Car Accident Attorneys in New Orleans, Louisiana
Table of Contents
- What should I do first if I’m in an accident in New Orleans?
- Is there a time limit for car accident claims?
- Is it safe to handle a car accident claim without representation?
- How do I choose a great New Orleans attorney?
- How does Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest handle car accidents?
- How much can I recover for injuries or property damage?
- What types of injuries may result from car accidents?
- What do I do if the other driver flees the scene of the accident in New Orleans?
- Do I have options if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
- Can I still pursue an injury claim if I was ticketed for the accident?
New Orleans is a famously fast-moving city, and its roads are as busy as you’d expect. You’ll be sharing the streets and highways with commuters and tourists amazed by nature and city scenery. It’s a wonderful place to live, but car accidents are bound to happen.
When car accidents happen in New Orleans, you need the help of lawyers you can trust. You need attorneys who understand the city and state laws and have experience working with local claims adjusters and attorneys that other drivers may hire.
You’ll find the lawyer you need at Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest. Our team is standing by to help you understand your accident. We’ll use our skills to help you avoid the worst outcomes and claim compensation for property damage or injuries.
Call today for a free consultation.
Would you like to know more about car accidents in New Orleans? Below, you’ll find some information that can help you understand some of the issues that may come up when you’re involved in an accident.
What should I do first if I’m in an accident in New Orleans?
Every car accident in New Orleans is different. It’s important to schedule a consultation to learn more about conditions that may apply to your unique circumstances. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to avoid future problems.
- First, contact emergency services: Always try to reach emergency services as soon as your accident happens. You may be more seriously injured than you realize, and emergency crews need as much time as possible to remove damaged vehicles from the roadway before they endanger other drivers.
- Try to reach safety: If your vehicle is still operational, try to navigate to the roadside or somewhere you are safe from additional collisions. Do not attempt to move your vehicle if you cannot do so without putting yourself at risk of further injury.
- Request information from other drivers: If you can, try to get contact and insurance information from the other drivers who were involved. You should try to get their full names, phone numbers, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information.
- Do not admit fault: Even if you suspect that you may be at fault, remember that you could not see all angles of the accident. Do not tell other drivers that you are at fault, or say that you are sorry about the accident (it may be considered an admission of guilt).
- Schedule a doctor’s visit to document your injuries: Seek emergency care as soon as possible if you are injured. If you are not sure you are injured, schedule a checkup as soon as possible. You may have longer-term injuries that will show up over time.
Do not give your insurance company information that you have not confirmed: Do not tell your insurance company that you are not injured or that your car does not have damage. You should not make these statements unless or until you have confirmed that they are true. Tell your insurance agent that you are seeing a doctor or having your vehicle evaluated by a mechanic.
Your Determined Car Accident Partner
Is there a time limit for car accident claims?
In Louisiana, a statute of limitations applies to most types of civil claims. Louisiana has one of the most restrictive time limits in the United States. You have only one year to file personal injury lawsuits or property claims.
For most types of accidents, the countdown for this limit begins on the day your collision happens.
If you fail to file within the time limit, the attorney for the defendant may file a motion to dismiss your claim. This motion will most likely succeed, so you must file your claim as soon as possible.
Is it safe to handle a car accident claim without representation?
You are not required to have legal representation when you are settling a car accident with either your insurance company or another driver. However, it is a good idea to work with a lawyer for several reasons.
Your insurance representative is working for the company, not for you.
You may like to think of your insurance company as being on your side. However, the role of your insurance agent is to limit the insurance company’s liability by determining if you were wholly or partially at fault for any damage to your vehicle or injuries to your person.
You should be prepared for your insurance company to use any information that you provide against you. You should be prepared for them to attempt to convince you to accept as little as possible, even if you have comprehensive coverage.
You may be going up against the resources of another insurance company.
If another driver is at fault for the accident, you should be prepared to go up against the resources of the other driver’s insurance company. They may hire investigators, medical specialists, or their own lawyers to attempt to find you at fault or to downplay your damages.
These investigations may be invasive, and they may end with you being held significantly responsible for a car accident where you were not at fault.
Car accidents may involve complex laws and significant liability.
Car accident laws can be incredibly complex. Suppose you do not have experience with these types of cases. In that case, you may miss chances to gather evidence, fail to meet guidelines, or accidentally take responsibility for circumstances that were not your fault.
Making mistakes in car accident cases can be devastating. You may lose your chance to claim compensation for serious or life-long injuries and disabilities. You may also be asked to pay massive damages to other participants in the accident.
How do I choose a great New Orleans attorney?
