baton rouge personal injury Archives - Murphy Law Firm

I was In an Car Accident While in an Uber/Lyft, What do I do?

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become extremely popular across the country, and even right here in Louisiana plenty of people use Uber and Lyft as transportation on a daily basis. But, just like any mode of transportation accidents are bound to happen, and when they do, you need to know what to do. If you were in a car accident while riding in an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare, here is what you need to do following an accident. 

Get Everyone’s Information and Gather Evidence 

Obviously, your first priority needs to be ensuring that everyone is safe and that the authorities and emergency services are called to the scene. Once you are sure everyone is safe, including yourself, you need to gather the information of everyone involved in the car accident. You need to get the driver’s names, their insurance information, and the names and contact information for any other witnesses at the scene. 

You also should try and take pictures of the accident with your phone if you are able to. Try to capture the state of all vehicles involved in the crash, especially your Uber or Lyft, the road conditions, and any other evidence that may be relevant to the car accident such as a low hanging limb blocking a street sign or a traffic light that is not working, etc. Evidence that is collected on the scene usually is very valuable later in the legal proceedings, but if you are unable to collect this evidence at the scene, do not fret. Your personal injury attorney will have a team on their staff that specializes in investigating car accidents and collecting evidence so that they can try and reconstruct what happened, and who is to blame for the accident. 

Document Your Injuries and Seek Medical Attention

Injuries that occur as a result of a car accident do not always show themselves right away. It could be days or weeks later when you start to feel pain from your car accident. The best steps you can take after you were involved in a car accident is to thoroughly document your injuries and seek medical attention. Cuts, bruises, etc heal over time, and it is important to show their true extent. Take pictures of your injuries frequently to document the recovery time and their seriousness. 

If you are in pain, or have cuts and bruises, seek medical attention after a car accident. It is important to have your doctor examine your injuries not only for your health, but also for your personal injury case. If you want to recover compensation for your injuries, you need medical records that detail the extent and costs of your injuries as a result of the car accident. It is important to note that your injuries may not fully present themselves for a couple weeks. If you’ve seen a doctor regarding your car accident, and then you start to feel new pains, you need to go back to your doctor and get examined again. Injuries like whiplash might not show up the first time you see your doctor, and this injury could have a big effect on you for years to come. 

Do Not Speak With Insurance Adjusters or Uber/Lyft Representatives 

If you were hurt while riding in a rideshare, you may get contacted by Uber or Lyft, or the insurance companies for the drivers involved in the car accident. Do not give any one of these parties a statement regarding the accident you were involved in or the state of your injuries until you speak with a personal injury attorney. They may even offer you money to sign away your right to a lawsuit. Like we said previously, car accident injuries can take days or even weeks to fully present themselves. Do not sign away your rights and take quick cash before you know the true extent of your injuries. 

Can I Sue Uber or Lyft for My Accident?

Since Uber and Lyft drivers are technically classified as independent contractors, suing Uber or Lyft directly is usually not an option. The good news is that both Uber and Lyft have 1 million dollar liability coverage on their rides so you won’t need to sue either company in most cases to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. 

Hire a Baton Rouge Car Accident Attorney

If you’ve been hurt while riding in an Uber or Lyft, you need to hire a Baton Rouge car accident attorney with trial experience. Having a car accident lawyer on your side will not only help you deal with the insurance companies as you pursue fair compensation for your injuries and damages, but when you hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you, you increase your chances of getting a favorable settlement or decision at trial. You can’t do this alone. After your car accident, seek legal help as soon as you can. It will be a big help to your case. 

Murphy Law Firm has a team of personal injury attorneys with over 150 years of combined litigation experience. We have handled car accidents involving Uber and Lyft, and all of our injury lawyers are prepared to take a case to trial if that is what it takes to get our clients fair compensation. Other lawyers will only focus on settling your case as quickly as they can, but at Murphy Law Firm we focus on getting you the compensation that you will need to recover. Contact our team today to set up a FREE consultation with a car accident attorney. Call (225) 928-8800 to speak with an attorney about your case today!

