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.

7 Ways Insurance Companies Try to Fool Car Accident Victims: The True Nature of Insurance

The time immediately after a car accident, or any accident that causes injuries, can be chaotic to say the least. Not only are you dealing with your health and the injuries you have sustained, but most likely, you will soon be dealing with a complicated legal situation that many people find confusing. Insurance companies use the chaos in the aftermath of a car accident to try and trick victims and reduce their ability to recover compensation. Remember, insurance companies do not make money when they pay out claims. Insurance companies make money by not paying the full value of injury claims, and they will try a number of different tactics to reduce your injury claim and protect their profits. Read below to learn about seven of the most common tactics insurance companies use against car accident victims. 

1. They Make Contact Quickly 

Immediately following your car accident a claims adjuster or representative from the insurance company is going to try and make contact with you. They may call you while you are in the hospital. It is not unheard of for them to actually show up at the site of your accident and try to talk to you. Why do they respond so quickly? Because they know that people are in a vulnerable state in the aftermath of an accident. They know that there is a good chance that you don’t have legal representation yet, and they know that more times than not, if they can talk to you quickly, you will say something that they can use to reduce your injury claim. You are not obligated to talk to anyone from the insurance company especially while you are in the hospital or at the scene of a car accident. 

2. They Try to Be Your Buddy

People are comfortable talking to their friends and people they trust. Insurance adjusters will try to be as friendly as possible when talking with you. They are trained to get close to you and foster a sense of friendship so you will talk to them. Insurance adjusters will ask how you are doing, and seem concerned for you and your injuries. They are not concerned. All they want is for you to say something that they can use to reduce your injury claim. 

3. They Will Twist Your Words

A common theme so far has been communication and language. The best bet for insurance companies is to use your own words against you. Insurance adjusters are trained to not admit fault for their covered drivers, and to seek ways to get you to claim responsibility for all or some of the accident and your injuries. One common trick insurance companies use against injured victims is to twist the meaning of their words. They will call you and act very friendly. Part of most normal conversations is the question, “How are you doing?” Typically, people just respond with, “I’m doing fine.” Insurance companies will try to twist this innocuous conversation into meaning that your injuries are not as bad as you claim or not as serious as first thought. Be careful. There are a number of different common variations to this question and response. Most of us have conversations that include some variation of it at least once a day, and our responses are generally automatic. 

4. They Will Demand a Recorded Statement

The insurance company will probably tell you that you need to make a recorded statement in order for your claim to be processed and paid. THIS IS NOT TRUE! You are under no obligation to give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster. You may have to speak with your insurance company depending on what your policy says, but you never have to give the other driver’s insurance company any type of recorded statement. They will use your recorded statement against you. They will slip in innocent seeming questions during the course of your statement that are designed to get you to admit partial fault. There is no reason to ever give the other insurance company a recorded statement about your accident. Even when speaking with your insurance company it is in your best interest to obtain legal representation

5. They Will Make Settling Seem Urgent

In the state of Louisiana, you have one year from the time of your car accident to file a lawsuit to protect your rights. Insurance companies will give you the idea that you need to settle quickly or else you will get nothing for your injuries and damages. They may even offer you money in the direct aftermath of your accident if you sign away your rights to a lawsuit. Don’t be fooled! The insurance company is trying to protect their bottom line. If they are offering you money to settle quickly, before you have had a chance to discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer, your car accident case is likely worth far more than what the insurance company is offering you. 

6. They Try to Get a Broad Release of Your Medical Records

Your injuries as a result of the car accident are pertinent to your injury claim. Giving insurance companies access to your medical records directly tied to the treatment of your injuries resulting from the accident is fine. However, insurance companies will try and get you to sign a broad release of your medical records, and you may think that this is no big deal. Insurance companies want to get a broad release of your medical records so that they can use your past medical history in an attempt to show that some of your injuries were pre-existing conditions. Giving insurance companies a broad release of your medical records will only work against you. Give them nothing more than the medical records associated with your accident and the treatment of your injuries. 

