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How a Lawyer Can Help After a New Orleans Car Accident

Having experienced legal representation can make a big difference

Hundreds of thousands of people live in and around New Orleans. Millions more come to visit every year to celebrate Mardi Gras, listen to live music at the Jazz & Heritage Festival, experience the French Quarter and explore the Garden District. That means traffic can get heavy on the streets and highways in the area – and more cars on the roads usually results in more accidents.

According to statistics compiled by the Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety at LSU, car accidents in New Orleans cause hundreds of fatalities and tens of thousands of injuries every year.

What are common types of car accidents?

Reckless driver behavior can lead to many different types of accidents. These include:

  • Rear-end accidents – One vehicle crashes into another from behind. The car in front may have been stopped or driving at a slower speed.
  • T-bone crashes – A car crashes into the side of another. These types of crashes often occur at intersections when one car fails to yield or runs a red light.
  • Head-on collisions – The front of one car crashes into the front of another, usually when a driver crosses over into oncoming traffic. These types of accidents often occur at high speeds.
  • Multiple vehicle accidents – These can happen on congested highways such as I-10 or US 61. One collision can easily lead to another.
  • Commercial vehicle accidents – These crashes can involve a van, box truck, cargo van or tractor-trailer owned by a business. These vehicles are much larger than cars and the damages in a crash can be significant.

Drivers, passengers and pedestrians can be left seriously injured no matter what type of crash they were involved in. Lives can be changed in an instant. Many people wonder what to do next to get their life back on track.

Why do car accidents happen?

The Center for Analytics and Research analyzed the most dangerous crashes during a 5-year period and identified four major contributing factors in accidents involving fatalities. One was failing to use safety belts. The other three were directly related to driver behavior:

  • Distractions – Safe driving requires our full attention. Conditions on the road can change and we need to be able to recognize those changes and react to them quickly. Texting while behind the wheel is a common distraction, despite laws banning the practice in Louisiana. Other distractions include talking on the phone, talking to passengers in the car, adjusting dashboard controls and eating or drinking. The risk of a serious crash increases when drivers take their eyes off the road, even for a few seconds.
  • Aggressive Driving – One of the most common examples is driving above the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions (for example, during heavy winds or rain). Other examples include failing to yield, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic and ignoring traffic signs and signals.
  • Alcohol – Drunk driving is against the law, for reasons that are well-documented. Alcohol negatively impacts the skills needed to drive safely. It affects judgment and slows reaction time. It can blur vision and make it difficult to focus. It is estimated that 6.9% of all crashes in Louisiana resulting in injury in 2020 involved alcohol. In crashes resulting in fatalities, 40% were related to alcohol.

These factors have some things in common. They are all examples of negligent driving behavior. There are state laws that ban many of these behaviors. And all of these dangerous behaviors are entirely preventable.

What happens to victims of car accidents

Being involved in a car crash caused by a negligent driver can impact victims in many ways. Their lives can be changed in an instant – sometimes permanently.

The most immediate impact on victims are physical injuries. These may include from broken bones, sprains and strains and cuts and lacerations. But many times, injuries are more serious – such as injuries to the head, neck or back. Some people suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injuries and are left with a permanent disability.

When victims get medical treatment for the injuries, expenses can add up very quickly and become overwhelming. These expenses often include the cost of transportation to the hospital, diagnostic tests, imaging services, surgery, hospitalization, medication, physical therapy and follow-up appointments with doctors.

If victims have to miss time from work because of their injuries, they may suffer a loss of income. There are also other damages that can be suffered in a car crash. These include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of future earnings and loss of enjoyment of life.

When their accident was caused by a negligent driver, victims have the right to seek financial compensation for their injuries. But this is often a complicated process.

Negligent drivers typically deny doing anything wrong, often because they don’t want to get into trouble or fear their insurance premiums will go up. Insurance companies may challenge claims for compensation by questioning the seriousness of injuries or blaming the other driver for causing the crash.

Another common tactic used by insurance companies to minimize compensation is to offer a “lowball” settlement – one that falls far short of covering all of the damages suffered.

How can a lawyer help after a New Orleans car accident?

Hiring an experienced attorney increases the probability of recovering fair compensation after an accident. A car accident lawyer will be familiar with the tactics used by insurance companies and will know the most effective ways of fighting back.

This process starts by getting all the facts. A lawyer will have the resources to investigate your crash. Evidence will be gathered, including any video from traffic cameras. Accident reports, medical records and other documentation will be thoroughly reviewed. Witnesses will be identified and interviewed. If necessary, a lawyer can consult accident reconstruction experts and other specialists who can offer professional opinions on the causes of the crash.

A lawyer can also deal with the insurance company on your behalf. Many times, a favorable settlement can be negotiated. If a settlement is not possible, a lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and take your case to trial, where evidence will be presented to a jury.

 

Car Accident Verdicts & Settlements

$500,000 verdict New Orleans

$500,000 for a minor whose father was killed when a commercial vehicle failed to properly attach a trailer hitch. The Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC obtained this recovery for the family.

$250,000 verdict New Orleans

$250,000 for a rear-end car accident when an impaired driver ran a red light. The Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC obtained this recovery for the victim.

$200,000 verdict New Orleans

$200,000 for a man who was rear-ended in his vehicle by a tractor trailer. The Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC obtained this recovery for the victim.

 

The amount of compensation that is recovered will depend on many different factors, such as the severity of your injuries and the applicable insurance policy limits. An attorney can review the details of your case and give you a better idea of how much compensation you can reasonably expect.

Talk to a New Orleans car accident lawyer

If you’ve been involved in an accident, there are certain steps you can take to protect your health and your rights. Be sure to call the police and get medical attention to treat your injuries. Gather contact information of other people involved in the crash. If you are able to, take photos of the crash scene. Notify your insurance company.

Then contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can talk to you about what happened, explain your legal options and answer any questions that you have. There is usually no cost for an initial consultation. And most lawyers handle cases on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no cost to you unless you receive financial compensation. Talk to an attorney in your area today.

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