Louisiana Car Accident Lawyers
Did you know that Louisiana has a higher rate of fatal car crashes than the national average? Louisiana also has a higher overall rate of collisions, plus a higher average cost of insured car accident losses than the rest of the U.S.
That means if you’re ever in a car accident in Louisiana, you’re more likely to be dealing with a severe accident that brings extremely high costs. You could be facing months of recovery time, expensive medical bills, lost paychecks, and deep emotional trauma.
All of these damages hold value and you deserve to be compensated for them. When someone else’s negligence leads to a car accident, you can take action and hold them legally accountable for covering your losses.
To learn more about your legal options, read the information below and contact an experienced Louisiana car accident lawyer for a free case evaluation. At Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, we have decades of combined experience representing clients in Louisiana car accident claims. Start your free car accident consultation now by calling 504-302-4131.
Common Causes of Louisiana Car Accidents
Negligence is the most common cause of car accidents and it comes in many forms. Sometimes people are too distracted, inexperienced, tired, or intoxicated to drive safely. This puts everyone on the road at risk.
Some of Louisiana’s most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving
- Reckless driving
- Inexperienced driving
- Ignoring traffic laws, including driving without a license
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Drowsy driving
- Noisy and disruptive passengers
- Vehicle maintenance/equipment failures
- In-vehicle devices, safety features, and navigation technology
- Adverse weather conditions
- Dangerous road surfaces
- Road rage/road racing
Some of these car accident causes are easier to connect to negligence than others. If someone drives drunk over the legal Louisiana blood-alcohol limit, they could be held liable for the damages they cause.
Other causes of car accidents aren’t always as clear. For example, someone might point to bad weather as the cause of the accident as a way of avoiding the blame. However, Louisiana law requires drivers to take reasonable and prudent caution in adverse weather, adjusting for the current travel conditions.
In some cases, there’s more than one cause. Two different drivers could have made mistakes at the same time. Multiple causes are also common in multi-vehicle chain-reaction crashes that happen on busy Louisiana highways.
What if you’re not sure what possibly caused your car accident? Perhaps you were blindsided by an out-of-control driver and don’t understand what happened. Or maybe you simply woke up in the hospital, unable to remember the circumstances of the accident.
A Louisiana car accident lawyer can help you investigate your accident and get to the bottom of what happened. They can help you organize vital evidence, like the police report, witness statements, and video footage from nearby businesses. This is a huge help when you’re unsure of what caused your accident and who might be responsible for paying the costs.
Common Types of Louisiana Car Accidents
There’s an almost endless variety of car accidents you can experience here in Louisiana. At Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, we commonly encounter certain types of accidents that involve severe injuries where victims need accident compensation.
Below is a list of common types of Louisiana traffic accidents and a bit of explanation about each type. Was your accident one of these?
Bicycle vs. Vehicle Accident
When a vehicle hits a bicyclist, the cyclist will be lucky to survive the accident. Still, there’s no assumption that either the cyclist or the motorist is at fault. It depends on the circumstances of the accident and whether each was following Louisiana laws, like road and bicycle laws.
Bus vs. Vehicle Accident
Louisiana has thousands of buses on the roads, including school buses, city buses, tour buses, and more. In a bus-vs.-vehicle accident, it will be important to track down who owns the bus line and who their insurer is. This is likely the proper party to deal with your claim.
Chain Reaction Collision
Chain reaction collisions are complex traffic accidents that involve numerous vehicles. After an accident like this, you might not even know who set off the accident and who you should pursue for compensation. Your car accident lawyer can help you sort through the details.
Commercial Vehicle Accident
Commercial vehicles are everywhere on Louisiana’s roads as they make deliveries, carry resources, and take people where they need to go. Commercial vehicle drivers are generally held to a higher standard of safe driving than other drivers, so this could be a factor in your accident claim.
Drunk/Distracted Driving Accident
Almost one-third of all Louisiana car accidents involve alcohol, and more than 200 deaths every year in the state occur due to drunk driving. You may have a strong case against a drunk driver who harms you in a car accident. The same goes for distracted driving, which is an increasing problem in Louisiana and across the nation.
