Lake Charles Personal Injury Lawyer

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Accidents and the resulting injuries can have a profound effect on your emotions, finances, and physical abilities. Their life-changing potential makes them a source of stress and anxiety for millions of Americans. When you are injured because of someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to suffer the financial consequences. A Lake Charles personal injury lawyer can help after an accident. With the aid of a skilled attorney, the at-fault party should take responsibility for the medical bills from your injury.

Whether your personal injury is minor or catastrophic, if another person or group was responsible, you deserve compensation. An attorney is a necessary ally as you navigate a personal injury claim, as they are able to investigate the accident, determine the cause and the at-fault party, and gather relevant evidence to support your claim. When an attorney handles your civil personal injury claim, you are able to relax and be confident that your claim has its greatest chance of success.

The Cox Law Firm: Personal Injury Attorneys in Calcasieu Parish

It’s important that you find an attorney with skill and experience in personal injury law. They can review your situation to determine if you have a potential claim. An experienced attorney can efficiently investigate, file, and negotiate your claim, saving you time and energy.

At the Cox Law Firm, we’ve helped injured victims seek the compensation they deserve, no matter how challenging the case may be. We’ll take the burden off your shoulders by handling your case from start to finish. We understand how financially and emotionally straining a personal injury is, so we do what we can to lessen your stress and get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries or readjust your life.

Our team has worked for years in personal injury law, from car accident claims to workplace injuries to animal attacks. We have negotiated and litigated both individual claims and class-action claims, and we are proud to serve those in our community. We know that compensation is essential for those suffering from a personal injury, and we want to help.

What Is Personal Injury?

Personal injuries are any injury caused by the negligence of another.

Negligence means that someone has failed to act as any reasonable person. Preventable or not, personal injury accidents are caused by carelessness. That’s why victims of negligence can seek funds to cover their pain, suffering, and medical expenses. For someone to be liable for their negligent actions after you suffer an injury, the following must be true:

  1. That party owed you a duty of care.
  2. The party breached that duty of care.
  3. Their breach caused the accident and injury.
  4. You suffered an injury as a result, along with other economic damages.

If you can prove all those elements, then that party is liable for all the economic and noneconomic damages you suffered due to the accident. The party did not have to intend to cause you harm to be held liable. Negligence is not the only basis for fault in an accident, but it is the most common. Recklessness, intentional misconduct, vicarious liability, and even strict liability may also result in another party being at fault and, therefore, liable for your damages.

What Can I Be Compensated For?

There are several things you can receive compensation for after an accident. Once you prove another party or parties liable for the accident, you can recover any losses.

It depends on the details surrounding your injury but, in general, victims receive compensation for:

  • Lost Wages: If you missed work to rest, recover from an injury, or attend doctor’s appointments, the income you should have earned is compensable in your settlement.
  • Disability: If you are disabled or otherwise permanently impaired, your settlement may cover these noneconomic damages, along with damages like loss of quality of life and loss of consortium.
  • Loss of Future Earning Abilities: In some cases, you suffer a catastrophic injury. If you can never work full time or be employed at all, the wages you would have earned in your lifetime are part of the settlement.
  • Emotional Distress: Pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and other noneconomic damages may be part of your compensation.
  • Disfigurement/Mutilation: If your accident permanently disfigured you, this is a form of emotional and psychological harm that is recognized by the court, and it is compensable.
  • Therapy Costs: Physical or mental therapy costs following an accident are compensable.
  • Medical Treatment: A settlement covers any current or expected medical costs caused by your injury. This includes surgeries, mobility aids, medical devices, hospital transport, prescriptions, and other costs.
  • Funeral Costs: If you lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, one type of damages that you can claim is funeral and burial or cremation costs.
  • Wrongful Death: Surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim, which can recover losses like the loss of income, emotional support, benefits, and inheritance.

These damages are essential for those whose lives have been permanently altered or currently set back by a personal injury. Unfortunately, insurance companies only look out for their best interests. They’ll lowball you or deny compensation altogether.

