personal injury lawyer Archives - Murphy Law Firm

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.

5 Reasons Mesothelioma is Hard to Diagnose

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the body’s mesothelium. The mesothelium is the membrane that lines the inside of your body’s cavities, mainly in the chest and abdomen. Despite the fact that nearly 75 percent of mesothelioma cases begin in the chest cavity, this cancer is very hard to catch, and it is often misdiagnosed. Mesothelioma is a very malignant form of cancer that often spreads to other parts of the body and creates other health issues for people who have it. The main risk factor associated with mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, and as we will cover later in the blog, asbestos is widely used in several industries and materials. People who contract this disease likely have an injury or wrongful death claim. You should seek counsel from a mesothelioma attorney if you are diagnosed with this terrible cancer.  Below are five reasons why mesothelioma is hard to catch and accurately diagnose. 

1. Vague and Common Symptoms 

Mesothelioma often goes unnoticed by the people suffering from it and their medical professionals because early symptoms of the disease are so common and often mistaken for something else. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, dry cough, and chest pain. Since mesothelioma mainly affects older people, many people confuse the earliest symptoms of mesothelioma as old age. When symptoms finally get bad enough to see a doctor, mesothelioma often gets misdiagnosed as pneumonia, lung cancer, or even abdominal cancer. 

2. Rarity

Contributing to the misdiagnosis of mesothelioma is its rarity. Unless your doctor is aware that you were exposed to asbestos, the symptoms associated with the disease will likely be attributed to something much more common. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, and will likely not be the first thing your doctor thinks is wrong. It is important to tell your doctor if you were exposed to asbestos in order for them to properly diagnose you. 

3. Unknown Exposure to Asbestos

Since asbestos is so widely used in a lot of different applications, you might not even be aware that you were exposed to it. In fact, even if you weren’t working directly with asbestos you could have been exposed in your workplace or it could have been brought home on the clothes of a worker in your family. It is hard to diagnose this rare form of cancer, and unknown exposures to dangerous asbestos only makes the process of accurately diagnosing mesothelioma more difficult for doctors. 

4. Long Latency

The latency period, or the amount of time the cancer grows undetected, for mesothelioma is extremely long. Someone exposed to asbestos might not see the effects of their mesothelioma for 20 to 50 years in some cases. The lengthy latency period makes detection and diagnosis difficult. You may not remember or even know that you were exposed to asbestos 20 or 30 years ago so when you go to see the doctor when your symptoms start to get bad mesothelioma probably won’t be the first thing they look for. 

5. More Difficult to Test For

The only sure fire way to accurately diagnose mesothelioma is to do a biopsy. X-rays and blood samples may lead doctors towards the proper diagnosis, but neither of these methods can accurately confirm mesothelioma. Since the only way to accurately test for mesothelioma requires an invasive procedure and the disease is rare, most doctors will run tests for other types of diseases first. Making matters worse is the rarity of the cancer. Most doctors have little to no mesothelioma experience, and this leads to misdiagnosis. It is always a good idea to get a second opinion where mesothelioma is concerned just because this cancer is so hard to detect and accurately diagnose. 

I Have Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma. What are the Next Steps?

If you or someone you love, has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma you can probably take legal action to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Mesothelioma cases are difficult which is why you need to hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in this rare disease. A mesothelioma attorney will have a deep knowledge of the disease, how it is contracted, and how to litigate on your behalf. You might think that you no longer have a case because you were exposed to asbestos over 20 years ago, but you can still hold your employer responsible for you and your family’s exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma. In the state of Louisiana, you have one year from the time you are diagnosed with mesothelioma to file a lawsuit against those responsible for your exposure to asbestos. If you have lost a loved one to mesothelioma, you have one year from the time of their death to file a wrongful death lawsuit for their untimely loss. 

Baton Rouge Mesothelioma Lawyers

There are a fair amount of mesothelioma cases in the greater Baton Rouge area due in large part to the amount of industries here that exposed their employees to asbestos. Don’t hire an out of state law firm to handle your case. Hire a local mesothelioma lawyer to help you and your family through this difficult time. Murphy Law Firm has experience representing mesothelioma victims. We want to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Don’t suffer alone! Call Murphy Law Firm at (225) 928-8800 to speak with a mesothelioma attorney. We’re local mesothelioma lawyers, and we want to fight for you!

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.

What To Do After A Car Accident

What To Do After A Car Accident?

Recognizing what to do after a car accident can lead to feeling frustrated and blindsided. You may be disoriented and dazed yet these initial moments after an accident is crucial for both parties involved. Being aware of what to expect physically after a car accident can help you identify any injuries you may have sustained. In the aftermath of a car wreck, the most important component is the safety of everyone affected. Before anything else, make sure that everyone is safe and call for medical assistance if it is needed. Next, call the police. An official police report is often necessary when there are damages involved in a car accident and you want to recover compensation from an insurance company. Once you have ensured everyone’s safety and called the proper authorities, follow these steps after a car accident to ensure you get all of the information possible and preserve important evidence. 