How Long After A Car Accident Can You File A Personal Injury Claim In Louisiana?

If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, you may be considering filing a personal injury claim to recover damages for your injuries, lost wages, medical bills, and more. So, how long after a car accident do you have to file a personal injury claim? The amount of time that you are allowed under the law to file your lawsuit is known as the Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations on personal injury lawsuits varies state by state. Let’s explore the Statute of Limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Louisiana, and investigate the possible exceptions that may be made.

The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Louisiana

In the state of Louisiana, you have one year from the date of your car accident to file a personal injury claim. The Statute of Limitations for personal injury lawsuits is shorter in Louisiana than it is in most other states. If you try to bring a personal injury lawsuit to court more than a year after your accident, the defendant’s lawyer will simply ask the judge to dismiss your case, and they will in almost every case except a few. 

Exceptions to Louisiana’s Statute of Limitations

A year is not much time, so it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as you possibly can after an accident. However, in a few specific instances the one year Statute of Limitations in Louisiana does not apply. 

1. Minors

The Statute of Limitations does not apply to minors aged under 18 in the state of Louisiana. For injured victims under the age of 18, the Statute of Limitations clock doesn’t begin to run until they turn 18. Once they turn 18, they have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you were hurt in a car accident at the age of 6, you would have roughly 13 years to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

2. Defective Products, Drugs, and More

In some cases, like dangerous prescription drugs, defective products, etc, the Statute of Limitations doesn’t begin until the injured victim could have reasonably discovered the causes of their injuries. Whether it be a medication they were using, or a product they used or were exposed too, injured victims in Louisiana are protected from the one year Statute of Limitations if they couldn’t have reasonably known that the medication, product, etc, was injuring them or causing them harm. For example, if you took medication for an ailment, and then four years later found out that the medication you took was dangerous and it caused you harm or injury, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana. The Statute of Limitations in cases like these does not begin until the relevant information, damages, etc are reasonably discoverable by the victim. 

Have Recent Tort Reform Bills Affected the Statute of Limitations?

The first version of the tort reform bill, LA SB 418, proposed raising the Statute of Limitations from one year to two years in order to give injured victims and insurance companies more time to reach a fair settlement. However, SB 418 was ultimately vetoed by Governor Edwards, and the bill failed to garner a veto proof majority. LA HB 57 eventually did pass into law. This bill contained a number of similarities to SB 418, but, ultimately, HB 57 did not raise the Statute of Limitations. Under current Louisiana law, the Statute of Limitations in personal injury cases remains at one year. 

Baton Rouge Personal Injury Lawyers

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, it is important to seek legal help from a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. In Louisiana, the clock starts ticking the moment your accident occurs. Murphy Law Firm is here to help injured victims navigate the complexities of a personal injury lawsuit. We have over 150 years of combined litigation experience, and we are not afraid to bring a case to trial if that is what it takes to get our clients fair settlement terms. Call us at (225) 928-8800 to get in touch with a personal injury attorney.

I’ve Been Hurt, What Damages Can I Sue for in my Personal Injury Case?

When you’re injured in an accident, certain aspects of your life can be forever altered. Accident victims are entitled to compensation under Louisiana law for the damages they incur. Hiring a personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure that you receive compensation for all of the damages you’ve sustained as a result of your accident. In Louisiana, damages are classified in two ways, economic and non-economic. All damages that a specific value can be assigned to are economic damages, and damages that are more subjective and harder to quantify in monetary terms are non-economic. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you may be wondering what you can recover compensation for. Let’s explore the question in more detail below.

Medical Bills

Medical treatment, even with health insurance, is not cheap, especially if you have been seriously hurt in an accident. Medical costs add up quickly and range from the various doctor visits, medications, rehab appointments, and more that you may be a part of your life for months, years, and in severe cases for the rest of your life. In Louisiana you are entitled to compensation for the cost of the medical bills you incurred, and potentially the estimated costs of future medical treatments depending on the severity of your accident. 