Head-on Collision Accident
A head-on crash happens when two vehicles’ front ends collide. These accidents commonly happen on rural Louisiana roads and highways without center dividers/medians. They also commonly happen due to wrong-way driving, drunk driving, and poorly marked roads.
It’s shocking to be involved in a hit-and-run where the other driver flees the scene of the accident. Unfortunately, Louisiana has one of the nation’s highest rates of hit-and-run accidents.
Motorcycle vs. Vehicle Accident
In a motorcycle vs. vehicle crash, the motorcyclist could be severely injured and so could the other driver. Although motorcycle accidents make up less than 1% of all accidents in Louisiana, they’re more likely than other crashes to involve fatalities and severe injuries.
A pedestrian being hit by a car is a nightmare scenario that puts the pedestrian’s life in danger. Almost 6,000 pedestrians die every year due to being struck by cars. These cases tend to be complex because it’s difficult to sort through the appropriate local ordinances and pedestrian laws that may apply.
Contrary to popular belief, the rear driver isn’t automatically at fault in a rear-end crash. Other important factors could be at play, like reckless driving or brake-checking by the front driver. Talk to your car accident lawyer about the circumstances of your rear-end collision.
Some accidents involve powerful twisting forces that cause vehicle rollovers. A crash like this poses a severe risk of driver or passenger injury or death. Rollovers have some of the highest fatality rates of all accidents.
Big rigs cause the most destructive accidents on our roads. A fully-loaded semi-truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and travel as fast as 75 mph on rural Louisiana highways. That’s a huge amount of destructive force in a semi-truck accident.
Sideswipes have become more common in the past decade due to the impact of distracted driving. When people are too distracted to keep their eyes on the road, they can drift into other cars within moments. Sideswipes also commonly happen due to drunk driving, poorly-marked construction zones, and drivers failing to merge into traffic properly.
A t-bone collision is one of the most destructive types of car accidents that comes with a high chance of your car being totaled. It happens when two vehicles collide at perpendicular angles. Most cars simply can’t survive the impact of this type of collision, especially at high speeds, and the people inside the vehicles can be severely injured.
Steps to Take After a Louisiana Car Accident
Step 1: Make Health and Safety the Priority
After a car accident in Louisiana, your priority should be to get to safety and call for assistance. Make your health a priority and request assistance for anyone else who is also injured. Stay at the scene of the accident. Exchange contact information and interact with the police without saying too much about the details of the accident or who might be at fault.
Step 2: Understand Your Injuries
Accept medical treatment at the scene of the accident. If you refuse treatment now, it could harm your accident claim later. Even if you aren’t immediately transported by ambulance, go to an urgent healthcare clinic for an immediate evaluation of your injuries. Some injuries aren’t apparent to the naked eye and need an evaluation by a trained professional.
Step 3: Get the Police Report
Request a copy of the police report. Don’t worry too much if it lacks detail or doesn’t seem to support your version of events. There could be plenty of other evidence that backs up your account.
Step 4: Gather Evidence
Don’t miss your only opportunity to gather evidence from the scene of the accident as soon as possible. Take photos and videos, and note important things like skid marks, car debris, loose gravel, road signs, and roadside damage from the crash. Gather witness contact information.
Step 5: Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
Before you speak to the insurance company or give an account of the accident, talk to your lawyer first. The things you say could be used against you later, so it’s important to be prepared and have your lawyer on your side during this part of the process.
Step 6: Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Continue following your doctor’s instructions about caring for your wounds, taking necessary medications, and so forth. Document this experience by writing it down in a journal or making a video journal. It’s important to show that you did exactly what a healthcare professional told you to do, but you’re still struggling to recover from the accident.
Step 7: Make a Claim, Negotiate, and Come to an Agreement
Most car accident damages are handled through car insurance claims. Work with your lawyer to start your claim and follow it through the process. In some cases, it’s necessary to negotiate with the other side extensively, arrange a settlement or even go to court if an agreement can’t be reached. Your lawyer can help guide you through this process.
