When Should I Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?
Experiencing a personal injury due to someone else's negligence can be a distressing and disorienting experience. You may feel overwhelmed by medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma, and unsure of the next steps to take. However, you don't have to face these challenges alone.
That's where the knowledge of a personal injury attorney, like Jeanne Andry Landry, comes into play. The firm's team of attorneys can provide much-needed guidance and support during this difficult time, helping you understand your rights and navigate the complex legal process to help seek the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Arthur W. Landry and Jeanne Andry Landry, Attorneys at Law, LLC proudly serve clients in New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville, Slidell, and Chalmette, Louisiana.
Common Personal Injuries
Personal injuries can occur in many different situations, each with its unique circumstances and implications. Some common types of personal injuries include:
Auto accidents: These often result from negligent driving such as speeding, distracted driving, or DUI.
Wrongful death cases: This involves cases where negligence or misconduct results in death.
Pedestrian/bicycle accidents: Often caused by drivers who fail to yield the right of way.
Medical malpractice: Occurs when health care providers fail to meet standard care levels, causing harm to patients.
Slips, trips, and falls: Usually resulting from hazardous conditions like wet floors or uneven surfaces.
Defective products: Injuries caused by faulty consumer products due to design flaws or manufacturing errors.
Premises liability: This involves injuries sustained on someone else's property due to inadequate maintenance or security.
Louisiana Is a Fault State
In Louisiana, if you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, the law firm of Arthur W. Landry and Jeanne Andry Landry, Attorneys at Law, LLC, can guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your damages. It's worth noting that Louisiana operates under a "comparative fault" system. This means that if you're partially responsible for the incident that led to your injury, any compensation you receive will be reduced by the percentage of your fault.
For instance, if you were speeding at the time of a car accident caused by another driver, the court might find you partially at fault. Your settlement would then be decreased by your percentage of responsibility.
Statute of Limitations in Louisiana
In the state of Louisiana, a statute of limitations sets a strict time limit on filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. This law, found under Louisiana Civil Code article 3492, allows only one year from the date of the incident that caused the injury to file a lawsuit. This means if someone suffers harm due to another person's negligence, they have exactly one year from the date of the accident to take legal action.
Remember, the insurance company of the at-fault party is likely already conducting their own investigation to minimize or completely defeat your claim. So, it's crucial to act fast and secure your legal rights by hiring an attorney.
If you don't file your personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana's court system before the one-year mark passes, you'll lose your right to file it at any time in the future. This could leave you without a legal remedy for your injuries, no matter how severe they are or how clear the at-fault party's liability might be. Therefore, the knowledge of a seasoned personal injury attorney in navigating these legal timelines could make all the difference in securing the compensation you deserve.
Knowing When to Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm
Understanding Louisiana's personal injury laws is crucial, given that it's a fault state. This means that the party responsible for causing the accident is liable for any resulting harm. Here are some scenarios when you should consider contacting a personal injury law firm:
If Your Injuries Are Serious: Serious injuries may include severe fractures, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or permanent disabilities.
When You Don’t Know Your Options: If you're unsure about your legal rights or how to handle insurance companies, seeking an attorney's advice is advisable.
Dealing With Insurance: Insurance companies might not always offer a fair settlement. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf.
Proof of Negligence Isn’t Easy: Proving negligence requires evidence and expert testimonies. An experienced attorney can help gather the necessary evidence and build a strong case.
Your future matters, so if you aren’t sure when you need to contact an attorney, reach out to schedule an initial, free consultation for support.
Things to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney
When choosing a personal injury attorney, consider asking the following questions:
How long have you been practicing personal injury law?
Have you handled cases similar to mine before?
What is your approach to negotiating settlements?
Will you be personally handling my case, or will it be assigned to another attorney?
What fees and expenses should I expect?
Asking these questions—and more—help you understand what to expect moving forward, the type of relationship and communication you can expect, and more.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
The primary goal of hiring a personal injury attorney like Jeanne Andry Landry is to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. With her knowledge, she can fight for your rights, strategize for your future, and help you receive the maximum compensation possible. Whether through negotiating a fair settlement, or taking your case to trial, she'll work tirelessly to help you cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages.
Arthur W. Landry and Jeanne Andry Landry, Attorneys at Law, LLC assists clients across New Orleans, Metairie, Mandeville, Slidell, and Chalmette, Louisiana.