Property Damages

Accidents can do serious damage to your property too. You can receive compensation for loss of property. This includes costs of repairs, or the monetary value of the item at a fair market price. For example, if you were in a car accident, you would be entitled to receiving compensation for the costs of repairing the car. Let’s say you also had a set of golf clubs or a suit in your car that were also damaged or destroyed, you would also be entitled to the fair market price of these items as well. 

Lost Wages

An accident injury could also keep you out of work, and limit or even stop your ability to earn a living. In Louisiana victims are entitled to compensation for the work they have already missed as a result of their injury, and to future earnings they would have made were it not for the accident that caused their injury. Accidents can have a large economic impact on victims, and lost wage damages help save injured parties from potential economic ruin. 

Pain and Suffering 

Accidents cause more damage to victims’ lives than what can be easily seen and given a monetary value. In Louisiana personal injury law victims are allowed to recover compensation for pain and suffering. These types of damages include but are not limited to:

  • Physical pain
  • Physical impairment and disfigurement 
  • Emotional pain, anguish, and mental disorders
  • Loss of enjoyment 
  • Loss of companionship 
  • Loss of consortium 
  • And more

Loss of consortium damages generally refer to the spousal relationship. Accidents can have a serious impact on relationships from loss of companionship to loss of an ability to maintain a sexual relationship. Placing a monetary value on the pain and suffering damages a victim suffers after an accident is a tough task and is very subjective. 

Punitive Damages

Finally, injured victims may be entitled to receive punitive damages too if the defendants actions that led to or caused the accident were especially egregious. These damages are designed to punish the party at fault and set an example to deter individuals in the future from doing something similar. The easiest example of punitive damages  to give is accidents caused by drunk drivers. On top of all of the other damages already listed, the drunk driver would also be penalized and forced to pay punitive damages to the injured party. The goal of punitive damages is two-fold, punish the person who broke the law, and set an example to try to deter people from drunk driving in the future. 

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Maximize Your Potential Compensation

If you have been hurt in an accident, hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure that you recover all possible compensation available to you under the law. Personal injury attorneys study the law, they have a wealth of experience with injured victims and understand the typical damages awarded for the different types of injury cases they handle. Be sure that you don’t settle for a settlement mill, or else you could miss out on potential compensation.

Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorneys

Sometimes the only way to ensure that you receive all of the compensation that you are entitled to is to go to court. You need a personal injury attorney who is not afraid to take a case to court if that is what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve. The personal injury team at Murphy Law Firm has over 150 years of combined litigation experience, and they are not afraid to take a case to court. Learn more about our team, and contact us if you have been hurt in an accident. We can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.

5 Ways You Can Maximize Your Potential Personal Injury Recovery

Trying to deal with insurance companies after you’ve been in an accident, especially if you were hurt, can be confusing. Insurance companies will use your confusion against you to try and minimize the amount of money they will have to pay out. You have to remember that insurance companies, especially the companies that do not represent you, are not interested in what is fair for you. These companies are interested in one thing only and that is minimizing their financial liability. Insurance adjusters might tell you many things. If you are unsure about anything that they are saying, contact a personal injury attorney. Below are 5 ways you can help yourself maximize your potential financial recovery.

1. Do Not Give a Recorded Statement 

After your accident, sometimes they’ll even show up at the scene of your accident, an insurance adjuster may try and get you to give them a recorded statement regarding the nature of your accident. First, you are not obligated to give them this statement. Second, this recorded statement will only be used against you in order to minimize your recovery. Rarely, a recorded statement won’t hurt your chances for financial recovery, but giving the insurance company a recorded statement WILL NEVER help you. Be aware that an insurance adjuster may call you and record your conversation saying that they just need the facts of the incident. If you ever make a statement to the insurance companies, it should be done so with your attorney present. 

