baton rouge personal injury Archives - Murphy Law Firm

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.