Without an attorney, you may accept a settlement that is less than your claim’s value. As Lake Charles personal injury attorneys, it is our job to prevent this from happening. We can review your damages, current and future, to effectively determine the true settlement value you deserve. Some cases are settled out of court, but many times taking legal action is the only way to get the money you deserve.

How Soon Do I Need to File a Personal Injury Claim in Lake Charles?

There is a short period of time to file a civil claim, which is why it is important to quickly work with an attorney. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Louisiana is one year from the date when the injury was sustained. The statute of limitations exists to prevent unending liability and to ensure that claims are filed while evidence is still recent and intact. Waiting too long to file your claim may result in you being unable to claim for any damages.

There are some situations where the time limit is extended. For example, if you were unaware that you were injured, or your injury is a developmental injury or illness, you may be able to file within a year of discovering the injury or condition. There are other situations where the statute of limitations may be extended, so be sure to talk with an attorney to see if your case may qualify.

In addition to the time-limit requirements, working with an attorney immediately after an accident is beneficial for other reasons. Your rights can be protected from the outset of your case. It also gives your attorney time to investigate and create a strong claim before it needs to be filed.

What Are Common Causes of Personal Injury Claims?

Personal injuries can range from minor to life-altering. Common causes of injuries and personal injury claims include:

Car Accidents

Car accidents are a frequent cause of personal injuries. Drivers owe each other a duty of care. Acts of negligence may include speeding, distracted driving, ignoring traffic signals, or even driving under the influence. When these careless and reckless actions result in an accident, that driver is considered at fault for the accident. In Louisiana, car insurance claims are filed with the provider of the at-fault driver. Your attorney can help you file and negotiate these claims.

In some cases, additional compensation is needed from your own insurance company due to under- or uninsured drivers. In cases where a driver caused an accident through intentional misconduct or you suffered much greater injuries than an insurance claim can cover, you may need to file a civil personal injury claim.

Truck Accidents

Accidents between commercial trucks and passenger cars have some basic similarities with other car accidents, but these cases are significantly more complex. This is partially due to the incredibly severe damage that commercial vehicles can cause. It is also due to the involvement of several potential at-fault parties. If the driver of the truck is liable, their employer may also be liable.

Many other parties can also be partially or fully liable, such as:

  • Maintenance crews
  • Third-party shipping companies
  • The trucking company
  • The manufacturer or distributor of a vehicle component
  • The agency responsible for road upkeep
  • Others on the road

It requires a thorough investigation of the accident and its cause to determine the party or parties that are at fault, and an attorney with the resources to conduct this investigation is critical.

When the trucking company or other business entity is partially liable, you will have to deal with their insurance provider. The agents representing these companies are given significant resources to limit their liability. When you work with an attorney, you can put yourself in a more even negotiating position with these companies.

Rideshare Accidents

Being in a car accident while you are using a rideshare service can be stressful and complicated. It’s important to work with an attorney who understands these cases. Depending on the at-fault driver, these incidents may be handled like other car accidents, or they may involve the insurance of the rideshare company.

Motorcycle Accidents

When motorcycles are in a collision with passenger cars or other larger vehicles, they suffer the initial collision impact. Then, they are often thrown from their motorcycle and suffer a secondary impact on the ground. The lack of safety features on motorcycles increases the likelihood of catastrophic and deadly injuries.

Although both drivers and riders can be liable for these accidents, those in vehicles often suffer little to no damages, while motorcyclists may be permanently disabled. Under the state’s comparative negligence laws, a motorcyclist who is partially at fault can still recover partial damages. This is essential for individuals who are severely injured.

Animal Attacks

Most animal attack personal injury claims result from dog bites. Other domesticated animals can also cause injury, such as birds, cats, and other pets. In Louisiana, pet owners are not held strictly liable for injuries caused by their animals. Instead, they must be found negligent to be liable for damages. For example, if the owner knew that their animal was dangerous, they may be found negligent. An experienced attorney is needed to prove that a pet owner is liable.

