Car accidents often result in serious, life-changing injuries. The medical expenses and loss of income can result in significant financial hardship, not only for the accident victim but also his or her family.
If you have been injured in a Lafayette car crash caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover compensation for these damages. Having an experienced lawyer on your side throughout the legal process may help to ensure your rights and best interests are being protected.
The legal team at Galloway Jefcoat has been advocating for injury victims throughout Louisiana for more than 20 years. We have a proven history of recovering fair compensation for our clients. While each case depends upon its own facts, this includes a recent recovery of $2.67 million following a Lafayette Parish jury trial for an auto accident. Founder Rusty Galloway is a member of the Louisiana Bar Association member and has personally handled over a thousand injury cases.
Contact a Lafayette car accident lawyer for help with your claim today. Our firm offers a free initial consultation to discuss your potential legal options. We only get paid if we help you obtain a recovery.
Find out if you have a case: (337) 984-8020
How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Case?
Our lawyers will need to consider several factors to determine if there may be a valid case, such as:
- Details about how the crash occurred
- Date, time and location of the accident
- The extent and type of injuries sustained
- Evidence you may have gathered (i.e. pictures of the scene or witness statements)
Louisiana is an at-fault state, which means the other driver may be liable for your damages if your lawyer can prove negligence was involved. Negligence has four elements:
- The at-fault party had a duty of care to prevent harm to you and other road users
- He or she breached that duty of care by failing to act in a reasonable manner
- His or her actions or inaction caused the crash, resulting in you being injured
- You suffered actual damages (i.e. medical costs and lost wages)
If your claim has merit, we are prepared to build a strong case on your behalf. There is no cost to talk to a lawyer at our firm and no upfront fees to retain our legal services.
We know what it takes to conduct a detailed accident investigation, such as reviewing the police report, your medical records, video surveillance footage (if it exists), and other evidence. Our main priority is to assess how the other driver’s negligent behavior led to your injuries and to establish the value of your damages.
Why Should I Consider Hiring a Lawyer in Lafayette?
Hiring an experienced lawyer can be an important step in your recovery process. Accident victims with legal representation often recover more compensation compared to those who do not. A lawyer can prepare a strong argument for your claim.
The attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat are experienced negotiators, having successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients in Lafayette Parish. If a settlement cannot be agreed upon, which is rare but does happen, our lawyers have many years of experience negotiating with insurance companies for a fair settlement and preparing a case for court.
Our firm has in-depth knowledge of traffic laws in Louisiana and the know-how to prove another driver’s liability for an accident. We have the resources and staff to help guide you through the legal process.
Call (337) 984-8020 to see how we may be able to help.
What is the Value of My Car Accident Case?
The value of any case will depend on several factors, including the extent and severity of your injuries, medical expenses incurred, your anticipated recovery time and more. This is something that can be discussed in greater detail with a member of our legal team in a free case review.
Generally, car accident victims may be eligible to recover the following forms of compensation:
These damages are awarded to victims to help them recover financial losses associated with their injuries:
- Medical expenses
- Costs for surgery
- Imaging tests
- Emergency services
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Vehicle damage
- Physical therapy sessions
- Prescription medications
- Personal care costs
These damages are awarded to victims to help them deal with the pain and suffering they have experienced:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Diminished quality of life
Our lawyers understand the physical, emotional and financial hardships victims may suffer after a serious crash. We are dedicated to recovering maximum compensation for past and future damages.
Can I Seek Compensation If I Contributed to the Crash?
Yes, you may still be able to seek compensation. Louisiana’s comparative fault law allows accident victims to recover compensation even if they contributed to the crash. However, the amount awarded will be reduced according to the victim’s percentage of fault.
For instance, if you are awarded $50,000 but found to be 20 percent at fault, your compensation amount will be reduced by $10,000. This means you would only receive $40,000.
It is important to have an experienced lawyer working on your case as he or she may be able to prevent the insurance company from assigning you an unreasonable amount of fault.
Galloway Jefcoat. Zero Upfront Fees. Ph: (337) 984-8020
Auto Insurance Requirements in Louisiana
In Louisiana, all drivers are required to purchase a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. This includes liability coverage. If you were injured in a car accident, your lawyer may be able to help you file a claim against the liability coverage in the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
If you caused the car accident, the liability portion of your policy is meant to provide compensation for the medical expenses of those injured as well as any damage to the other driver’s car.
The minimum liability coverage required by law includes:
- $15,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
While these are the minimum amounts, most drivers purchase more than the minimum amount required under state law.
Liability insurance helps cover personal injury or property damages caused by you, a family member, or anyone else who was driving your car with permission at the time of the crash. You and your loved ones may also be covered if you are driving a rental car or borrow someone else’s car, up to the policy limits.
Other types of coverage that can be purchased include:
- Collision coverage – This coverage can help pay to repair or replace your car after a crash.
- Comprehensive coverage – This coverage can help compensate you if your car is stolen or damaged due to falling objects, fire, vandalism or natural disaster.
- Medical payments coverage – This coverage can help pay for medical expenses – including funeral costs –for a certain time while your claim is pending, regardless of fault.
- Towing and labor coverage – This coverage can help with towing and labor costs if your car is completely disabled after a crash.