7. They Will Look at Your Social Media Accounts

After a car accident insurance companies will look into your social media accounts and activities to see if you have posted anything about your accident. Anything that you post on social media regarding your accident can be used against you by insurance companies looking to reduce your injury and damage claims. The best advice we can offer you is to not post anything regarding your car accident to social media. Remember, insurance adjusters are experts at twisting your words in an effort to reduce your claims. They will stop at nothing to protect their bottom line. 

Hire an Experienced Car Accident Attorney 

It should be clear by now that your best bet in the aftermath of a car accident is to hire a car accident lawyer. Insurance companies will tell you that you don’t need one. They will tell you that a lawyer will only cost you money and time, but this is not true. Insurance companies don’t want you to hire a personal injury lawyer. They know if you do that you are likely to get more money for your injury and damage claims.

Murphy Law Firm fights for injured victims. We have over 150 years of combined litigation experience, and we are all too familiar with the dirty tricks insurance companies try to put over on injured victims. Call us today at (225) 928-8800 to speak with a personal injury attorney and set up a FREE consultation for your car accident. Don’t be a victim twice!

Pain and Suffering Claim Without a Lawyer

After a car accident or other type of event that causes injury or property damage, you may be suffering from mental and, or physical distress. In personal injury cases this distress is known as pain and suffering. Pain and suffering differs from medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages, in that they are hard to set a monetary value to. Pain and suffering claims are more intangible than a medical bill or a week out of work. It can be hard to prove how much a pain and suffering claim is worth. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, it is always best to consult with a personal injury attorney, especially if you want to make a pain and suffering claim. However, as ill advised as it might be, you can proceed without the help of a personal injury lawyer. If you’re trying to make a pain and suffering claim without the aid of an experienced injury attorney, this is what the process will look like. 

How to Make a Pain and Suffering Claim Without an Injury Attorney 

The first step in making a pain and suffering claim is to send the insurance company a demand letter. A demand letter spells out your injury claim and lists the damages you have incurred. Within the demand letter, you need to discuss your pain and suffering as a result of the accident or injury event and support it with evidence. 

First, you need to show how you calculated the value of your pain and suffering claim. The best way to go about doing this is to explain how your life has been altered as a result of the accident you were involved in. Show how your pain and suffering has impacted and changed your life on a daily basis. Write about the seriousness of your injury, whether or not you have been permanently scarred or disfigured, how long it will take you, or took you, to recover, if there will be future complications as a result of your injury, and socio-economic factors at play in your life. Once you have made your case for your pain and suffering claim, you need to back up your claims with evidence and documents. 

The most important documents that you will need to acquire to use as evidence in your pain and suffering claim are the police report of your accident, your medical records including costs, and any witness statements that were taken. If you were able to get photos of your injuries, the accident, and other important facets of your case, you will want to use these as evidence too. If you’re going to make a pain and suffering claim without a personal injury attorney, you need to collect all of this evidence yourself. Do not let the insurance company collect the evidence for you. If they collect these documents on your behalf, they will choose which ones are important to your claim. You need them to consider all of the evidence. That means collecting it for yourself and attaching it to your demand letter. 

Evidence is the most important aspect of a pain and suffering claim. If you don’t have any evidence showing your pain and suffering, insurance companies, judges, and juries will not award you for these damages. It can be hard to obtain all of the evidence you need to make your pain and suffering claim. Hiring a personal injury lawyer not only makes this process easier, but it also increases your chances of recovering compensation for your claim.

5 Reasons Why You Should Seek Legal Help for Your Pain and Suffering Claim

As we have already illustrated, there are a lot of steps that need to be taken just to send a demand letter to the insurance company. How will you navigate the complex legal waters of a pain and suffering claim after you’ve been injured in an accident and your life has been turned upside down? You should always hire a personal injury attorney after you have been hurt in an accident. Below are five good reasons:

  1. Lawyers have a staff of people to help them collect all documents and evidence
  2. They can accurately gauge how much your pain and suffering claim is worth 
  3. Attorneys can help you negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your best interests
  4. An attorney can hold the insurance companies responsible by taking them to trial if a fair settlement is not offered 
  5. They are professionals who do this work everyday, you are not, and the law is complicated 

