When you get into a car accident, you could need long-term medical care and help paying for expenses at home. Insurance is designed to cover these expenses, but whenever injuries are involved, insurance companies start fighting back and trying to reduce or deny payments.
After a car accident involving injuries – even minor ones – you should consider working with a car accident attorney. A lawyer can stand between you and the insurance companies, assemble evidence to build a strong case, and even take the case to court to get you the damages you need.
For help with your car accident case, call the Baton Rouge, LA car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (225) 269-8930. We offer free case evaluations to get you started.
Damages Available in a Baton Rouge Car Accident Case
When you file your case through insurance, you may not get all of the damages you are entitled to. Insurance policies in Louisiana are required to have at least $15,000 coverage for injury per person ($30,000 per accident) and $25,000 for property damage (per accident). This means that if the driver who hit you had only minimum insurance, you could need additional money from them to cover the rest of your injuries – money you can often claim through a lawsuit.
In any car accident injury case, the damages you can claim will depend on what damages you suffered. Many people first think about the damages to their vehicle (or the cost of replacing their vehicle if it was totaled). These damages can be claimed in a car insurance claim or a car accident lawsuit, along with any other property damage (e.g., for personal items or cargo lost or destroyed in the accident). However, the more important damages are often those for physical injuries.
When you are injured in a crash, your Baton Rouge car accident attorneys can help you claim compensation for any of the following injury-related expenses:
- Surgical costs
- Hospital stays
- Ambulance rides and other medical transportation costs
- X-rays, scans, and tests
- Follow-up care
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Lost household services
- Childcare expenses during treatment
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
These and many other damages can be claimed in many cases – often above and beyond what the insurance company is willing to pay in an early settlement.
Determining Who’s at Fault in a Baton Rouge Car Accident Case
One of the most important issues in a car accident case is the issue of fault. Courts only order damages after the victim can prove that the other driver was at fault for the crash. Insurance companies work under a similar fault-based system. This means you and your Baton Rouge car accident lawyers will need to present evidence of what happened and arguments as to why the other driver was at fault.
Although the specific facts of car accident cases can vary widely, there are some common types of car accident cases that usually have a particular driver at fault for the crash:
Usually, the driver to the rear is at fault in a rear-end crash. it is illegal to tailgate another driver, so crashing because they did not give themselves enough space to stop usually puts them at fault. Similarly, drivers cannot hit a stationary car in front of them, which often happens only in cases of speeding or other unsafe driving.
However, if the car in front was backing up at the time of the crash or the driver slammed on the brakes to “brake-check” the car behind them, the driver in front could be at fault instead.
Usually, cars are “T-boned” in intersections when one driver crashes into a car already in the intersection. Fault in these crashes is usually determined by looking at who entered the intersection illegally.
Usually, the car that entered the intersection first will be the car that gets T-boned, but that doesn’t mean they are the victim. If the first car ran a red light and then got hit by a car with a green light, the first driver would be at fault. Alternatively, if the first driver was driving through an intersection legally when the second driver blew a stop sign, the second driver would be at fault. Your Baton Rouge car accident lawyers can look at the posted lights and signs and help determine who was at fault in your specific case.
Left Turn Crashes
Accidents are most common where one driver crosses another driver’s path. With left turns, the driver making the left turn is always required to yield to oncoming traffic. the main exception to this is when a driver has a green arrow signal telling them they are free to go. If an oncoming driver making a left turn fails to yield, fails to use a turn signal, does not slow down into the turn, or otherwise makes any unreasonable mistakes while turning, they are likely at fault for the crash. However, the driver going straight could be at fault if they did something unsafe like speed up to pressure the turning driver.
Whenever a driver gets behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol, they are likely to be at fault for any accident they cause. However, fault could be shared between both drivers if the sober driver also made mistakes or violated traffic laws. If you were hit by a drunk driver, you should contact a Baton Rouge car accident attorney immediately, as these cases are often very serious.
When a crash happens because one driver was going over the speed limit, the speeding driver is usually at fault. In many cases, both drivers could have been breaking the speed limit, which might mean assigning partial fault to each driver and looking at other factors to determine who was “more” at fault.
Call Our Baton Rouge Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you were hurt in a car accident, contact the Baton Rouge, LA car accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our attorneys offer free case evaluations. Call us now at (225) 269-8930.