After a motorcycle accident, you and your loved ones may be left with significant emotional and financial burdens (mounting medical bills, loss of income, repair costs and other expenses).
Our Lake Charles motorcycle accident lawyers are prepared to help you pursue the compensation you need for your injuries by taking on the insurance company on your behalf. The initial consultation to find out how we may be able to help you comes with no upfront cost. There are also no upfront costs while we work on your case.
Founding partners Rusty Galloway and John Jefcoat have over four decades of combined experience representing thousands of injury victims in Lake Charles and throughout the state of Louisiana. Galloway and Jefcoat have been members of the Louisiana Bar Association since 1996 and are also members of the American Bar Association, Louisiana Bar Association and the American Association for Justice. They have each handled more than 1,000 injury cases. Jefcoat is also a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100.
Since Galloway Jefcoat opened its doors in 1996, our focus has been on providing personalized and dedicated legal service to all our clients, no matter how big or small the case.
Call today to schedule a free consultation: (337) 984-8020.
Am I Eligible to File a Claim?
Our attorneys must determine if your injuries were a direct result of someone else’s negligence. If we think there may be a valid case for negligence, we may be able to assist you, at no upfront cost.
There are four elements of a negligence case:
Duty of Care
Your Lake Charles motorcycle accident lawyer must establish there was a legal duty for one party to take reasonable care to help prevent harm to others. For example, drivers have a duty of care to other drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
Breach of Duty
If the duty of care was breached, there may be a case. For example, it may be a breach of the duty of care to crash into the back of a motorcycle stopped at a red light.
When the breach of duty is directly linked to the injuries you suffered, you may have a valid case. Another way of thinking about this is that your injuries would not have occurred unless the duty of care was breached.
Damages refer to the physical, financial and emotional toll of the injuries you suffered in the crash.
How Our Lake Charles Motorcycle Accident Lawyers May Be Able to Help
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, establishing the negligence of another person can be complicated. Dealing with the insurance company on your own can be frustrating and stressful. Many crash victims who handle things on their own do not get the results they want.
That is why having a licensed attorney with decades of experience may be beneficial to you. At Galloway Jefcoat, our team of dedicated lawyers is prepared to investigate your claim and deal with the insurance company on your behalf, with the goal of securing maximum compensation.
We have the resources to thoroughly investigate a crash to determine how negligence may have contributed to your crash. Some of the steps we are prepared to take on your behalf include:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing the other driver’s driving record
- Collecting and reviewing evidence from the accident scene
- Preparing your case for a jury trial if the need arises
- Negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement
Remember that the insurance company works to maximize their profits by paying out much less than they take in through premium payments – they are not focused on your best interests.
At Galloway Jefocat, our attorneys only get paid if we recover compensation for you. Your interests are our top priority.
Call us today at (337) 984-8020 for a free consultation.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
For many injury victims, the fear of having to take time away from their lives to go through a jury trial is the main reason they avoid contacting a lawyer or pursuing compensation.
While some cases may end up in court, most cases involving motorcycle crash victims never see the inside of a courtroom, even if a lawsuit is filed. For insurers, it is cheaper to negotiate with the injury victim outside of court. If the insurance company goes to court, it risks paying out much more compensation than it would in a settlement.
However, it is important to understand that should the need to go to court arise, our attorneys are prepared for it. This is important – if you hire an attorney who rarely goes to court, the insurance company may be less likely to negotiate in good faith or offer a favorable settlement.
Is There a Deadline to File a Lawsuit?
Louisiana’s statute of limitations allows one year from the date the injury occurred to take legal action against a negligent party.
Although filing a lawsuit may not be necessary, it is important to note that properly investigating and negotiating a claim takes time and when negotiations break down, a lawsuit may be necessary.
If you wait too long to file your insurance claim, there may not be enough time to prepare a lawsuit. If the clock runs out, you may have no legal recourse for pursuing compensation.
What is a Motorcycle Case Worth?
Our attorneys are prepared to review the facts of your claim during a free consultation to help establish the potential value of your economic and non-economic damages.