You can try and make a pain and suffering claim on your own. The insurance company will probably offer you some money just to make your case go away, but they have no reason to give you full compensation for your pain and suffering claim if you don’t have legal representation and there is no threat of a personal injury trial

Murphy Law Firm, Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers 

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, get help from Murphy Law Firm. Our team of personal injury lawyers has over 150 years of combined litigation experience. We prepare every case for trial. Don’t settle for a settlement mill! Get a free consultation today with a personal injury attorney and discuss the details of your case. Call (225) 928-8800 to get in touch with the experienced trial attorneys at Murphy Law Firm.

Louisiana Laws Regarding Fault in Car Accident Cases

In the State of Louisiana, like most states, insurance companies and courts follow a fault-based system to determine who is financially responsible for injuries, damages, etc in car accident cases. However, Louisiana is one of only 13 states in the country that also practices “pure comparative fault,” also known as, “pure comparative negligence,” in deciding the amount of damages that can be recovered. 

What is Pure Comparative Negligence? 

In some car accident cases it is easy to assign fault to one driver or another, but in a lot of car wrecks this is not the case and both of the drivers may carry some portion of the blame. In Louisiana, the pure comparative negligence laws dictate that any damages that injured victims seek be reduced by the amount of fault they are found to be in. Here is an example; Driver A was hurt in a car accident with Driver B. Driver A is seeking 100,000 dollars in damages and injuries. The jury in the case finds Driver A to be 25 percent responsible for the car accident with Driver B. In this case Driver A’s recovery would be reduced by 25 percent. If the jury decided to award Driver A 100,000 dollars for injuries and damages in this case, Driver A would only receive 75,000 dollars. 

In Louisiana, you can file suit and recover damages for your injuries even if you are 99 percent to blame for the car accident that caused your injuries. Judges and juries are bound by comparative fault laws, and adjusters for insurance companies use these laws as guidelines for settlement negotiations. 

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Handle Your Car Accident

Assigning fault for a car accident is not an exact science. At the end of the day it is up to judges, juries, and claims adjusters to determine who is at fault and to what degree. In order to protect your interests you should hire a personal injury lawyer. The amount of fault assigned to you in your car wreck case, if any, will come down to how persuasive your attorney can be using all available evidence. The difference between getting fair compensation for the injuries and damages you sustained, and not sometimes comes down to the car accident attorney that you hire. If you choose to hire an attorney with little to no actual trial experience, you probably won’t recover the compensation that you deserve. Don’t settle for a settlement mill. Hire personal injury attorneys who prepare for trial. 

Murphy Law Firm has Trial Experience

The team of personal injury attorneys at Murphy Law Firm have over 150 years of combined litigation experience. We prepare every single one of our cases for the possibility of a trial if that is what it takes to get our clients fair compensation for their injuries. Don’t be a victim twice! If you’ve been hurt in a car accident get help from Peyton Murphy. Call (225) 928-8800 today to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case. 

Louisiana Passes Tort Reform Bill HB 57

This year’s first attempt to pass a tort reform bill, SB 418, The Omnibus Premium Reduction Act of 2020, failed when it was vetoed by Governor John Bel Edwards. Despite having a veto proof majority in support of SB 418 prior to the Governor’s veto, support for the bill fell apart after Edwards vetoed the bill. In a special legislative session Louisiana lawmakers were able to pass HB 57 known as The Civil Justice Reform Act of 2020. We have already written extensively on SB 418 and how it would affect injured victims. This blog will explore the differences between SB 418 and HB 57 and how car accident victims are affected by the changes.

Statute of Limitations (Prescription)

The original bill, SB 418, sought to increase the statute of limitations from one year to two years. The thought behind this, which was supported by both sides, was that if given more time car accident victims and insurance companies could reach fair settlement terms before going to court. Since the statute of limitations is only one year, a lot of lawsuits are filed just to protect an injured victim’s rights when they may have otherwise been able to reach a fair settlement. HB 57 does not make any changes to the statute of limitations for injury cases in Louisiana. Under this law the one year prescription period will remain the same. 

