Lake Charles Car Accident Lawyer

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Every year, there are an average of six million car crashes in the United States, leaving more than 3 million people injured or disabled and 37,000 dead as a result of a car accident. In the aftermath of the crash, those involved may face debilitating injuries on top of piles of paperwork and uncertainty. After an accident, you need a Lake Charles car accident lawyer who can look out for your interests.

That’s why the attorneys at the Cox Law Firm step in to make the legal and insurance processes easier—so you and your family can focus on what’s important: recovery.

Drivers on the road try to drive defensively and avoid accidents. Unfortunately, there are times when other drivers or circumstances are not in your control. When you are not at fault for a collision, you should not be responsible for the medical costs, income loss, car repairs, and other financial losses that result from the accident.

A car insurance claim or a civil claim may be able to recover these financial losses and give you the money and time you need to heal. These claims are easier to manage when an attorney is guiding you through each step, and the efforts of an experienced lawyer allow you to have confidence in obtaining the most compensation possible for your situation.

The Cox Law Firm: Defending Our Community in Calcasieu Parish

In the aftermath of an accident, you may be unsure who is to blame and if you can cover damages with an insurance claim. When you work with a qualified personal injury and car accident attorney, they can help you determine if you have a claim and its likely value. They can also assist you in filing the claim and negotiating a settlement.

At the Cox Law Firm, we know the pain and stress you likely feel after a collision. We want to provide you with legal support and effective representation. Our team has years of experience with personal injury claims, product liability claims, and insurance claims. We know the local requirements and expectations, and we can use our knowledge to get you the financial support you need to recover.

Even if you don’t think you can afford a lawyer, give us a call. Our attorneys work on a contingent-fee basis, so victims of car accidents don’t pay unless we win the case. Tell us your story online or call our Lake Charles office at 337-436-6611 to schedule your initial consultation.

We have the experience and skills you need to pursue the compensation you deserve.

Is Louisiana a No-Fault State?

Louisiana is not a no-fault state for car accidents. Instead, it is an at-fault state. When multiple drivers get into an accident, injured parties file claims with the insurance provider of the at-fault driver. To do this, it is essential to determine who is at fault. In most car accidents, a vehicle driver acted negligently or recklessly, and this was the cause of the accident. However, there may be other causes besides driver negligence.

If you can prove that another driver is at fault for the accident, they are then liable for the entirety of the damages. To prove fault, the following must be true:

  1. The driver owed you a duty of reasonable care.
  2. The drivers breached their duty of care to you by acting negligently, recklessly, or through misconduct.
  3. Their breach of duty caused the accident.
  4. You suffered an injury and other damages because of the accident.

There are many actions that may be considered negligent, such as distracted driving, fatigued driving, or failing to follow the rules of the road.

Although minor car accidents can be covered by a standard car insurance claim, there are cases where the accident is too severe. When even maximum coverage does not compensate, injured drivers may file with their own insurance or file a civil claim. An attorney can help you determine what your options are for compensation.

What Compensation Can I Receive for My Injuries?

Under Louisiana laws, victims have one year from the date of the accident to file a claim for personal injury—but we recommend exploring legal options as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you may be ineligible for compensation.

In Louisiana, victims can be compensated for both physical and emotional damages. In many cases, there’s no financial limit to the amount you may be entitled to. Most cases are settled through negotiation rather than going all the way to trial, but we’re always prepared to fight for your rights in court. This attitude makes us more effective negotiators, as insurance providers know that we are willing to obtain the most compensation possible through litigation. More importantly, accident victims only pay for our services if we win.