When you are choosing a New Orleans attorney, it is important to consider their experience, reputation, and commitment to your case.
You should choose a lawyer who has experience handling car accident cases in New Orleans. Car accidents are a complex area of law. There are a lot of factors that go into a successful car accident injury claim, and lawyers who have faced them before are better positioned to understand what may come up during a case.
You should also consider the reputation of anyone who will be representing you. Lawyers work closely with their clients, which can lead to strong impressions that are likely to be communicated in testimonials. When you’re consulting with lawyers, ask questions such as:
- Have you won any awards from any specific legal associations?
- Have you received any awards or recognition from the New Orleans community?
- Do you have a track record of winning car accident cases?
- Have you helped clients win compensation for car accident injuries, and how much have you won?
Finally, you should ask your lawyer how much time they have to dedicate to you and your case. Ask them how many hours per week they are available to go over your case and answer your questions. Additionally, you should ask them whether you will be speaking with them or a personal assistant when you call.
It’s a good idea to speak to several attorneys before you choose the one that will represent you. Most first-time consultations come at no cost to you.
How much can I recover for injuries or property damage?
Louisiana mandates that drivers must purchase liability coverage that will be used to pay for medical expenses and property damage in the event of an accident. The minimum amount of coverage that each driver must hold is:
- $15,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $30,000 for injuries to two or more people in one accident
- $25,000 for property damage
As long as the legitimate owner, or an approved person, was driving the car, this amount can be claimed in accidents where the other driver is found to be at fault. However, this amount may not cover the full total of damage caused by a car accident.
In Louisiana, drivers are not required to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. However, insurance companies are required to include uninsured coverage in the packages they offer unless explicitly rejected in writing. As long as you are covered, your insurance company will provide additional compensation over the amount owed by other drivers.
There is no set cap on the damages that can be pursued in personal injury or car accident civil cases unless a government agency car is involved in the accident. If a government agency car is involved, you cannot pursue more than $500,000 in damages.
You may file an additional civil suit for car accident costs that include:
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Medical expenses
- Pain & suffering
- Lost wages
- Other costs
What types of injuries may result from car accidents?
Significant injuries can result from car accidents. These injuries may be catastrophic and result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in healthcare costs. They may also lead to permanent impairment and disability.
As a result of your injuries, you may be forced to live with chronic pain or assisted care for the rest of your life. You may no longer be able to work in your current profession. You may also no longer be able to maintain your current lifestyle.
The following are some examples of the types of injuries that result from moderate to severe car accidents:
Back injuries appear in many types of car accidents in New Orleans, and they may have long-term consequences for your personal comfort or occupation. The pain involved in these injuries can be unbearable.
Chronic pain and even disability may not develop until a period of time after the injury. The risk of this injury is one of the reasons you should see a doctor soon for a full examination after a car accident.
Broken bones are expensive to treat. Car accident victims will often be left with broken arms, legs, and ribs. Some broken bones may require extensive surgeries to treat properly.
Burns are common in accidents where vehicles catch fire. Even when they do not, drivers, passengers, and pedestrians may be struck by scalding liquids and oils that have been ejected from engines.
Burns are intensely painful, and they may require surgery or skin grafts to treat. It may not be possible to re-establish normal sensitivity to areas that have been affected by serious burns.
Facial injuries, including those caused by impact and broken glass, may result in permanent disfiguration. For some people, disfiguring scars can be traumatic or professionally limiting.
In serious accidents, victims may experience severed limbs. Doctors may find it necessary to amputate limbs as part of a treatment plan for severe car accident injuries.
Victims who experience limb loss can often expect to lose significant amounts of their lifetime income potential. They may also require long-term physical therapy and psychological care to recover from the traumatic pain and loss.
Brain & spinal cord injuries
Brain and spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe injuries that can happen as a result of car accidents. Even with modern medical technology, brain and spinal injuries are incredibly difficult to treat effectively. They may lead to permanent disability.
In addition to all of these physical injuries, people who have been in serious car accidents are regularly affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. This is often a lifetime condition that can make it difficult to function in everyday life.
Remember the potential for permanent impairment before you accept any offer from your insurance company or from drivers who were at fault for your injuries. You may be dealing with monthly costs for the rest of your life as a result of your injuries.
What do I do if the other driver flees the scene of the accident in New Orleans?
When another driver flees the scene of an accident, it is considered to be a hit-and-run. The other driver may face serious criminal charges in addition to liability for the injuries and property damage that they’ve inflicted on you.