Jury Threshold 

Currently, all car and truck accident cases seeking less than 50,000 dollars in damages are heard by a judge in Louisiana. SB 418 sought to lower the threshold for a case to be argued in front of a jury from 50,000 to 5,000 dollars. Governor Edwards wanted the jury threshold figure to be 25,000 dollars, but lawmakers reached a compromise and HB 57 sets the jury threshold at 10,000 dollars. Car accident victims who hire settlement mill law firms or personal injury lawyers with little to no trial experience will suffer the most as a result of these changes. However, since more car accident cases will be tried in front of juries, the legal process for injured victims will most likely move slower and take longer to resolve. This means car accident victims could be waiting to get the compensation they need to cover their medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more. 

Collateral Source

This part of the legislation was the most hotly contested. In SB 418, the law limited financial recovery for medical bills to what was actually paid by insurance. Opponents claimed that this left injured victims the responsibility to pay for medical services that insurance didn’t cover even when they were not at fault in the accident. HB 57 limits the amount of medical damages to the amount actually paid, but after the verdict, allows a judge to review the difference between what was actually billed and what was paid and either award up to 40 percent of the difference or decrease the award for medical damages. This will hurt injured victims in the long run and limit their ability to receive fair compensation for their injuries and medical bills. 

Seatbelt Use

Currently, judges and juries are forbidden to use the fact that a seatbelt was not worn at the time of a car accident to reduce damages received by an injured victim. SB 418 and HB 57 both proposed to change this aspect of the law. Now if an injured victim was not wearing a seatbelt, this evidence can be used to reduce the amount of damages they receive in court. Proponents of the measure say that people should not be rewarded for failing to wear a seatbelt. Opponents argue that in some cases it will be difficult, if not impossible, to tell which injuries resulted from not wearing a seatbelt. 

Naming the Insurer

SB 418 sought to shield insurance companies during car and truck accident trials by forbidding mention of which company or companies were insuring the drivers at fault. HB 57 limits the times when personal injury attorneys can mention which insurance companies are involved to the opening and closing of the trial. Proponents of the bill say that juries are far more likely to award larger settlements when they know that insurance companies will be footing the bill rather than an individual. Opponents of the measure say that lawmakers are shielding insurance companies from paying out what they owe injured victims. HB 57 offers protections for insurance companies, but it does not completely shield them like SB 418 sought to do. 

Will HB 57 Lower Car Insurance Rates?

The goal of HB 57 and SB 418 as stated by lawmakers was to lower car insurance rates for Louisiana drivers. Drivers in Louisiana pay some of the highest insurance rates in the country, and something needs to be done to help lower these costs. However, neither SB 418 or HB 57 included a single sentence or any language at all regarding insurance rates. HB 57 just like its predecessor SB 418 does not mandate insurance companies to lower their rates. In fact, insurance companies can raise their rates if they can show it is necessary to provide services. HB 57 much like SB 418 is a special interest bill driven by big insurance companies. This bill does little to actually help Louisiana drivers and only hurts car accident victims. If Governor John Bel Edwards signs HB 57 into law, which he has said he will, the new law will go into effect January 1st, 2021.

You Need a Seasoned Trial Attorney

HB 57 makes trial experienced personal injury lawyers even more valuable than they already were. Don’t make the mistake of hiring a settlement mill! Murphy Law Firm has a team of highly experienced personal injury attorneys that prepare every case for trial. Our team has over 150 years of litigation experience. If you’ve been hurt in a car or truck accident, get help from Murphy Law Firm. Call us today at (225) 928-8800 to speak with a car accident attorney about your case!

Why is Trial Experience so Important in Personal Injury Cases?

The grand majority of personal injury cases will never see the inside of the courtroom. Trials can be lengthy and expensive, and insurance companies try to avoid them as much as they possibly can which is why most personal injury cases settle out of court before trial. Bearing these facts in mind, you may come to the conclusion that trial experience is not important when choosing a personal injury attorney to represent you. Despite the fact that your case probably won’t end up in court, you want a personal injury lawyer with a lot of trial experience.

