If you have been seriously injured in a car accident in Baton Rouge, you may be feeling overwhelmed. At the same time you are trying to restore your health and return to your normal life, you are also faced with bills, vehicle repairs or replacements, missed work, and the emotional pain all of this is causing you.
Being a victim of a car accident can be overwhelming and can leave you with lots of questions. If you’ve been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to seek justice and compensation from at-fault parties.
At Rusty Messer & Associates, we understand that the whirlwind that happens after an accident and injury can make it difficult to think about legal matters. We want you to know that we are here to take the burden of those responsibilities off of your shoulders. Once on your team, we will handle your injury claim from start to finish, and we will fight to secure the best possible results for your case.
COMMON CAR ACCIDENT CAUSES
We have hundreds of road-related laws in place to prevent accidents from taking place, and yet there are still hundreds of thousands of car accidents across the United States each year. While accidents may be caused for any number of reasons, the vast majority of accidents share a few common causes:
Distracted driving. One of the most common causes of car accidents today is simply not paying attention. This problem has only increased with the growing popularity of mobile devices, though distracted driving can take on many forms, from eating in the car to putting on makeup while behind the wheel. Teens can most often fall victim to distracted driving.
Driving under the influence. An astonishing one in three fatal accidents in the United States involves drugs or alcohol. Driving after drinking slows your reaction times and coordination even after you’ve only had a drink or two and driving after more can be extremely dangerous.
Speeding and reckless driving. Speeding is a factor in a large number of fatal crashes, especially because the faster you go, the greater the force of the impact. Young males are the most likely drivers to speed, drive recklessly, or engage in street racing.
Improper turning and intersection violations. Many accidents take place at intersections: drivers ignore stop signs or stoplights, turn in front of other drivers, or strike pedestrians in crosswalks. Making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic is not only one of the most common causes of accidents, it can also result in serious injury.
Drowsy driving. Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk, and most accidents take place when drivers are sleepiest: very late at night and very early in the morning. Always get off the road if you are nodding off at the wheel.
Road conditions. Some accidents are caused by rain or ice on the roads. Others are caused by the roads themselves, which might have construction, potholes, or other issues. Road conditions can be a danger especially when paired with other causes of accidents, such as speeding or distracted driving.
Poor road design. In some cases, accidents can be the result of a road design issue: poor signage, dangerous intersections, or confusing exchanges. In these instances, the municipality may be responsible for the accident, especially if similar accidents have taken place in the past.
Defective auto parts. A significant number of car accidents and injuries are due to defective auto parts: electrical issues, bad tires, defective air bags, or bad breaks. Other accidents could be the fault of the mechanic who worked on your car.
COMMON CAR ACCIDENT INJURIES
Because of the large amounts of force involved in car accidents, injuries can be serious and can cause lifelong disabilities. Even minor injuries may rack up significant hospital bills that the at-fault party should be responsible for. While car accident injuries can take on a wide range of forms, some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
- Neck, back, and spine injuries.
- Shoulder injuries.
- Soft tissue injuries.
- Fractures and bone breaks.
- Internal injuries.
- Knee, leg, and ankle injuries.
It is important to understand that if you can prove that another party was at fault for your injuries, they are responsible to cover your injury-related medical bills. This includes both past bills, which covered the immediate medical help after the crash, as well as future medical bills, which might include corrective surgeries, physical therapy, or ongoing needs for medication.
What Should You Do After A Vehicle Accident?
Car accidents can trigger your “fight or flight” response: your body and mind both go into high alert. During this time, it can be difficult to remain calm and complete the tasks that will keep you safe, prevent further injury, and protect your legal rights. After a crash, here’s what you need to do in the minutes, hours, and days that follow.
Put your health first. Because of the adrenaline flowing through you veins, you may not realize the extent of your injuries. It’s vital to have an emergency responder check you out and/or to see a doctor after the crash. Keep in mind that some injuries, especially head injuries, may not reveal themselves until hours or days after the crash.
Get everyone somewhere safe. You are still in danger after a car accident happens. Get away from busy traffic, burning cars, or other dangers until help arrives. Provide assistance to other injury victims if you are well enough. Call for help if someone else has not.
Collect information. The best way to understand what happened is to find facts. Get witness information, take pictures, and write down notes about the crash. Also be sure to get the name of the police officer that responds.
Never assume fault. It might be polite to say “I’m sorry” after a wreck, but assuming fault could mean losing the compensation that you need and deserve after an accident. In addition, don’t talk to the insurance company or give a recorded statement about the crash before speaking with a lawyer.
Talk to an attorney. Even accidents that seem clear cut might be surprising once the evidence is examined. Speaking with an attorney ensures that you take the correct legal actions after an accident and injury.
LOUISIANA AUTO ACCIDENT LAWS
You don’t have to be completely familiar with the law in order to file a car accident lawsuit or personal injury lawsuit–that’s what lawyers are there for. However, knowing a few basic Louisiana car accident laws and personal injury laws is helpful in the wake of an accident. Here’s what you need to know:
You have a limited amount of time to file. In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit related to property damage or personal injury is one year from the date of the incident.
Louisiana is a comparative fault state. If you were partially at fault for your accident, but another party or parties were also at fault, you can still file a lawsuit for damages. However, the percent that you were at fault will be subtracted from your award.
Louisiana is not a “fault” insurance state. Louisianans who have been injured in an accident need to file a “third party” claim with the insurance company of the at-fault party, or file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Only after collecting from at-fault driver can you file a claim with you own under insured motorist policy.
Louisiana requires several types of insurance. Specifically, drivers must have $15,000 in bodily injury insurance, $30,000 in coverage if more than one person is injured, and $25,000 in coverage for property damage.
CONTACT A KNOWLEDGEABLE, EXPERIENCED BATON ROUGE CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER TODAY
Even if you are unsure who was at fault for your accident, or even if you aren’t sure if you want to pursue a case, speaking to an attorney gives you the opportunity to tell your story, learn your legal options, and find out what plan of action is best for you and your family.
At Rusty Messer & Associates, our compassionate, experienced attorneys are here to help you. We are not just a face on a billboard. We take on a limited number of cases so that all of our time and attention is focused on getting you the compensation and justice you deserve. We invite you to request a free, confidential consultation with one of our car accident attorneys–so that you can get your questions answered and feel confident about the next step. Call us today at (225) 963-9638 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment and meet our team.
CONTACT A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER TODAY
The law firm of Rusty Messer & Associates handles all types of personal injury claims in Louisiana. We also handle claims and cases related to immigration, felony criminal defense, and family law. Our decades of Louisiana personal injury law experience allows us to successfully represent all of our clients with a personalized hands-on approach.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident that was caused by the careless, reckless, or negligent actions of another person or entity, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an attorney at Rusty Messer & Associates today at (225) 963-9368 to schedule a free consultation.
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