People are human. Accidents happen. Sometimes it’s from negligence and sometimes, well, they just happen. It’s not always easy to tell if you have an actionable personal injury case. However, this unknowing this does not detract from the pain and confusion that can result when an accident or injury happens to you or a loved one. Our society encourages insurance purchases to pay to protect ourselves, and others, from negligence that causes harm. Insurers use statistics to determine how many accidents are likely to occur and then charge accordingly. The insurance companies are in business to cover certain injuries that may have happened to you.
Defining a Personal Injury Case
A Personal injury case is a legal dispute that arises when somebody suffers harm from an accident or injury, and the personal injury victim suspects that someone else might be legally responsible for that harm. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine who may be responsible and the likelihood of recovery.
This dispute can become formalized through legal proceedings that will show how your team believes that another is legally at fault. Sometimes these personal injury lawsuits lead to a trial. More often, they result in a settlement, often before a lawsuit is filed.
The amount and gravity of your personal injury case can be affected by the facts and the handling of your case.
- Formal “Lawsuit” f A formal personal injury case typically starts when a private individual (the “plaintiff”) files a civil “complaint” against another person, business, corporation, or government agency (the “Defendant”), alleging that they acted carelessly or irresponsibly in connection with an accident or injury that caused harm. This action is known as “filing a lawsuit”.
- Informal Settlement Most often disputes over fault for an accident or injury are resolved through informal early settlement. The most important part of a ‘settlement’ is “how much?” It has been written that some personal injury law firms will try to settle your personal injury case quickly, often lower than the true value of the case. So just because a “settlement” is offered by the insurance company, it may not be adequate compensation for what you believe represents your true injuries.
Why is There a Time Limit in a Personal Injury Case?
Injured parties have a limited time in which to file a lawsuit, called, under Louisiana’s Civil Law, “prescription,” and in other places, a “statute of limitations.” Generally speaking, the period of time dictated by a statute of limitations begins when the plaintiff is injured or discovers the injury. It does not stop when the insurance company is contacted. It only stops if (1) a formal personal injury lawsuit if filed or (2) the case is settled by agreement.
Statutes of limitations are established by law and vary by type of injury – car accidents have a general one-year limit in Louisiana, yet maritime cases often have a longer – three-year limitation.
The basic “prescription” or statute of limitations for Louisiana personal injury cases can be found here. It’s best not to wonder about the time limit, and the insurance company is not obligated to tell you what or when the case ends. It is wise to contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case.
Why Are So Many Personal Injury Lawyers Advertising?
Competition for personal injury cases is very high. According to a study conducted by a Law Professor, some law firms must settle cases quickly, and sometimes cheaply, to continue their massive advertising campaign. There are only so many personal injuries that give rise to a claim, especially a Baton Rouge personal injury claim. So, with a limited pool of injured parties, attorneys must compete to get the cases.
Recently, a public official speculated that lawyer advertising contributed to higher insurance rates in Louisiana.
This is important for you, the personal injury victim. You should shop around, and find a Baton Rouge personal injury attorney that has your best interest in mind, will return your phone calls and has the same idea of the value of your personal injury case that you have. Not all personal injury cases are paid the same amount by insurance companies.
Hopefully, with some research, and interviewing different attorneys, you can find the best Baton Rouge personal injury attorney for your case.
Free Personal Injury Claim Review
Any potential personal injury case requires a detailed understanding of the facts, the processes, and the law. If an accident has impacted your life, you will want to consult with an experienced attorney to see if you should pursue a lawsuit. Not sure if you have a case? You can always contact us and we will be happy to review your case for free,