Getting into a car accident in Baton Rouge, or anywhere for that matter, is never easy. Dealing with the physical recovery alone is incredibly hard, but a car accident can also place immense financial burdens on you and your family that can make knowing what to do next even more difficult.
One of the biggest questions people in this situation have is “When do you need to hire a car accident lawyer?”
Continue reading to learn when it’s in your best interest to hire an attorney after an accident that wasn’t your fault.
When Insurance Companies Won’t Pay Up
To receive money for your losses after a car accident in Louisiana, you’ll likely have to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. While you are able to do this without a lawyer, it’s important to keep in mind that insurance adjusters are trained negotiators and will do everything they can to pay you less than you deserve.
They may pressure you to accept a small check, claiming that if you don’t sign now, you won’t be able to get anything. Their tactics may seem obvious, but when you’re dealing with serious injuries and need money for your medical bills and other damages, it can be tempting to accept a quick settlement.
Don’t let them take advantage of you! Anytime you have to deal with an insurance adjuster, you can bet that they’ll try to undervalue your claim. In this situation, your best defense is to put an experienced car accident attorney on your side who knows how to put them in their place and fight for what you truly deserve.
When You’re Struggling to Prove Fault
Fault plays an important role in how compensation is determined after a car accident. If you’re found to be partially at fault for your accident, it can impact your ability to receive full coverage for your losses. Louisiana abides by the comparative negligence law, which refers to the degree of fault each driver has in an accident.
According to this law, if you’re found to share some responsibility for the cause of your accident, any amount of compensation you’re entitled to may be reduced by the percentage at which you were found at fault.
For example, let’s say the insurance company finds that you are 20% responsible for the accident while the other driver is 80% responsible. If you’ve suffered $100,000 in damages due to the accident, your compensation would likely be reduced to $80,000. It’s important to keep in mind that you may still be able to recover compensation if you share fault for your accident, but only if your degree of fault is less than 50%.
Navigating the comparative negligence law can be tricky and the other driver’s insurance company will likely try to find ways to blame you for the accident, so they can pay you less. Having the right lawyer by your side will put you in a better position to argue that you weren’t at fault for your accident, and that you deserve compensation for all the losses you suffered.
When You’ve Suffered Serious Physical and Mental Harm
If you’ve suffered serious physical and mental harm after a car wreck that wasn’t your fault, it’s usually going to be in your best interest to speak with an attorney. Cases involving more serious injuries are typically more complicated because the damages tend to be far greater. In this situation, you may be entitled to recover two types of damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages include financial losses such as your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage costs. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, can account for losses that don’t have a clear dollar sign such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more.
While non-economic damages can be more difficult to pursue, it’s just as important that you’re compensated for the impact your accident has had on your relationships and your day-to-day life as it is your economic losses. Sadly, insurance companies often argue against the validity of these damages, making it challenging to get everything you deserve. This is when hiring a knowledgeable car accident attorney who can help you demand the true value of your claim becomes crucial.
Let Gauthier Amedee Go to Bat for You
Now that you know when you need to hire a car accident lawyer, it’s time to contact the right one. After a car accident, you need someone you can trust to take on the insurance companies and go to bat for you.
Our team at Gauthier Amedee has helped thousands of injured individuals and their families in Baton Rouge and across South Louisiana fight for every last penny they deserved, and we can help you, too. Contact us online, or call 225-647-1700 to get your free case review. We’re ready to go to bat for you!