a crash. After an accident, you should seek medical attention, whether you go to the emergency room, an urgent care, or see your family doctor. When you go to a doctor, make sure you tell them everything, and do what the doctors tell you to do.
- Call The Johnson Firm! The sooner you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, the better. There’s nothing wrong with calling for help, even if you’re still at the scene of an accident. Our experienced attorneys may be able to come to the scene or talk you through how to handle speaking with the police, the other driver, and collecting evidence at the scene.
LET A LAKE CHARLES ACCIDENT LAWYER DO THE TALKING FOR YOU
Beyond damage to your vehicle and the costs of repairing or replacing it, car accidents can cause physical and emotional damage. This results in stress, medical bills, loss of income, and ongoing or permanent pain due to injury. Every case is different and an experienced attorney can help you make sure you get the medical treatment you need, document your injuries properly, and present your claim to the insurance company, and ultimately a judge or jury, if necessary.
Get peace of mind and get the money you need to cover repairs, medical bills, loss of income, and all of your other damages. Our attorneys at The Johnson Firm have over 40 years of experience in dealing with accidents and will work diligently to see that you get the best compensation possible.
Call us today at (337) 433-1414 or stop by our offices at 910 Ford Street, Lake Charles, 70601 for a free consultation. Let us get to work to get the money you deserve so you can get on with your life.