Car crashes can lead to life-altering injuries, physical pain and emotional trauma. If the injured victim is unable to work while recovering, the mounting medical costs and other bills can be financially devastating.
At Galloway Jefcoat, our qualified auto accident lawyers in Lake Charles have been representing injured victims for over 25 years, recovering millions in compensation on their behalf. 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. Partner Rusty Galloway has personally represented victims in more than one thousand injury cases.
Call Galloway Jefcoat to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and learn if you have a case. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay up front. We only get paid if we secure compensation for you.
Call 24/7 to schedule your free case review. (337) 984-8020
Am I Eligible to File a Case?
Before we can determine your eligibility for filing a case, we need to know more about the accident and other contributing factors, including:
- The date, time and location of the crash
- Details about what led up to the crash
- The type and extent of injuries you suffered in the crash
- Any evidence you were able to collect, such as photos or witness testimony
Because Louisiana is an at-fault state, the plaintiff (injured victim) or his or her attorney must provide proof of the other party’s negligence. That means you or your attorney must establish four things:
- The at-fault party owed a duty of care to reasonably prevent harm to you and others on the road
- The at-fault party violated that duty of care when he or she failed to act in a reasonable manner
- The actions or inactions of the at-fault party led to the crash and caused you to sustain injuries
- You sustained real damages, such as medical costs and lost wages
If we validate your claim, our Lake Charles car accident lawyers are ready to get to work building a strong case. You can learn more about your legal options without paying us anything. Case reviews are completely free and carry no obligation.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Lake Charles Attorney?
At Galloway Jefcoat, we do not get paid unless you do, so while outcomes are not guaranteed, we will not take on a case that is unlikely to succeed. This may be why accident victims who hire a qualified attorney often recover significantly more compensation than crash victims who try to handle a claim on their own.
While each case is unique, we are prepared to take a variety of steps to pursue a favorable outcome, such as:
- Fully investigating the crash that caused your injuries
- Taking pictures of the accident scene
- Examining the police report and your medical records
- Getting statements from credible eyewitnesses
- Obtaining any available video footage of the accident
- Taking legal steps to preserve evidence before it is destroyed or lost
- Utilizing an accident reconstruction specialist, if needed
- Communicating with third parties, including your insurer, on your behalf
- Represent you if your case goes to trial
- Keeping you informed and quickly responding to your questions
Experienced Lawyers. Millions Recovered. (337) 984-8020
How Much is My Auto Accident Case Worth?
The value of each car crash claim varies based on numerous factors, such as the type and severity of your injuries.
These are real, quantifiable damages resulting from a victim’s injuries, including the cost of:
- Hospital stays
- Surgical procedures
- Diagnostic testing, such as MRIs and X-rays
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Vehicle or other property damages
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Prescription medication
- Physical therapy
- Devices to assist with mobility
Non-economic damages refer to the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by an accident and may include things like:
- Emotional distress
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
Our licensed auto accident lawyers in Lake Charles are experienced negotiators. We are committed to aggressively pursuing full compensation for the injuries and other financial losses you have suffered.
What if I Partially Contributed to the Crash?
Accident victims who contributed to a crash may still be eligible to seek compensation. That said, under Louisiana’s comparative fault law, if a crash victim does share liability, any compensation he or she is awarded will be reduced by his or her determined degree of fault.
What does this mean for you? If you are awarded $100,000 in compensation but are found to be 20 percent at fault the award would be reduced by 20 percent, leaving you with $80,000.
Having a knowledgeable attorney on your side is important as he or she can work to try to prevent you from being assigned more than your fair share of fault.
Galloway Jefcoat. We fight for fair compensation. (337) 984-8020
What Are Louisiana’s Minimum Car Insurance Requirements?
Louisiana drivers must obtain at least the minimum required auto insurance coverage. This coverage helps to protect your financial assets if you cause a crash.
The state’s minimum car insurance coverage includes:
- $15,000 for injuries to one person
- $30,000 if two or more persons are injured in an accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
If you cause a crash, this coverage helps to pay for the medical expenses and property damage the other party sustained. However, if you are injured in a crash, your attorney may help you to seek compensation through the at-fault party’s liability insurance.
Keep in mind that the amounts listed above are minimum coverage requirements. Policyholders have the right to purchase higher limits if they choose, and many do.
There are optional coverages that you may want to consider purchasing to cover your damages, including:
- Collision coverage: If your car gets damaged in a collision, this coverage can help you repair or replace your vehicle.
- Comprehensive coverage provides compensation if your car is stolen, struck by a falling object or damaged by a fire, vandalism or other situations not involving a crash with another vehicle.
- Medical payments: This covers your medical costs, along with funeral costs, regardless of who was at fault. However, this coverage may only be available for a limited time after the crash.
- Towing and labor coverage pays to have your car towed and for other labor costs if your vehicle is completely disabled after the crash.
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Claims
In Louisiana, uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage must be offered to new policy purchasers, but it is not required protection. That said, it is a coverage that could prove valuable if:
- You are injured in a hit-and-run crash
- The at-fault party that struck you has little or no insurance
Our Lake Charles car accident lawyers are committed to pursuing full compensation from the available insurance policies. We have helped many crash victims obtain insurance compensation and are prepared to counter the insurance company’s attempts to deny or undervalue your claim. This includes taking the insurance company to court if necessary.
