Gordon McKernan Answers Car Wreck FAQs

Posted on Jan 28 , 2019

At Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, we have handled over 117 cases with a verdict or settlement of over $1 million each. Our firm has been able to help many people across Louisiana, and with over 300 years of combined experience, we have received many common questions related to car wreck cases.

Read more to find answers for your important questions about car wrecks, or watch videos of these frequently asked questions answered by Gordon McKernan.

What types of damages can occur?

The law breaks down damages into two broad categories:

  • Special damages: damages you can calculate with an actual calculator
    • Examples: a medical bill for $1,000; doctor’s visit and physical therapy for $500 each; lost wages totaling $1,000; overall total of $3,000
  • General damages: damages that cannot be calculated
    • Examples: pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life

How hard is it to pursue a car wreck claim?

Unfortunately, pursuing a car wreck claim isn’t very easy. Insurance companies make it very difficult. They can deny your claim or drag out the process.

How long will it take to settle my case?

This answer depends on two factors:

  • Injuries: the more serious your injuries are, the more treatment you’re going to need. If your injuries require surgery, for example, we have to see if the surgery is successful.
  • Insurance companies: Some insurance companies are harder to work with than others; they’re going to do everything they can to deny your claim.

What if I felt fine and notice an injury later?

Anytime you’re involved in a personal injury accident, there’s the possibility that your injuries or your pain or symptoms may take some time to develop. You want to be careful, though, that you do not compromise or lower the value of your claim before you know the full extent of your injuries.

Insurance companies may try to contact you within a few days after your accident, and they’ll try to get you to take a quick settlement. If you did that, you may be prevented from coming back if an injury developed later after settling the claim with the insurance company.

How much will it cost me to hire an attorney?

Most personal injury attorneys will handle your case for free. Upfront, you don’t have to pay any money. We have a contingency fee contract, which means the attorney doesn’t get paid unless you recover money. Our recovery is contingent upon your recovery. At our law firm, we cover all costs associated with prosecuting and litigation. If you have to go to doctors visits or go to court, or if we need to hire an expert, we cover those costs. If we’re successful, we’re reimbursed those costs. If we’re not successful, then we lost those costs.

Do I need an attorney?

Yes. In all cases, insurance companies are out to do one thing: deny or diminish your claim. Hiring a personal injury attorney will help you combat that. A personal injury attorney will be able to properly defend and actually prosecute your case, avoiding tricks and traps laid out by the insurance companies. Studies have shown those who hire personal injury attorneys get four times more money in their pocket after paying their personal injury attorney his or her fee.

Should I get a lawyer?

Any time you’re faced with a legal situation where you have rights and you’re not sure of those rights, you should get a lawyer. For example, if you’re involved in a slip and fall or a car wreck, and the insurance company is contacting you, what should you do? You may not know all of your legal rights. You may not know how or where to file a lawsuit. It is very important that you understand your legal rights. The best way to do that is through the representation of a lawyer. Ask your friends or family or research online to help you determine the best lawyer that can handle your situation.

How much will I get?

Any experienced trial lawyer would be able to give you a general range if you meet with them. It is hard to answer that question with a number unless the lawyer knows about your case. We base the value of your case on our prior experiences. It is important to hire someone with experience so they can give you an accurate number or range.

Do I have to take the first settlement?

No, you don’t. That is a trick the insurance companies will oftentimes use on people who don’t know their legal rights. They might extend an offer and give you a time limit to take the offer. In every state, there’s a statute of limitations or a prescription period. This law governs how long you have to file a lawsuit.

Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys has the knowledge, resources, and experience to help you recover from a personal injury accident. We have exceeded over $1.5 billion in recoveries for our clients. The Get Gordon Team is proud to serve clients in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, Shreveport, Ascension, Livingston, Hammond, Lake Charles and Monroe. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and get started on your case.


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