In some cases, you can also file a claim for a wild animal attack. If you were attacked on someone’s property due to improper security or lack of addressing the hazard in a reasonable amount of time, you could file a premises liability claim. It’s important to talk with an attorney, as most attacks by wild animals cannot be prevented.

Workplace Accidents

Personal injuries can happen in any type of workplace. When you are injured on the job, you are likely able to file for workers’ compensation. This also applies to developmental illnesses and repetitive motion injuries. Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which protects workers who are injured on the job and shields employers from personal liability. A workers’ compensation claim can recover the cost of medical bills and a portion of lost income.

For most employees who are injured while working, workers’ compensation is the only way they can recover damages. In rare situations, an injured employee may be able to file a personal injury claim against a third party. A personal injury claim includes noneconomic damages and full lost wages. Your attorney can help you determine your eligibility.

Maritime and Offshore Accidents

Maritime and offshore rig employees work incredibly dangerous jobs. Daily work can be treacherous, and these worksites have the potential for incredibly dangerous and fatal accidents. These include chemical spills, fires, machinery malfunctions, and explosions.

Employees who are injured may be able to recover compensation from workers’ compensation or from a personal injury claim. Certain maritime employees may be able to recover more compensation through the Jones Act, and it’s important that your attorney understands how these claims work.

Construction Accidents

Construction sites carry the greatest hazards for employees. Sudden accidents on construction sites can involve:

  • Falling tools
  • Collapsing scaffolding
  • Falls from heights
  • Malfunctioning machinery
  • Collapsing trenches
  • Electrocution
  • Burn injuries

Additionally, employees can develop illnesses or injuries over time from chemical exposure, exposure to hazardous materials, or breathing in dust and debris. A workers’ compensation claim can recover some damages.

Sudden construction accidents can also impact contractors, subcontractors, and bystanders. If the accident was caused by negligence, a personal injury claim may be an option.

Wrongful Death

When another party’s negligence leads to someone’s death, that person’s surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim. Although a wrongful death claim cannot recover the loss of a loved one, it can still help a family. A wrongful death claim can cover medical costs, funeral costs, and loss of income. It can bring them financial stability and ensure that the at-fault party is held accountable for their actions.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

A personal injury attorney increases the chances of a personal injury claim being successful, and their work is likely to increase the compensation you earn from a claim. There are several ways a personal injury attorney can help, such as:

  • Reviewing your case to determine if you have a potential personal injury claim
  • Helping you through the process of filing a claim
  • Ensuring that the paperwork is completed correctly and within the time limit
  • Providing legal knowledge and helping you make informed decisions about how you approach your claim
  • Handling important paperwork and negotiating with insurance providers
  • Investigating your accident, injury, its cause, and the at-fault party
  • Helping prove liability in your injury claim
  • Determining the value of your claim by use of their own experience and the resources of the firm, including medical and financial professionals
  • Representing you in court if it is necessary to obtain compensation

When an experienced attorney guides you through this process, you are able to rest, recover, and place confidence in the attorney’s ability to navigate your claim.

How Do I Choose an Attorney?

There are hundreds of personal injury lawyers who could represent your case. Having so many options can make picking an attorney daunting, so consider the following tips when starting your search:

  • If you’ve worked with a lawyer that doesn’t practice injury law, ask them for a referral. Family and friends can be great referral sources as well.
  • Choose an attorney that is rated on Avvo.com. This website helps you find local lawyers and gives you access to reviews from previous clients and legal peers.
  • The Louisiana State Bar Association provides multiple resources and tools to help you find a local attorney.
  • Consult with several attorneys and research their backgrounds, specialties, and successfully settled cases.

Once you’ve narrowed your options, think about how comfortable you are with those attorneys. Having a good relationship with your lawyer can be crucial to a successful outcome.

Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys

Clients come to us terrified of what will happen if they aren’t compensated for their injuries. Don’t worry.

We know personal injury law and we know what damages injured victims are entitled to. You’re never alone. Our attorneys are here to help at every turn. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury caused by someone else’s negligence, contact us. Call 337-436-6611 to schedule your free consultation.

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