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Personal Injury FAQs

Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer Dec. 26, 2023

Suffering an accident can be a daunting experience, and it's normal to have many questions. At the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer, we're here to provide answers and guidance. The following are some questions about Louisiana personal injury law that we often receive. 

What does personal injury law cover?

Personal injury law covers situations where a person's body, mind, or emotions are hurt due to someone else's negligence or carelessness. This area of law concerns car accidents, workplace accidents, slip-and-fall incidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and more. So if you've been injured in any way due to someone else's actions, personal injury law makes it possible for you to seek compensation for the pain and other damages you've suffered as a result.  

How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, you typically have one year from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you don't file your lawsuit within this period, you may lose your right to sue.  

There are a few exceptions to this deadline, including: 

  1. Minors: If the injured person is under 18 years old, the statute of limitations doesn't start until their 18th birthday. 

  1. Mental Incapacity: For individuals who are mentally incapacitated, the clock on the statute of limitations may not start until the incapacity is lifted. 

  1. Discovery Rule: In some cases, the injury might not be discovered right away. In these instances, the statute of limitations might begin from the date the injury was discovered, or should have been discovered with reasonable diligence. 

What types of damages can I recover in a personal injury lawsuit?

In a personal injury case, you may be entitled to various types of damages. These can include:  

  • medical expenses,  

  • lost wages,  

  • pain and suffering,  

  • property damage,  

  • emotional distress, and more.  

The specific damages you can recover will depend on the details of your case. 

In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. Punitive damages refer to additional compensation meant to punish the negligent party for their actions. 

How much is my personal injury case worth?

The value of a personal injury case can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. Some factors that may affect the value include:  

  • the severity of your injuries,  

  • the impact on your daily life and ability to work,  

  • the cost of medical treatment,  

  • and whether or not the negligent party has insurance. 

It's important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine the potential value of your case. 

Will my personal injury case go to trial?

While it's possible for a personal injury case to go to trial, most are settled out of court. At the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer, we'll do our best to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. However, if a satisfactory settlement can't be reached, we're fully prepared to take your case to court. 

What should I do after an accident?

If you're involved in an accident, it's important to know what steps to take next. These are the steps you should follow: 

  1. Prioritize Your Safety: First and foremost, ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. If it's safe, move to a secure location away from traffic. 

  1. Call for Help: Dial 911 to report the accident. Even if there aren't visible injuries, it's essential to have the authorities document the incident. 

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Don't delay seeking medical help, even if you feel fine. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent. 

  1. Gather Information: Collect as much information as possible from everyone involved in the accident. This includes names, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle details. 

  1. Document the Scene: If possible, take photographs of the scene, including all vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and road conditions. These can serve as valuable evidence. 

  1. Reach Out to Witnesses: If there were any witnesses, try to get their contact information. They could provide vital information about the incident. 

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Be honest and provide them with all the necessary information. 

  1. Consult With an Attorney: Get in touch with a personal injury lawyer in your area. Many offer free initial consultations, so you can discuss your case in a risk-free, zero-obligation environment.  

Remember, each step you take following an accident can significantly impact your potential personal injury claim. We hope you never have to deal with a personal injury, but having this knowledge can help you feel more prepared in case anything ever happens. 

What challenges can I expect after suffering a serious accident?

Of course, every case is unique, but there are some common challenges you might face after a serious accident. You could be dealing with physical recovery from injuries, managing mounting medical bills, coping with lost wages due to time off work, handling insurance company complications, and grappling with emotional distress. We understand these struggles and we're ready to help you through them. 

Why is it important to work with a personal injury attorney?

When you're dealing with the fallout from an accident, you need someone on your side who understands Louisiana law and can advocate for you.  

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process, gather evidence to support your claim, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and fight for fair compensation. They can also provide you with guidance and support during a difficult time, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus on your recovery.  

When should I get in contact with a lawyer?

It's always a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. This allows us to start building your case and gathering evidence before it becomes stale or unavailable. It also gives us more time to negotiate with insurance companies and potentially avoid going to trial. However, even if some time has passed since your accident, it's never too late to seek legal help. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

What's next?

We hope to have answered some of your questions about personal injury law in Louisiana. Remember, if you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, we're here to help. Contact the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer today for experienced and compassionate legal representation. We work with clients throughout Chalmette, New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, and St. Tammany Parish. Let us help you seek the full compensation you deserve.