What to Do If You’ve Experienced a Personal Injury in Louisiana
There’s no way to predict an accident. Even the most prepared people can fall victim to faulty equipment or a distracted driver. You should not have to bear the weight of the financial burden while you’re trying to recover. If you have questions about your rights and you’re seeking justice for an injury that came from someone else’s negligence, you’ve come to the right place.
Personal injury cases most often settle, whether before or after a lawsuit is filed. It is everyone’s best interest to settle a personal injury claim without filing a lawsuit. However, often times the insurance company is unreasonable, and we are forced to file suit. You should have a lawyer whether or not you expect or desire to settle without filing a lawsuit, because with or without a lawsuit, a lawyer will be able to maximize your recovery based upon your individual situation and the years of research that go into valuing a case.
In Lafayette, LA, personal injury is too common. Whether a personal injury results at work or on the road, you deserve to be made whole. The most common theme among injured victims is their desire to be as healthy as they were before the accident; however, unfortunately, that cannot always happen. Often times, an injured victim will never be able to return to their pre-injury self, and the only form of compensation available is money. We understand that you are going through an incredibly difficult time in which you are confused, worried and angry. At Matt & Allen, we work to make you whole both medically and financially. We will help you find the finest doctors in the area and recover the most money possible for your case. If you have been injured as a result of someone else and live near Lafayette, Louisiana, call the Law Offices of Matt & Allen. Our attorneys will work hard to make sure that you receive the maximum compensation available.
What are the different types of personal injury?
Personal Injury cases can occur any day when you least expect it. Many may only associate a personal injury with a single instance such as a work-place accident. However in reality a personal injury case can result from a number of different accidents such as:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Workplace Accidents
- Defective Products
- Offshore Accidents
- Jackup Rigs
- Semi-Submersible Rigs
- Inland Barges and Liftboats
- Workover Operations
- Production Facilities
- Pipeline Facilities
- Crew, Supply and Cargo Boats
- Dredge Barges and Cranes
- Jones Act Seamen
- Maritime Employees
- Production Personnel
- Drillcrew Members
- Casing, Competition, Wireline, Co. Representative, Cementing and Other Service Personnel
- Construction, Blast and Paint Crewmembers
- Helicopter Crashes
- Plug and Abandonment
- Platform Salvage Operations
- Premises Liability
- Slip and Fall Accident
- Dog Bites
- Falls From Balconies
- Common Types of Injuries
- Other Accidents and Claims
At the Law Offices of Matt & Allen, we practice in all areas of personal injury accidents such as offshore accidents, vehicular accidents, and workplace accidents. Car accident personal injury cases are the most common cases across the United States. In Lafayette Parish, we have had 1,193 car accidents with injuries thus far in 2016. When the accident is the result of another person, you will have a personal injury claim.
Premises liability is when an injury was caused by the unsafe or defective condition of someone’s property. In a premises liability case, the injured person must prove that the property owner was negligent; in other words, the property owner did not use reasonable care. Premises liability cases are more difficult than an ordinary personal injury case; the property is under the control of the opposing party; therefore, if you are involved in a premises liability case, you should immediately contact an attorney at Matt & Allen, in order to preserve evidence, give you the best opportunity to succeed and maximize the value of your case.
What kind of damages can I claim?
“Compensatory damages” in personal injury cases compensate the injured person for their losses. They consist of two categories of damages: special (also known as economic or pecuniary) damages and general (also known as noneconomic or nonpecuniary) damages. Compensatory damages consist of:
- Special damages
- Medical expenses
- Loss of earnings, benefits, earning capacity
- Property loss (e.g.: vehicle damage)
- Vehicle rental, towing and storage expenses
- General damages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of love, service and support (your family members may be entitled to compensation for the things they can no longer enjoy with you)
Special damages are easily calculable, while general damages are not.
You are entitled to medical expenses as a result of an accident, but the insurance company does not pay your doctors directly. It will reimburse you for medical expenses you have incurred at the end of your case, which is often used as leverage to convince an injured person to settle. This also leads to confusion, frustration and unnecessary and harmful delays in medical treatment, which is precisely what the insurance company wants. The insurance company wants you to give up. It wants you to delay treatment, because it knows that the longer you go without treatment, the better chances it will have in disproving your pain and suffering. After all, you must not be as hurt as you say you are, because if you were, you wouldn’t have delayed medical treatment, right? Wrong. Obviously, we don’t believe that at Matt & Allen, and frankly, neither does the insurance company, but the insurance company will certainly use it against you even though the delay is usually its fault. This is one of the many reasons you should not hesitate in contacting us, so we can immediately set you up with the appropriate healthcare provider and begin maximizing the value of your case.
A wage loss claim is much more than actual wages lost. A wage loss claim can consist of wages you were unable to earn, fringe benefits such as vacation or sick days you were forced to use and loss of future earning capacity. Some of our clients are injured, miss days, weeks or months of work, heal and return to the same job earning the same amount of income. Those people would have a loss of earnings claim, but some of our other clients are injured and are never able to return to the same job, or are able to return to the same job but will never be able to be promoted to the next level because of an injury. Those clients have a loss of earning capacity claim too. A loss of earning capacity claim requires professional experts who possess the required experience and training to calculate what an injured person would have been capable of earning had he not experienced an injury. We handle many cases that require loss of earnings, benefits and future earning capacity evaluations and have working relationships with many experts who are needed to prove those types of claims.
Pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of love, service and support (generally referred to as loss of consortium), are more difficult calculate, because there is no mathematical formula to place a dollar amount on a person’s pain, etc. These types of damages are known as “general” damages. General damages are particularly important to consider when you deciding which attorney to hire, because you deserve an attorney who is capable of recovering the absolute highest dollar amount you are entitled to. It is easy to add up medical expenses, but there is much more lawyering involved in maximizing your general damages.
Finally, another category that gets much media attention is punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded for the sole purpose of punishing someone. They are reserved for situations where the offender does something of particular disgust. Louisiana has virtually eliminated punitive damage awards, but they are still available in a handful of circumstances, most significantly, injuries resulting from drunk driving accidents. We have been successful in recovering punitive damages for some of our clients and are currently handling punitive damages cases. Cases involving punitive damages usually involve large awards or settlements because of the nature of the offender’s conduct and the punitive nature of the award. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to the previously discussed compensatory damages, so when we recover punitive damages for you, we not only recover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, but we also recover money meant solely to punish the at fault party.
Where do I go from here?
Being injured is unexpected and can carry severe consequences. Therefore, it is important to know that if you are injured there are people that are fighting for you, working to get the absolute highest compensation available.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Matt & Allen have been helping injured people in Lafayette, LA for over twenty years with a focus on helping individuals and their families fully recover financially and personally from accidents and injuries that could have been avoided. We will work with you every step of the way and answer any questions that you may have about the process. We believe in a “no recovery, no fee” approach to law. If you don’t get the compensation you deserve, neither will we. We put our clients first every step of the way. Contact us today to set up a consultation.