Police may not be able to discover the identity of the other driver in hit & run cases. This does not mean that you will necessarily be held responsible for all costs related to your accident.
Your car and health insurance providers may be responsible for covering a portion of your costs even if the driver is never identified.
Remember that your lawyer may be able to help you identify the driver who struck you. Your lawyer may be able to collect evidence that police did not seek out in the course of their hit & run investigation. Identifying the driver will make it far easier for you to collect the amount that you are owed.
Do I have options if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
Louisiana has implemented some strict laws that target uninsured drivers. One of those laws is known as the “No Pay, No Play” law. This law bars uninsured and under-insured drivers from collecting a portion of bodily and property damages when they’re involved in accidents with other drivers.
However, this does not stop all drivers from operating without insurance. If an uninsured driver strikes you, you may need to rely on your uninsured motorist insurance policy or on a civil suit.
Louisiana requires all car insurance companies to offer uninsured motorist insurance policies. Policyholders are not required to accept this insurance, but they can protect you when someone without insurance strikes you. You may need to speak to a lawyer if your insurance company is resisting paying what they owe under this policy.
If your insurance company cannot recover a share of your costs from the other driver’s insurance company, they may attempt to recover it directly from the driver. This may not be successful because drivers who don’t carry insurance may not have the assets to cover these costs.
If the other driver’s insurance company cannot cover the costs and your own policy has paid out the maximum amount, you may need to file a civil lawsuit against the other driver. A lawyer can help you explore the possibilities of a civil suit.
Can I still pursue an injury claim if I was ticketed for the accident?
Yes, it is possible to pursue an injury claim if you were injured by another driver—even if you were ticketed as part of the accident.
Louisiana is an at-fault state. The driver who is responsible for the accident must use their insurance to pay the costs of the other driver’s bills. However, in this state, the fault for accidents can be shared by multiple drivers.
One driver may be found to be 20% responsible for the accident, while the other driver is found to be 80% responsible. Alternatively, both drivers may be found to be equally responsible.
You may have been ticketed for your role in the accident (for example, if you were speeding or didn’t sufficiently stop at a stop sign). However, that does not mean you will be held more at fault than the other driver.
How does Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest handle car accidents?
Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest was created because founding partner Roderick ‘Rico’ Alvendia was dissatisfied with the quality of the legal help available for car accident victims.
From the beginning, our firm has been dedicated to providing ethical, compassionate care to clients while working to ensure that they recover as much as possible.
Our firm has been tested against some of the largest insurance firms in Louisiana. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, we recovered millions of dollars for clients who were being denied their rightful coverage under their insurance plans.
Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest remains committed to the steadfast protection of the rights and interests of our clients.
Suffering After a Car Accident? Schedule Your Case Evaluation Today
You don’t have to do this alone. Car accidents can feel overwhelming, but our lawyers can help you through the steps you need to claim compensation. Hiring a professional attorney is the best next step for recouping what you’ve lost.
To get started on your case today, reach out to Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest Accident; Demarest. You can schedule a case evaluation at no cost. Get closer to getting justice by calling 504-200-0000. You can also send us a message here on our website!
Distracted Driving Causes and Statistics in Louisiana
Driving while distracted is a growing problem in Louisiana, and a significant cause of car accidents. Ideally, all motorists should have an uninterrupted focus on the road, but in real life, it’s not that straightforward.
What defines distracted driving, and how does it affect drivers in Louisiana?
The Types of Distracted Driving
There are four types of distractions while driving:
- A manual distraction means doing something other than driving with your hands, such as putting on makeup, texting, or eating a snack.
- A visual distraction means looking at something other than the road. The driver may be distracted by the scenery, a road sign, or the screen on your console.
- Auditory distractions are sounds that interrupt concentration, like sirens or music playing in the car.
- Cognitive distractions mean the driver’s mind is wandering and they are not fully focused on the road.
Who Drives Distracted the Most?
It is probably not surprising that teenage drivers are most likely to text or email while behind the wheel. The CDC found that 60% of drivers under 18 drive while distracted by their phones.
Distracted Driving in Louisiana
Distracted driving was ranked fourth behind aggressive driving, alcohol and not wearing a seatbelt. Of total car accident fatalities in Louisiana, 48 were caused by distracted driving – this is a 41% increase over the past five years. Clearly, distracted driving is a growing problem in the Bayou State.
The Center for Research and Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety at Louisiana State University reports that the majority of fatalities caused by distracted driver accidents in 2021 were by a distraction inside the vehicle (20). This is followed by a distraction outside the vehicle (17), cell phones (10) and other electronic devices (1).