3 Reasons Why Trial Experience is so Important in Personal Injury Cases

1. Better Settlements

As we’ve already said insurance companies want to avoid going to trial as much as they possibly can. These companies keep detailed lists and notes on every local personal injury attorney. They know which lawyers will take a case to trial if their client is not offered a fair settlement, and which attorneys don’t go to court. Personal injury attorneys with trial experience get better settlement offers from insurance companies because they aren’t afraid to go to court. When you hire a personal injury lawyer with trial experience you send a message to the insurance companies that you won’t settle for less than what is fair for your injuries, bills, and lost wages.

2. Experience with Juries

In the state of Louisiana personal injury trials are argued before a jury. The ability to connect with a jury, to communicate damages, and humanize a case is a skill that personal injury lawyers get with experience in the courtroom. If your personal injury case ends up going to court, you want an attorney with years of experience and success in the courtroom. Ultimately, the jury will decide how much your case is worth. If you want to recover compensation for all of your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, you need a personal injury lawyer with the trial and jury experience to effectively communicate these facts to the jury and show them why it was the defendant’s fault.

3. Confidence and Peace of Mind

Hiring a lawyer with trial experience to represent your interests instills confidence and gives you peace of mind that your best interests are truly being represented. You have enough to deal with after your life is upended by an accident. Take the time to find a personal injury lawyer who has trial experience and a track record of looking out for their clients, and leave everything in their hands so you can focus on what’s important, recovering.

Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorneys

The personal injury attorneys at Murphy Law Firm have over 150 years of combined litigation experience. We prepare every single one of our personal injury cases with the expectation that it could go to trial if that is what it takes for our clients to receive fair compensation for their accident. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, contact our team at (225) 928-8800.

Bayer Settles Roundup Cancer Lawsuit

On June 24th, 2020, Bayer announced that it was settling the thousands of outstanding lawsuits against them claiming that their product Roundup, more specifically the glyphosate in Roundup, causes cancer. The cases started piling up after a school groundskeeper won a 290 million dollar decision from a California jury back in 2018. At the time Roundup was owned by Monsanto, which was bought by Bayer in 2018. Just last year in 2019, another California jury awarded a husband and wife 2 billion dollars in damages as a result of their illnesses caused by Roundup. The damages were later reduced to 87 million dollars by a judge. 

Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Settlement

Bayer has set aside more than 10 billion dollars to settle existing and future Roundup lawsuits. They have allocated 8 to 9.5 billion dollars to settle the thousands of existing lawsuits against them, and an additional 1 to 1.5 billion dollars to settle any future Roundup lawsuits that may arise. Despite the fact that they have decided to settle their Roundup cases, Bayer is not admitting to any fault, wrongdoing, or liability. In fact, Roundup will continue to be on retail shelves without any warning label provided to warn users that the product may harm them or cause cancer. 

Injured victims claim that the glyphosate in Roundup is what caused their cancers. However, Bayer strongly denies the claims that glyphosate is a carcinogen, and the United States EPA backs this claim. Recently, a federal judge ruled that officials in California cannot force companies to place warning labels on products containing glyphosate. 

What is Next for Victims of Roundup?

Not everyone who has filed Roundup lawsuits against Bayer has agreed to settlement. Just because a large number of these cases will settle doesn’t mean that new cases cannot be filed. It is apparent that juries, who have seen the evidence in at least two high-profile cases, tend to side with plaintiffs against Bayer. The fact that Roundup remains on the shelves means that more people will get cancer from using it, especially since there is no warning label. 

Get Help from a Personal Injury Attorney

Have you or someone you love contracted cancer after exposure to Roundup? You could have a case against Bayer. Get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to find out if you have a case. The team of attorneys at Murphy Law Firm has over 150 years of litigation experience. We are experienced trial lawyers, and we are not afraid to stand up to big companies like Bayer. Call us today at (225) 928-8800 to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.

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.