Should I Get a Car Wreck Lawyer?

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If you’ve been the victim of a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you have the right to hire a lawyer to represent your interests. After a car accident, you could be injured and in pain, facing mountains of medical debt or other incoming bills, and left unable to work or even care for yourself. 

The other party, their insurance, and even your own insurance provider will try to use those facts to weasel out of paying you fair compensation for your pain and suffering. Even if you didn’t cause the accident, you’ll still have to prove you didn’t do anything wrong to contribute to the wreck.

While you’re not required to seek legal counsel after a car accident, a car accident lawyer from Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys can help you file a claim seeking damages from the negligent party.

Getting into a car accident due to someone else’s negligence is already stressful enough. Let the experienced personal injury lawyers with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys worry about the legal process so you can work on healing from your injuries and moving on with your life.

What can a lawyer do for my case?

Give us a call for a free, no-risk consultation about your case and its facts. We’ll give you a frank assessment of your case and, if you hire us, we’ll start working right away. As your attorneys, we’ll do all of the following and more:

Collecting evidence and investigating the crash

While you’re still at the scene of the crash, try to gather as much evidence as you can. Take photos of your car’s damage, your injuries, any debris lying on the ground, and the relative locations of both cars, as well as your license plate and those of the other vehicles involved and anything else you think, might help your lawyer establish liability.

Afterward, we’ll work tirelessly to piece together a full picture of your accident and who is at fault. We’ll also interview witnesses, procure the police report from the scene, and follow up with involved parties to prove the other party’s negligence. We’ll also talk with experts and accident reconstruction specialists to build a fuller picture of your accident, as well as your doctor to get a copy of your most recent medical records. These records can prove that you were injured by the accident.

Filing paperwork on time

Louisiana defines a one-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, which means you only have a year to file a claim to be eligible for any compensation. This is why it’s crucial to file a claim as soon as possible—the legal process can take months, and your injuries cannot wait for treatment.

A year passes quickly after an accident. During that time, you could be struggling to make ends meet while you’re healing from your injuries. You might have to have multiple surgeries and months of painstaking rehabilitation. You could be left unable to work, maybe even for the rest of your life.

Let us focus on the legal specifics of your case, including the paperwork, the negotiations, and other areas. You should focus on healing from your injuries during this time.

Representing your interests in negotiations

While you may think that you have insurance to pay for any damages you receive in a car accident, that can’t be further from the truth. Insurance companies are more concerned about their bottom lines than about your health and will try to pay you the absolute minimum in compensation.

Never accept your insurance company’s first offer for compensation. The first offer is almost always a lowball offer that they’re counting on you to accept out of desperation and ignorance of your rights. The dedicated personal injury lawyers with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys know what your case is worth and are dedicated to helping you win the compensation you’re owed. In fact, we don’t get paid until you do.

Arguing your case in court

Thankfully, the vast majority of cases don’t make it to court. A court case is vastly more expensive for all parties involved and can take months or even years.

However, if the insurance company refuses to fairly compensate you for your injuries, our lawyers have decades of experience arguing our clients’ cases in front of judges and juries and winning. If you want to be sure that your claim will be handled by the best, call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free consultation today.

What not to do after a car accident

We’ve covered all the things that are a good idea to do after your car accident. However, there are plenty of things that you should avoid after a car accident as well:

  • Don’t leave the scene of the accident without reporting it to the police. Not only will the police report serve as important evidence in your claim, but leaving the scene without a report can be construed as evidence of your wrongdoing.
  • Don’t admit fault. Even if you believe you could be at fault, do not admit it to the other driver or to your insurance. In the stress of the moment, you’re in no condition to judge who’s at fault in your accident. Don’t apologize, and don’t admit fault. Instead, let the police and your attorney figure out who’s liable for the accident.
  • Don’t take the first settlement check your insurance offers. Remember, your insurance company is in the business of making money, not helping you to heal. Their first settlement offer is almost certainly going to be a lowball estimate of your total damages that they’re counting on you to take so they can close your case quickly and cheaply. Instead, call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free consultation.
  • Don’t try to settle your own case. While you might think that a minor car accident case doesn’t require a car accident lawyer, the fact is that clients who hire an experienced car accident attorney earn a settlement check that is, on average, 3 times larger than those who represent themselves.

Proving the other party’s negligence after a car accident

Louisiana law requires five points to be proved in order to prove negligence in an accident:

  1. Was the defendant’s conduct cause for the harm suffered by the plaintiff? That is, would the victim not have been injured but for the defendant’s conduct?
  2. Did the defendant owe the victim a duty of care? This duty can be defined by statute, regulation, or custom.
  3. Did the defendant breach their duty of care, either through negligence or intentionally?
  4. Did that breach of duty contribute to the accident? For example, a driver driving distractedly or drunk has breached their duty of care to others on the road, and if an accident occurs, that breach is a direct cause.
  5. Did the plaintiff suffer damages as a result of the accident? These damages can be economic or non-economic in nature, and include anything from hospital bills to the loss of enjoyment of life.

If your lawyers are able to prove all five of these points, then the defendant may be required to pay all or part of your damages. Proving these points can be a complex task, however, which is why hiring an experienced lawyer is of utmost importance.

Experienced Louisiana car accident attorneys on your side

If you’ve been the victim of a car accident, you’re likely hurting, facing an uncertain future, and unsure of where to turn. You need a passionate advocate on your side who will guide your case through the claims and legal processes to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. You need Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys.

Call us today for a free, no-risk consultation about your case. We’ll start finding evidence, writing demand letters, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with experts right away. We’ll do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries—if we don’t win, you don’t owe us a dime.