When Should I Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm?
Accidents and injuries happen unexpectedly to many of us. You can be shopping in a supermarket and slip and fall backward on a wet floor and suffer head, neck, and back injuries; you can hop in your car heading off to work or to lunch with friends when another car crashes into you, and you suffer injuries; you can even be out for a walk when a dog feels threatened and bites you.
What all these examples have in common is that they occurred because of someone else’s negligence or carelessness. Because of their actions or inactions, you are faced with medical and related expenses, perhaps even lost wages due to recovery time.
In each of these examples, insurance is likely going to be involved. A retail establishment will no doubt carry liability insurance to cover events such as slips and falls. Drivers, yourself included, will likely have auto insurance in place to cover injuries and property damage. A dog owner may also be covered by their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, even if the incident happens off their property.
You as the victim could certainly seek a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance policy, but insurance companies are for-profit institutions, and they hire professionals known as claims adjusters to protect their bottom line.
This is where a personal injury attorney can provide immense help in the form of evaluating your claim, assembling the evidence and documentation necessary, and then dealing and negotiating with the claims adjuster assigned to you. In addition, an experienced personal injury attorney will know when it’s warranted to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Knowing When to Contact a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you scrape a wrist in a minor fender-bender, you probably can get compensated by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer since Louisiana is an at-fault auto insurance state. But keep this in mind: the claims adjuster assigned to your case will do everything to whittle down or deny a settlement for your claim. Be prepared.
For more serious injuries, your first obligation is to your health and well-being, so you must attend to that first. Then, you should seek the advice and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney can advise you on what types of evidence you will need to press your claim. Your lawyer will also handle all negotiations on your behalf. Studies have shown that having an attorney handle a claim can result in a payout two or three times higher than if you go it alone.
Additionally, if matters come to a lawsuit, you will need to prove that the other party was negligent. Negligence claims usually require you, the plaintiff or claimant, to show that the other party had a duty of care toward you. Under driver licensing rules, any person operating a vehicle has a duty of care not to harm anyone else on the road, whether in a car, on a bicycle or motorcycle, or walking on the sidewalk.
In a slip-and-fall in a retail establishment, the standard of liability – or negligence – hinges on whether the owner/operator exercised reasonable care in safeguarding those using the premises. You would have to show that the owner/operator knew or should have known about the wet surface on which you slipped. This will require the knowledge and experience of a personal injury attorney to establish an insurance claim or a court of law.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries because of another person or entity’s negligence or carelessness in or around Metairie, Louisiana, contact us at the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer. With more than a decade’s experience in handling personal injury claims and lawsuits, our legal team can advise you of your options and help you regain peace of mind.
The Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer serves clients not only in Metairie, but also throughout Chalmette, New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, and St. Tammany Parish. Schedule a consultation today.
Common Personal Injuries
Car accidents are no doubt the largest single cause of personal injuries in the nation. Injuries can range from the minor to the major and to the life-threatening, if not to a fatality. Depending on where your car is struck and at what speed, injuries can vary in severity, though even a collision at 10 mph can result in whiplash, concussion, and even head, neck, or spine injuries.
Other possible physical results from a collision include fractures, burns, spinal cord injuries and paralysis, traumatic brain injury (TBI), internal injuries to organs, disfiguring facial injuries and scarring, knee injuries, wrist and hand injuries, shoulder injuries, and more.
In addition to car injuries, slips and falls are common in Louisiana. Even intentional harm from assault or other physical aggression can lead to injuries, and thereafter to personal injury lawsuits based on an intentional act. Don’t forget that medical malpractice can also potentially lead to a lawsuit.
Legal Guidance You Can Trust
If you’re anywhere in the Greater New Orleans area, reach out to us at the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer if you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence or intentional act. We will examine the circumstances, assess the best avenue for recovering compensation, and then strive for what’s due you. Our office is in Metairie, but we serve clients throughout all neighboring communities.