Does Louisiana Have Deadlines for Filing a Legal Claim?
There are deadlines to be aware of after a car crash, including how long your insurance company gives you to report a claim.
Another deadline to remember is the statute of limitations – this is your deadline for filing a car crash lawsuit to recover compensation if you suffered losses.
In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for filing a car crash claim is the same as for other personal injuries. Plaintiffs have just one year from the accident date to take legal action. This one-year deadline also applies if you intend to file a claim for a loved one who suffered fatal injuries in a motor vehicle accident.
Though rare, there are situations where different deadlines may apply. For example, a deadline may be extended if the injured victims are underage minors and unable to file their own claim.
It is important to mention that if you miss your deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case you may lose your opportunity to pursue compensation.
Our auto accident attorneys in Lake Charles can discuss your claim and help you understand what deadline may apply in your situation.
Call for your FREE case review today. (337) 984-8020
Are There Steps I Can Take to Protect My Claim?
If you hire an attorney, he or she can work to protect your claim throughout the legal process. However, before you even call an attorney, these steps can help you to protect and strengthen your claim:
Report the Accident
Call 9-1-1 immediately to report your crash to the local police department. In Louisiana, it is required to call police if the incident:
- Causes an injury or death
- Results in property damage of $500 or greater
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) also requires a written report of any collision which caused one or more persons to suffer an injury, death or property damages estimated at $100 or more.
The police report, completed by the responding officer, will contain important details about the crash, including:
- Diagrams of where the vehicles came to rest
- The location and type of damage
- Driver statements
- Witness testimony, if available
- The responding officer’s conclusion about the cause of the crash
It is a good idea to get a copy of your police report soon after your accident. When you get it, review it carefully to make sure you agree with all the facts. If you find errors, contact the police department and speak with the investigating officer to find out how you can get them corrected.
The police report provides key information, but it also links the accident to any injuries and other losses you sustained.
Collect Evidence at the Scene
If you can do so safely, you can try to collect some evidence at the scene of the crash. Use your cellphone to take pictures of the crash scene, capturing:
- Nearby landmarks
- Road debris from the crash or fresh tire marks in the road
- Both vehicles together to show how each vehicle came to rest
- Damage to each vehicle
Seek Immediate Medical Care
This helps ensure your injuries are stabilized and cannot worsen. Getting immediate medical care also helps to protect your claim as it creates an official medical record and diagnosis of your injuries, along with details of the care you received.
When you delay seeking medical help, you leave room for the insurance provider to argue that your injuries could have happened elsewhere. This can significantly damage the value of your claim and your long-term prognosis for recovery.
Handling Communication with Insurance Companies
Soon after reporting your accident to the insurance company, you may hear from the adjuster. As an insurance company employee, the adjuster is trained to sound friendly and concerned over the phone. However, it is important to understand the real purpose for this phone call. Adjusters are trying to find a way to get an accident victim to admit some amount of fault or downplay the severity of their injuries. Insurance companies are committed to making money, which means paying out as little compensation as possible.
Here are three different options for responding to a phone call from the insurance company:
- Let the call go to voicemail to find out who is calling and what they want
- Answer the call and respond with prepared answers that provide only basic information
- Call a qualified lawyer first for legal help. They can speak with the insurance company for you
If you do talk to an insurance adjuster before calling an attorney, keep your answers concise, do not apologize or admit any fault and do not discuss your injuries. Keep responses short and do not embellish. Even if you think you might be partly at fault, wait until you speak with an attorney and find out for sure.
At Galloway Jefcoat, we are prepared to fully handle your claim and guide you through every step of the legal process.
Call to get started. Millions Recovered. Ph: (337) 984-8020
Car Crash Cases Our Firm Handles
Our team of legal professionals at Galloway Jefcoat is ready to help victims who were injured in a variety of car crashes, including:
- Rear-end collisions
- Multi-vehicle crashes
- Head-on collisions
- Hit-and-run crashes
- Rollover accidents
- T-bone crashes
- Side-impact collisions
- High-speed crashes
Common injuries that victims may suffer in these types of crashes include:
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Soft-tissue damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Loss of Limbs
Common Negligent Behavior That May Cause a Crash
In our 20-plus years of handling car crash claims, we have seen a lot of different types of negligent behavior. Some of the common forms of negligence that lead to car crashes include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving drowsy or fatigued
- Excessive speeding
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failure to yield
- Disobeying traffic laws, signs and signs
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Aggressive driving
Our Auto Accident Attorneys in Lake Charles Are Ready to Help
Hiring a qualified and experienced attorney after a collision may help protect your best interests throughout the legal process.
Galloway Jefcoat has been representing the injured, including Louisiana car crash victims, for over 25 years. We are ready to fight for the maximum compensation on your behalf.
Find out if you have legal options in the free case review. There is no obligation to move forward after this meeting. If we represent you, there are no costs to pay us up front or while we work on your case. Our representatives are ready to schedule your free case review anytime, night or day.
Our Lake Charles office is conveniently located at 417 Alamo Street, less than a five-minute drive from the Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.
Galloway Jefcoat. We are here to help. (337) 984-8020