Common Injuries from Louisiana Car Accidents
Your injuries in a car accident can range from very minor to extremely severe. It’s important to receive a health evaluation from a qualified medical health professional who can detect issues like a concussion or traumatic brain injury, which might not be immediately apparent.
Common car accident injuries include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Back and spine injuries
- Chest and abdominal injuries
- Hand, wrist, and arm injuries
- Foot, ankle, and leg injuries
- Permanent or temporary paralysis
- Crushing injuries
- Chronic pain
- Emotional injuries
The emotional impact of a car accident shouldn’t be underestimated. Car accident victims often suffer from severe mental anguish that brings nightmares, flashbacks, depression, anger, and trouble moving forward from the accident. Talk to your lawyer about seeking proper reimbursement for the costs of treating your mental and emotional injuries.
Compensation for Louisiana Car Accident Victims
Many types of damages are compensable in Louisiana after a car accident. You could be eligible for the following types of compensation.
- Medical bills, including treatment and physical therapy
- Costs of medications, ointments, wraps, and crutches
- Accommodations for being permanently or temporarily disabled
- Lost wages from time off work to recover
- Diminished earning capacity due to the accident
- Vehicle repairs or total vehicle replacement
- Wrongful death damages
- Emotional injuries, including pain and suffering
- In some cases, punitive damages
The most important thing to know about calculating your case value is that you must consider all possible forms of compensation you could be due. For example, pain and suffering damages often comprise a significant part of high-value claims, yet the average person isn’t necessarily aware of how to calculate it. Your lawyer can help you accomplish this essential task.
Louisiana Car Accident Laws
Do you know Louisiana’s laws that could affect your car accident case? Check with your lawyer about the specific laws and local ordinances that may apply to your accident. Below is an overview of some of the most common laws that impact car accident cases.
Comparative Fault Rule
People who have been in Louisiana car accidents are often surprised to learn about the comparative fault rule, which means fault will be assigned to each person as a percentage of 100%. Your award is reduced by your amount of blame. This means even if you hold some level of blame for what happened, you might still be able to gain considerable compensation.
Louisiana uses fault-based insurance laws, which means all drivers must hold a minimum level of insurance that will be used to pay claims. Louisiana minimum coverage is $15,000 for bodily injury, $25,000 for property damage, and $30,000 for bodily injury for two or more people.
Statute of Limitations
You have a limited time to file a lawsuit over a Louisiana car accident. Generally speaking, it’s one year from the date of the accident. Don’t wait too long, or you could lose your opportunity to claim compensation.
Uninsured Motorist Rule
Uninsured drivers are penalized in Louisiana by being unable to claim the full value of what they would normally receive in an accident claim. For example, if someone had no valid insurance at the time of the accident, the uninsured person would likely be barred from receiving the first $15,000 of a bodily injury award to use toward paying medical bills. It pays to have insurance.
How a Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help If You Are In An Accident
Having a car accident lawyer on your side is a huge relief at a stressful time in your life. Your lawyer can help you understand the laws that apply to your case and see your options for successfully claiming compensation. This prevents you from wasting your time on avenues that are unlikely to be successful and allows you to have the best possible chance of making a full recovery from the accident – physically, emotionally, and financially.
Your lawyer will also look for ways to boost the value of your claim and ensure you’re getting everything you deserve under the law. Many people underestimate the value of damages like lost wages and emotional suffering. A car accident lawyer helps you establish a proper value and demand the full compensation you deserve.
At Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe, we offer services like:
- Calculating the value of your claim
- Explaining your avenues to compensation
- Establishing fault
- Reviewing the evidence and locating additional evidence
- Methodically documenting your claims
- Organizing your case, hitting deadlines, and keeping things moving
- Negotiating with other parties, including the insurance company
- Standing up for your legal rights
The insurance company will be hoping to completely deny your claim or pay a minimal amount. You’ll need to take a firm stance with the help of your lawyer and prove why you deserve much more than the minimum. Our job is to ensure they can’t take advantage of you while maximizing your compensation.
We have a strong track history of securing high-value compensation for our car accident clients. To discuss your Louisiana car accident claim, contact Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe PLLC online for a free consultation or call 504-302-4131.