A Lafayette Personal Injury Lawyer With Results
At the heart of any valid personal injury claim or lawsuit is negligence. The injured party must be able to prove that the negligence or recklessness of another caused his or her injuries. After identifying the responsible parties, injured individuals can file personal injury claims or sue for financial compensation for such losses as medical bills, lost wages and long-term care, as well as pain and suffering. The personal injury claims process is typically lengthy and complex, with mountains of paperwork and tough negotiations between opposing parties, injury lawyers, and insurance companies.
How a Lafayette personal injury attorney can help
Since the Louisiana statute of limitations only allows one year for victims to file a claim or lawsuit for their injuries, Lafayette personal injury attorneys must take legal action promptly. And injured workers are often anxious to receive a recovery that supports their families while they get their lives back on track.
In most cases, the threat of time-consuming and costly litigation is enough to bring opposing parties to the table to negotiate acceptable out of court settlements. But some must resort to litigation and fight for an adequate jury award.
As a Louisiana personal injury lawyer, I have more than 30 years of experience fighting companies or individuals whose negligence and recklessness caused my clients to struggle with devastating, life-altering injuries and disabilities. My experience runs the gamut of personal injury claims, including medical malpractice and workers compensation.
Effective personal injury law firm in Lafayette
As a Lafayette car accident attorney, I handle personal injury claims stemming from automobile and big rig accidents, and my track record includes many multimillion-dollar settlements won on behalf of gravely injured clients.
Since automobile insurance companies work hard to find ways to limit their liabilities, they often contest claims for significant sums of money. Or they try to shift the blame to the injured party to avoid a big payout. That is why you can benefit from a competent personal injury lawyer in Lafayette who is dedicated to putting your interests first and fighting for you.
I also have extensive experience as an oil rig injury lawyer, and filing personal injury claims under the Jones Act, maritime law and other federal and state laws governing offshore platform injury or offshore drilling.
Consult a Lafayette personal injury law firm today
If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, contact the Jim Lambert Law Firm 337-446-2766 by filling out our contact us form. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if I agree to handle your case, I will work on a contingency fee basis, which means I get paid for my service only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call now to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.
Personal Injury Claims Filed with Insurance Companies
In virtually every case involving a claim for personal injury, the claim will begin with some interaction between the injured person or his family and the insurance carrier for the party at fault. The most common type of personal injury claim in Louisiana arises in the context of an automobile accident. Following an automobile accident, an injured party may be contacted initially by the insurance carrier for the party at fault. The person calling the injured party may be an insurance investigator or claims representative who merely gathers information. The person contacting you may be the insurance adjuster, who is actually managing the claim for the insurance company.
Should I Talk To An Adjuster Or Insurance Company Representative
It is fairly common for the insurance representative to ask the injured the party to give a statement describing his version of the accident and what injuries he is experiencing, along with a description of any medical treatment or financial losses he has incurred to date. At this point, the injured person may choose to give a statement to the insurance representative and may also choose to handle his own claim with the insurance company without the assistance of an attorney.
Frankly, many minor claims which involve primarily property damage and some minor medical expenses can and should be handled by individuals without the assistance of an attorney. However, claims that involve serious and prolonged personal injuries and damages, or claims which involve circumstances where the fault or liability is contested, pose different considerations. In some cases, the insurance representatives may certainly have an agenda to protect their insured and insurance company, rather than objectively gathering the facts. In such instances, a layperson can be led by an experienced insurance investigator into making statements or making admissions against his own interest, which can seriously damage his claim. My position is that individuals who have experienced serious personal injuries which could result in permanent or partial disability (or individuals who are involved in civil claims that are highly contested) should consult an experienced trial attorney before giving a statement to any insurance carrier or representative. In order to understand some of the insurance procedures for making claims, I will set forth below a few terms and concepts which are helpful to know when beginning a claim process.
1. Claims Adjuster – This is the individual hired by an insurance company to manage the claim by collecting information, including medical bills and evidence of damage, investigating the facts, and making recommendations to the insurance company for the amount to be paid to settle the claim.
2. Claims Representative – Many companies hire individuals to perform the initial intake and gather the very basic information about a claim. This claims representative may obtain information regarding insurance coverage, gather the accident report, and take photographs of the accident scene. He usually then refers the matter to an insurance adjuster, who will manage the claim and make the ultimate recommendations for settlement.
3. Property Damage Appraisers – In most automobile accidents, insurance companies will send an individual trained in assessing property damage to make a personal inspection of the vehicle damaged in the accident. This appraiser may go to the body shop or storage lot where the vehicle is being stored or may visit your home or business if the vehicle is still driveable. The job of the appraiser is to obtain information on the property damage and then to compute the cost of repairs.
4. Medical Releases – Both Louisiana and federal law require a person to sign a written consent in order for another entity to obtain his medical records. Insurance carriers will routinely send medical releases to be signed by the injured party in order that the insurance carrier can obtain copies of the medical bills and records. This is also a task that can be done by your attorney, should you decide to retain counsel. In that case, your attorney will make the decisions on what records to gather and furnish to the insurance carrier.