Compensation for Car Accident Victims

Whether the claim is settled in or out of court, you are able to recover the total of your economic and noneconomic losses from the accident. Compensation after an accident may include, but is not limited to:

  • Medical Bills: Current, future, and expected medical costs are included in a personal injury or car insurance settlement. Current medical bills may include hospital transportation, emergency care, surgeries, treatment, medication, and mobility aids. Future costs may include physical therapy, mental health care, long-term care, and rehabilitation. Expected medical costs may include anticipated complications for the type of injury you sustained.
  • Lost Wages and/or Loss of Earning Potential: After an injury, you may have to take weeks or months off work to recover and rest. An insurance or civil claim can cover the wages you would have typically earned during that time. If your injuries are severe, and you are unable to return to full work duty for a significant period of time, or unable to engage in gainful employment at all, you can recover the wages you would have earned throughout your lifetime.
  • Property Damage: The cost to repair or replace your vehicle is compensable. Any other high-value or important items that were destroyed or damaged may also be included in the final settlement.
  • Disability: Disability includes both noneconomic and economic damages. Disability benefits may compensate you for wages during recovery. Noneconomic disability damages are meant to compensate you for the loss of mobility, loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, and other effects that a disability has on your life.
  • Pain & Suffering: These noneconomic damages include financial compensation for physical pain and emotional anguish during and after the accident.
  • Wrongful Death: If an individual died in a car accident, their surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim instead of a personal injury claim, recovering important damages like funeral and burial costs as well as loss of income and benefits.

An attorney is effective and experienced at calculating these damages to fairly reflect the injuries you’ve suffered while maximizing the compensation you recover.

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue in Louisiana?

You have a statute of limitations of one year from the date of the accident to file a civil personal injury claim. Car insurance claims can differ based on the provider, but they typically range between one and two months. These strict deadlines can be very hard to meet when you are injured. Unfortunately, if you fail to file in time, you lose your right to recover financial losses. This can be a very stressful situation, but it can be helped immensely by an attorney.

It’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. This gives them time to investigate your accident, determine if you have a viable claim, and put together strong evidence of the damages you suffered and the liability of the at-fault party. While your attorney does this, you can take the rest you need while your attorney keeps you updated as necessary.

What Kind of Injuries Are Common in Car Accidents?

Our experience spans common accident injuries and a wide range of claims including both physical and emotional injuries. We’ve seen a wide variety of injuries, including but not limited to:

  • Lacerations
  • Whiplash
  • Minor to Severe Burns
  • Road Rash
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Full/Partial Paralysis
  • Broken Bones & Fractures
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Amputations
  • Neck and Back Injuries
  • Hearing Loss
  • Eye Injuries
  • Death
  • Mental Anguish, Depression, PTSD, and more…

An attorney who has experience with car accidents and the sort of injury you have suffered will be better equipped to calculate your damages, contact the right professionals, and determine the future medical needs of your injuries.

Who’s at Fault?

To win an accident lawsuit in Louisiana, the victim/plaintiff must prove the other driver was responsible for causing the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries. However, victims can still receive compensation even if they’re found partially at fault for the accident.

Louisiana fault laws operate under the pure comparative fault doctrine. This means that if you’re determined to be partially at fault for the crash, awarded damages are reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault you contributed to the accident.

For example, if you are found to be 10% at fault for the accident, your final settlement for damages will be reduced by 10%. Because Louisiana has pure comparative fault, you can be up to 99% liable and still be able to file for damages. This enables those who have suffered severe injuries to recover a small amount of damages.

In some cases, a judge or a jury may have to determine how fault is distributed, which means the process can be highly subjective and influenced by the presentation of evidence. This is why you want a skilled advocate presenting the evidence from the accident and explaining the percentage of fault that you had in the accident.

It’s never been more important to secure experienced legal counsel. An attorney can work to lower the percentage liability you have in the accident, therefore increasing your compensation. Distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and a host of other challenges have made car accident cases more complicated, which means victims must work harder to find experienced representation to overcome that adversity.

What Other Parties Could Be at Fault?