While each case is different, crash victims often pursue compensation for the following losses:
- Hospital stays
- Doctors’ visits
- Medical equipment
- Lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Physical suffering
- Emotional suffering
- Damage to personal property
- Funeral and burial costs, if your loved one died in the crash
There are many factors to consider when determining how much your case may be worth, so it is important to speak with one of our licensed Lake Charles motorcycle accident attorneys.
Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Call (337) 984 8020.
What Are my Options if There is Not Enough Insurance?
Louisiana is an at-fault state, which means every driver is required to have a liability insurance policy. The minimum requirements in the Pelican state are:
- $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 for property damage liability
It is important to note many drivers carry more than the minimum coverage. However, even if the at-fault driver is carrying more than the minimum, if the crash resulted in severe bodily injury this may not be enough to cover the full cost of your damages.
If your damages exceed the other driver’s insurance policy limits, our attorneys may be able to help you file a claim through your own Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage to help you recover the compensation you need. Uninsured motorist coverage is often used for hit-and-run crashes or crashes with uninsured drivers.
It is important to note that although UM is not mandatory in Louisiana, it is an add-on that must be offered by the insurance company and can only be rejected by a driver in writing.
These types of claims are complicated, so it is important to speak to a licensed attorney to learn whether you may be able to use this coverage.
Can I Still File a Claim if I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
Louisiana law requires that every motorcycle driver and passenger wear a helmet. However, you may still be able to recover compensation if you were not wearing your helmet. Your compensation award may be reduced based on Louisiana’s comparative fault system.
Under this system, victims’ compensation awards may be reduced based on their percentage of fault for the crash. In the case of a rider who fails to wear a helmet and suffers a head injury in an accident, the insurance company may assign a percentage of fault. However, this kind of defense may not hold up under legal scrutiny. It is important to speak to an experienced attorney who knows how to counter these arguments.
At Galloway Jefcoat, we are committed to securing maximum compensation. We do not want you to be assigned an unreasonable amount of fault.
Can I File a Claim if I Was a Passenger?
If you were injured as a passenger on a motorcycle, you may have multiple options for recovering compensation for your injuries. You may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance or the motorcycle rider’s insurance if the rider caused the crash.
Although you may be hesitant to file a claim against a friend or family member’s insurance, remember that you are not pursuing compensation from the person, but his or her insurance.
Learn about your options for recovering compensation for your injuries as a motorcycle passenger during a free consultation.
Galloway Jefcoat. We are here to help. Ph: (337) 984-8020.
What if There Was No Contact Between the Motorcycle and Another Vehicle?
When a rider loses control of his or her motorcycle and crashes, it is known as a “no-contact” accident since the motorcycle never collided with another vehicle. Although most of these accidents may be caused by a reckless driver who did not stop at the scene, there are instances when no-contact accidents were caused by damaged roadways or other obstructions.
You may have a case against another driver if his or her negligence resulted in your crash. However, you would need to contact the police and they would need to locate this person. If you purchased additional coverage beyond the minimum requirements, you may be able to use it to pay for damage to your motorcycle or your medical bills.
If the crash was caused by the negligence of the entity responsible for the road, you may be able to seek compensation from them.
Recovering compensation for a no-contact accident may be difficult without the help of an experienced attorney.
Galloway Jefcoat’s experienced attorneys have in-depth knowledge of pursuing claims against many types of negligent parties. We are prepared to conduct a thorough investigation to find a liable party so we may be able to help you pursue the compensation you need.
Call Galloway Jefcoat Today for Legal Help
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident in the Lake Charles area, our licensed attorneys may be able to help you recover the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
For over 25 years, Galloway Jefcoat has fought for the rights of injury victims in Louisiana and has successfully recovered millions in compensation on behalf of our clients.
We offer a free consultation to review your claim and do not charge you anything while we work on your case. You only pay us if we recover compensation on your behalf.
Our Lake Charles office is a short drive from the Lakes Charles City Court.
No fees. No risk. Call today (337) 984-8020.