2. Your Attorney Can Give the Insurance Adjusters Evidence

Just like recorded statements, you shouldn’t be giving the insurance adjuster any evidence to value the claim. Your personal injury attorney is more than capable of providing the insurance adjuster with all of the relevant accident information they need to properly value the claim. By trying to give this evidence yourself, you could inadvertently say or do something that the insurance company could use against you to minimize your recovery. The insurance companies will use anything that you say or do in an attempt to minimize your recovery claims. In all matters you should let your personal injury lawyer handle the insurance companies if you want to maximize your financial recovery. 

3. Do Not Settle Too Quickly

It is best to have a lawyer to advise you when it comes to settlement. If you settle too early, you may be missing out on additional compensation especially if you settle before the true extent of your injuries are known. Insurance companies will come out to the scene of your accident or visit you in person shortly after your accident and offer you money. Do not take their money, or sign any of their papers. Their goal is to stay out of court and settle quickly. You will not get fair compensation from the insurance company without an attorney representing you. Also, be wary of settlement mill law firms who will sign up your case and settle it fast.

4. Hire a Personal Injury Attorney with Trial Experience

Insurance companies do not want to go to court. Going to court costs them more money, and their end goal is to minimize costs. They will try and settle the case out of court if they can. This is why you need a personal injury attorney who will go to court if that is what it takes to get fair compensation for their clients. Insurance companies know the personal injury lawyers in their area. They know who will take a case to court, and who won’t. If you hire a personal injury attorney with trial experience, the insurance companies will often offer better settlement terms because they know if they undervalue your claim your attorney will take them to court which will end up costing them even more money in the long run. 

5. Take Pictures

Modern technology makes taking a lot of pictures easier than it has ever been before. If it is safe, and you are able, take a lot of pictures at the scene of your accident. If it is a car accident, photograph the damage to both cars. Be as thorough as possible. This evidence will help your case, and it will prevent the insurance companies from trying to undervalue or downplay the extent of the damages. If you were injured, take daily pictures of your wounds. This evidence will show the true nature of your recovery and injuries. The more evidence you can give your attorney the more compensation they will be able to help you recover. 

Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorneys

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, the most important thing you can do is retain a personal injury attorney to represent your interests. Anything that you say or do can be used against you by the insurance companies to minimize your potential financial recovery. If you’ve been hurt in Baton Rouge, Murphy Law Firm is here to help you. Our team has over 150 years of litigation experience and a reputation with the insurance companies that we are not afraid to take a case to trial if that is what it takes to get our clients fair compensation for their injuries. Contact us today to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case. Call (225) 928-8800 to set up your FREE consultation.

What Happens When My Accident Case Goes to Trial?

A lot of personal injury cases will be settled before they go to trial, but sometimes the only way for you to get fair compensation for your injuries and damages is to take your case to court. Your personal injury attorney will know if your case needs to go to trial in order for you to receive the compensation you deserve. We’ll explore what an average personal injury trial looks like so you will have an idea of what to expect when your case goes to court. The length of your trial will depend on the complexity of your case and can last as little as a few days or longer than a few weeks.

What Can I Expect in a Louisiana Personal Injury Trial?

1. Selection of the Jury

Before the trial officially begins, your personal injury attorney, the attorney for the defendant, and the judge will work to select a jury for the case. This process involves asking potential jurors questions to determine whether or not they will be able to remain impartial during the trial. Eventually, twelve jurors are selected from the potential pool of jurors. These twelve jurors will be responsible for deciding the outcome of your case so choosing a fair jury is an important part of the trial.

2. Opening Statements

Now that the jury has been selected the trial can begin. Personal injury cases in the state of Louisiana begin with opening statements made by each party. Typically, your attorney will speak first since you are the one bringing the case to the court and the burden of proof is on you. These statements are used by both parties to outline their case or defense to the jury and set the table for the upcoming presentation of evidence.