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage Claims
If the other driver has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover your damages, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. You could seek compensation from your uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage. Any bodily injury you or another passenger in your car sustain due to a crash may be covered under this policy. This includes hit-and-run accidents.
In Louisiana, if you purchase UM/IUM coverage, it needs to match the limits of your liability coverage. Your auto insurance provider must offer this coverage, but it is not a requirement.
Anyone who drives without insurance or gets into a crash without insurance can receive a fine and have their driving privileges suspended and car impounded.
Additionally, the state’s “No Pay, No Play” law prohibits uninsured drivers from receiving the first $25,000 for property damages and the first $15,000 for personal injuries regardless of who caused the crash.
Our Lafayette auto accident lawyers at Galloway Jefcoat are well-versed in state auto insurance requirements and are ready to advise you of the exceptions that exist with the “No Pay, No Play” law that could affect your claim.
Is There a Deadline to Take Legal Action?
Insurance companies have their own deadlines to file a claim, but car accident lawsuits in Louisiana are governed by the statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Under this statute, legal action must be taken within one year from the accident date. If a loved one was fatally injured in a crash, a wrongful death lawsuit has a one-year deadline from the date of his or her death.
There are some cases where the deadline may be shortened or extended, such as if the victim was a minor. The statute of limitations will also work differently for accident victims who were unaware of their injuries. The clock may not start until the date your injuries should have been reasonably discovered.
If you are unsure which deadline applies to you, we recommend speaking with an auto accident lawyer in Lafayette. If you miss your deadline, it is likely that the court will dismiss your case.
Free Case Review. Ph: (337) 984-8020
What Can I Do to Make My Case Stronger?
There are certain things you can do to help protect your health and possibly strengthen your case:
Reporting the Crash
All drivers in Louisiana must report a car accident as soon as possible to the local police department under the following conditions:
- It results in injury or death
- Property damage exceeds $500
Written reports are also required by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) within a 24-hour period if the crash resulted in injury, death, or more than $100 in property damage.
The responding officer will investigate the accident scene to determine the cause of the accident, what damage was done and who may be at fault. The police report could be useful in settlement negotiations.
Evidence gathered at the scene may help prove that you did not contribute to the crash. If you are physically capable, some important evidence to gather includes pictures and/or video of the accident, your injuries, and damage to property. Witness statements may also be helpful.
See a Doctor
Get examined by a medical professional, even if the accident seemed minor. Some symptoms may take days or weeks to appear. Delaying medical care can cause your symptoms to worsen. The last thing you want is for the insurance company to question any injuries you sustained and try to deny you coverage.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
After being involved in a crash, an insurance company adjuster will likely contact you to find out what happened. It is important that you chose your words carefully when talking to him or her. He or she may sound friendly over the phone and act like he or she is on your side, but your words could be used against you. This is because an insurance company’s objective is to pay out as little money as they can in claims.
Avoid saying “I am sorry” or “I feel OK” as these statements could be seen as admitting fault or imply that your injuries are not that serious. Anything said to the insurance company should be brief and honest. Stick to the facts and avoid providing unnecessary information.
You have every right not to have your statement recorded. You also do not have to take the first settlement offer you receive. The first offer is usually lower than the actual value of your damages.
If an insurance adjuster does contact you, we recommend referring them to your lawyer. He or she will have a better understanding of what the insurance company is looking for and can provide sound legal advice. A lawyer can also communicate with them on your behalf throughout the legal process.
Car Accident Cases Our Firm Handles
Our firm is ready to represent clients who have been injured in many different types of car accidents including, but certainly not limited to:
- Head-on crashes
- Rear-end accidents
- Multi-vehicle crashes
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Rollover crashes
- T-bone accidents
- Side-impact crashes
- High-speed accidents
Some of the most common injuries sustained in these accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones or fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limbs
It is important after an accident to seek immediate medical care to help link your injuries to the accident.
Negligent Behavior That Can Lead to a Crash
Our Lafayette car accident lawyers have many years of experience handling car accident cases caused by driver negligence. We are prepared to investigate the accident, gather supportive evidence, interview witnesses and more to build a strong case for compensation for you.
Negligent behavior that can lead to a crash includes:
- Distracted driving (i.e. texting or eating)
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Failing to yield
- Unsafe lane changes
- Disobeying traffic signs and signals
- Driving while impaired
If you believe that your car accident was due to one of these negligent behaviors or something similar, reach out for a free review of your claim. We are committed to fighting for maximum compensation.
Contact Our Lafayette Car Accident Lawyers Today
Reaching out to an experienced lawyer after a crash can be beneficial to you in many ways. Galloway Jefcoat has been helping car accident victims obtain fair and just compensation for more than two decades in the state of Louisiana and throughout Lafayette Parish.
We know how insurance companies operate and the tactics they use to try and delay, devalue or altogether deny claims. An initial consultation is completely free and confidential. It costs nothing to hire our firm if we determine that your claim has merit. We only receive payment for our services if we successfully help you obtain compensation via a settlement or verdict.
Our office in Lafayette is located about 15 minutes from the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Galloway Jefcoat. We are here to help. Call (337) 984-8020.