Though most car accidents are caused by the negligence of one or multiple drivers, some accidents have other causes. Other potentially liable parties include:

  • A private or governmental agency responsible for the upkeep and repair of the road. When signs are missing or covered, the road has debris, or guardrails and other safety systems are damaged, this can increase the risk of accidents. If these hazards were not addressed in a reasonably short time, the agency may be liable.
  • The governmental agency responsible for the design of the road. Badly designed roads with unclear signs, bad drainage systems, or unclear road signals can be hazardous. If that was one of the causes of the accident, the agency may be partially liable.
  • An employer of an on-duty employee. An employer may be vicariously liable if their employee causes an accident while on the clock. In this case, you might file with the insurance of the employer instead of the driver’s car insurance.
  • A maintenance shop. If a car malfunctioned or failed because of negligent or incorrect maintenance, the repair or maintenance shop could be liable.
  • A vehicle manufacturer or distributor. A car malfunction that causes an accident may also be the result of a vehicle component defect. Depending on the circumstances, this may result in a product liability claim against the designer, manufacturer, or distributor.

When multiple parties are partially liable, a claim becomes much more complex, and it can be more difficult to determine the percentage of liability that each party carries. However, it can also help you, as the injured party, obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible.

What Are Common Causes of Accidents in Lake Charles?

To determine the at-fault party in a car accident, it is important to find out what caused the accident. As a driver, knowing the common causes of accidents can also help you remain safer on the road.

  • Distracted Driving: This is one of the most common causes of car accidents, and it occurs when a driver takes their focus off the road. This may be to text, deal with a map system, fiddle with the radio, eat, drink, talk with others in the car, or other actions. An attorney may be able to prove that a driver was distracted, resulting in the accident.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Driving impaired and under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. These substances can lower a person’s reaction speeds, limit their ability to think rationally and inhibit their depth perception. Drivers who are in an accident while impaired will face criminal charges. However, just because they face criminal charges does not mean that they will be automatically liable for the accident. Their impairment must be the cause of the accident to be held civilly liable.
  • Reckless Driving: This includes speeding, tailgating, changing or merging lanes too quickly or without signaling, or failing to follow the laws and signals on the road. When a driver is reckless or aggressive on the road, they may be partially or fully liable if they cause an accident.
  • Driving Fatigued: Driving fatigued makes a driver more likely to cause an accident, but it can be very difficult to prove that a person was fatigued behind the wheel.
  • Bad Road Conditions: Although the condition of the road is not always in a driver’s control, drivers do have a responsibility to react appropriately to road and weather conditions. This includes slowing their speed and driving more cautiously.

Each car accident is unique, and the crash may have been caused by many different parties or uncontrollable factors. Your attorney can help you investigate the cause of the accident.

How Can an Attorney Help?

An attorney can help you file your claim correctly, negotiate the claim for you, and reach a conclusion more efficiently. An attorney is also likely to get substantially more compensation than you would have on your own. Your attorney guides you through the entire claims process while protecting your interests. Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting the legal rights of injured victims. For proof, check our extensive list of successful settlements and satisfied clients.

Your attorney also has a clear understanding of your claim’s value. This helps during negotiations with insurance providers. Insurance providers also treat attorneys differently than unrepresented claimants.

Unfortunately, these companies only focus on the bottom line, and they may try underhanded tactics to prevent you from obtaining the compensation you deserve. You may believe that your claim has a lesser value and accept a settlement that only covers a fraction of your damages. When these companies deal with attorneys, they know these tactics will not work.

Don’t let greedy insurance adjusters push you into a settlement before you know all the facts and your legal options. With a skilled attorney on your side, you don’t have to negotiate or deal with red tape. Plus, we’ll simplify the legal process from beginning to end and deal with the insurance company head-on. If an insurance provider refuses to give you fair compensation, your attorney can bring the claim to court and advocate for what you need to the judge or jury.

Contact a Skilled Car Accident Law Firm in Calcasieu Parish

When you are not to blame for a car accident, you should not have to shoulder the financial burdens of one. At the Cox Law Firm, our team has the dedication and skill needed to help you with your car accident claim. We are proud to serve those in our community who need caring and straightforward legal care in the overwhelming aftermath of an accident.

Get the legal representation that you deserve! With nearly 50 years of experience, the Cox Law Firm is prepared to take your case as far as it needs to go to get justice. When you are dealing with the costs of an accident, contact our attorneys. Consultations are free, and our personal injury cases are on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid if we win your case. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, you need the Cox Law Firm. Call 337-436-6611 to schedule a consultation today.

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