3. Presentation of Evidence

Following the opening statements, both sides will present their evidence to the jury. Once again, since you (the plaintiff) are the one bringing the case to the court, your personal injury attorney will present evidence first in the form of witness and expert testimony, and other physical evidence or photographs. When your attorney has finished laying out your case, they will rest, and allow the defendant’s lawyers to present their evidence. During the presentation of evidence, each side is allowed to cross-examine, or question, the other side’s witnesses and experts. After cross-examination, a lawyer may re-question his or her witness or expert to mitigate any damages done on cross-examination.

4. Closing Arguments

After all of the evidence has been presented, both attorneys will have a chance to make their closing arguments. This is very similar to the opening statement. Each attorney will summarize their positions and cast the evidence in a favorable light for their case. Your lawyer will make the argument that the evidence shows that the defendant is responsible for your injuries. This will be the last chance they have to address the jury before they begin their deliberations.

5. Instructions to the Jury

Before the jury can begin to deliberate the evidence they have heard over the course of the trial, the judge instructs the jury in the legal standards that must be met in order to find the defendant guilty, and responsible for your injuries. The judge will decide which legal standards apply based on the evidence presented during the trial and the claims being made. The judge also describes the key legal concepts at stake, the various damages the jury can find for, and more. Once the jury has been given all of this information they are ready to deliberate.

6. Jury Deliberations

In this part of the trial, the jury decides whether or not the defendant is responsible for your injuries, and if they are, how much the damages are worth. This is the first chance the jury gets to openly discuss the case, evidence, and claims amongst themselves. When they reach a verdict, the judge is notified and the verdict is read in open court.

Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorneys

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, contact Murphy Law Firm. Our team has over 150 years of litigation experience, and we are experienced trial lawyers. We’re not afraid to take a personal injury case to court if that is what it takes to secure our clients the compensation they deserve. Call Murphy Law Firm at (225) 928-8800 to learn more about the potential for your case and speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.

The Process for Bringing a Personal Injury Case to Court

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you are probably wondering if you should file a personal injury claim to recover damages. We know that the law and the legal process can be confusing or even intimidating to some people. We want to help educate everyone, who might be interested in filing a personal injury case in Louisiana, on what this process looks like in a typical case. Keep in mind, some of the following steps might not happen in your case if a fair settlement is reached before your case goes all the way to trial. We hope this outline helps you in your decision whether or not to file a personal injury claim. 

What are the Steps for Bringing a Personal Injury Case to Court in Louisiana?

1. Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

It would be very unwise to try and take a personal injury claim to court in Louisiana without a personal injury lawyer. The injury law in this state is complex. Furthermore, a good personal injury lawyer will have investigative resources to fully look into your case and gather all of the information that is going to be relevant in helping you secure a favorable result. After your injury, consult with a personal injury attorney to get a professional opinion about your case. They will help you take the next steps and pursue litigation. 

2. Your Personal Injury Attorney Investigates the Claim

The first thing your personal injury attorney will do is interview you. They will want you to provide every detail about the accident that you can remember. Following their interview with you, they will gather all of the available medical records and bills, accident reports, witness statements, and whatever other pertinent evidence is available. They will use this information to form the basis of your personal injury case. It can take a while for all of this information to be gathered and reviewed.

3. Your Lawyer Negotiates with the Other Side

In some cases, your personal injury lawyer may reach out to the lawyers or representatives of the insurance company before a lawsuit is even filed to see if they can secure you a fair settlement. An attorney with a wealth of trial experience will have a good idea about how much your injury case is worth, and they will push for a settlement that reflects the full value of your case. An experienced trial lawyer also has more leverage in these preliminary negotiations because the other side knows that if a fair settlement can’t be reached a lawsuit will be filed and they will be taken to trial. 

4. A Personal Injury Lawsuit is Filed

In the state of Louisiana there is a one year Statute of Limitations on personal injury cases. This means that your lawsuit needs to be filed with the court no more than one year from the date of your accident. Once your personal injury lawyer files a lawsuit the litigation phase of your case officially begins.

5. Discovery Phase

Now that your personal injury lawsuit has been officially filed, the discovery phase of your case begins. Simply put, this is when both sides, your lawyer and the other side’s lawyer, investigate what the injury claims and legal defenses are. Both sides will request documents and reports, interview witnesses, and take depositions. Depending on the complexity of the injury case this part of the process could take some time to complete. 

6. Further Negotiations and Mediation

As the discovery phase of your case winds down, your lawyer and the lawyer for the other side will typically talk about settlement to see if an agreement can be reached before trial. This is when it really pays to have a personal injury attorney with trial experience under their belt. The lawyers for the other party and the representatives for the insurance companies will know your attorney’s reputation, and if your lawyer has a reputation for settling cases and not taking cases to trial to pursue maximum compensation under the law, you probably won’t get a fair settlement offer before trial. In some cases, your case may go into mediation to see if a fair settlement can be reached by both parties without having to go to trial. 

7. Trial

If your lawyer is unable to get you a fair and reasonable settlement before trial, your case will go to court. Depending on your case the length of time it is in court will vary. Some cases take only a few days, and others take multiple weeks to conclude. There are many facets of a personal injury trial that we will cover in another blog post. If you hire a skilled personal injury lawyer with trial experience, you will have a skilled litigator on your side arguing your case in front of the judge and jury. Ultimately, at this stage the decision is left in the hands of the jury or judge.

Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have been hurt in an accident, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Murphy Law Firm. We have over 150 years of litigation experience. We are trial lawyers who defend injured victims. We will help you stand up to the big insurance companies and get fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to learn more about our team and your case. You can call Murphy Law Firm at any time at (225) 928-8800. Don’t be a victim twice!

Don’t Go In Alone. Get A Personal Injury Lawyer In Baton Rouge!

There’s a popular saying in the world of lawyers: “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” In fact, even most lawyers wouldn’t step into the courtroom to defend themselves. Why is that? Discover why representing yourself is not a good choice and get a personal injury lawyer in Baton Rouge for your case. 

Inexperience

In law school, we go through numerous practice cases to prepare for the day we step into court. Even for the smallest of cases, there are procedures and laws the defense and prosecution need to know. Not being familiar with these could have disastrous outcomes. For example, even if you know you’ve done no wrong, a skilled lawyer could bend things their way and make it seem as if you were the guilty party. Don’t be a victim twice. 

On the other hand, ignoring court procedures could be even worse. By going to court and refusing to answer questions, you’re held in contempt of court. Simply put—a pair of handcuffs are in your future. With the right aid, you could win your case and avoid an unfair night in jail.

Becoming Too Emotional

On the off chance you actually know what you’re talking about, you’re far too emotionally invested in your own case. When you’re emotional, there’s a higher chance you’ll make mistakes or have emotional outbursts. These outbursts hurt your case in the long run and make it harder to win. But with a skilled lawyer by your side, you can relax while they calmly navigate the case. You can leave your legal worries your lawyer. 

There’s Only You And The Court

Professionalism is at its highest standard in the courtroom. That’s why we’re always in our suits. Because it’s a serious business, the court expects everyone to come ready. Without a lawyer, there’s no buffer between you and the court. Not only that, but your judge and jury have no pity for you, nor will they help you out. In these situations, it can feel like it’s you against the world.

You Might Become Your Own Downfall

Because it’s only you, there’s a chance your inexperience could lead to a slip of the tongue. Rather, something incriminating could emerge and you’ll suddenly find yourself with a number of bills and a lost case. Before every case, lawyers run through every shred of evidence. And—because they’ve gone through years of training over what to say and not to say—your lawyer won’t say something to incriminate you. Do yourself a favor and get a personal injury lawyer in Baton Rouge to avoid facing the insurance companies alone.

Get A Great Personal Injury Attorney In Baton Rouge With Murphy Law Firm

Don’t fly solo and don’t become a victim twice! Get yourself a personal injury attorney in Baton Rouge so you have the best chances with your case. If you have any questions for us about why you should get a lawyer, give us a call at (225) 928-8800. Although, if you’re ready to talk about your case, send us a message for a free consultation with one of our law professionals. We can’t wait to help with your case.