Exchange Information with Other Drivers 

Following a car accident it is important to speak with the other drivers involved, if you can, and get their name, phone number, and insurance information. Sometimes the driver of the car will not be the registered owner of the car. If this is the case, also get the name, phone number, and insurance information of the registered owner as well. Note the make and model of their car and the license plate number. Try to find out if any of the cars involved in your accident are company owned cars. Note any damages that pre-existed the car accident if you can. In some cases in the direct aftermath of a car wreck, somebody will take blame for the accident. If someone claims the accident was their fault, make note of this.

Take Pictures 

Preserving evidence is valuable in car accident cases, and now that everyone always has a camera in their pocket it has never been easier to take pictures at the scene of an accident. Get as many pictures as possible. Document the damages, if any, to all involved vehicles, and the scene of the crash including skid marks, street signs, and any other pertinent factors that could have led to the car accident. Take as many pictures as you possibly can after a car accident. When you hire a car accident lawyer, they can sift through all of the pictures you took and find the ones that are valuable pieces of evidence. 

Contact Your Insurance Policy Carrier 

Once things have calmed down a bit, don’t forget to contact your insurance carrier to notify them of the accident. A lot of insurance companies require policy holders to contact them within a certain amount of time after their accident. Failure to notify your insurance company of an accident could lead to your claim being denied. If you are anxious that your insurance company will give you a hard time, contact a personal injury lawyer first, and they can help you deal with your insurance company. 

While it is important to get in touch with your insurance company following a car accident, DO NOT give a statement or sign any paperwork from the other driver’s insurance companies until you have spoken to a car accident attorney first. Don’t even answer questions about the accident from these insurance representatives until you have spoken to a personal injury attorney first. Anything you say to the insurance company will be recorded and can possibly be used against you to minimize your claim. If you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company, decline to make a statement or answer questions until you have gotten legal advice from an attorney. Be careful, sometimes these insurance companies will offer you quick money if you sign away your rights to file a lawsuit. DO NOT take money or sign any paperwork until you have legal representation. 

What Should I do if I was Injured in a Car Accident

If you were injured in a car accident and taken to the emergency room, your injuries will be thoroughly documented. However, you may be hurt in a car accident and not taken to the emergency room. It is important that you document all of your injuries after a car accident, take pictures of bruises, cuts, etc, and seek medical attention as soon as you possibly can so that there is an official medical record. Whiplash and other injuries associated with car accidents can present symptoms after the fact. It is important to notify your doctor of any symptoms no matter how small they may be after you are injured in a car accident. The sooner you can get your injuries documented by a medical professional and treated, the better chance you will have of getting compensation for them. 

Murphy Law Firm, Car Accident Attorneys with Trial Experience

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you need a car accident lawyer with real trial experience. Don’t settle for a settlement mill! The personal injury attorneys at Murphy Law Firm have over 150 years of combined litigation experience. We prepare every single case with the expectation that it could go to trial if that is what it takes to secure our clients fair compensation. Don’t be a victim twice. Contact Murphy Law Firm for a free consultation at (225) 928-8800.

The Seven Most Dangerous Intersections in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge is a dangerous city for drivers. In fact, according to a recent study that was published, Baton Rouge is the second most dangerous city in America to drive in. Traffic congestion, poor road quality, and traffic delays are some of the biggest factors in making our Baton Rouge roads unsafe. If you want to stay safe on the roads, you need to pay attention and be aware of your surroundings. We’ve put together a helpful list of the most dangerous intersections in Baton Rouge. Drive carefully in these areas, and always stay vigilant and patient when you are on the road. 

1. Essen Lane & I-10

This is one of the busiest and most congested areas in town. There are multiple big hospitals and medical practices in this area, and there are on and off ramps for I-10. Year over year this intersection consistently has more car accidents than any other in Baton Rouge. It is not surprising if there are over 100 accidents in any given year at this intersection. Road construction, traffic delays, and heavy congestion are regular features of Essen Lane at I-10. Stay patient while driving here, and pay attention to traffic. 

2. College Drive & I-10

For college students and locals alike, College Drive is a main thoroughfare. There are multiple big chain stores like Albertsons, Walmart, and Hobby Lobby, the road is often cracked, bumpy, and full of potholes, and it is one of the main ways area residents access I-10. All of these factors lead to a perfect storm for poor traffic conditions, and a lot of car wrecks. The area surrounding the on ramps going east and west is particularly perilous since there are a number of quick stop lights, impatient drivers, and drivers merging from surrounding area parking lots.

3. Airline Highway & Goodwood Boulevard

Airline Highway is seemingly always congested, and when you combine a less than ideal road surface with an intersection with another four lane road in Goodwood Blvd, you have an area that will be prone to an increase in car accidents. Further exacerbating the accident issue at this intersection is the frontage road that has a stop sign for traffic coming up to the intersection with Goodwood Blvd. Congestion gets bad in this part of town and combined with poor road conditions and heavy traffic is a recipe for disaster.

4. Airline Highway & Old Hammond Highway

This intersection is literally the next traffic stop over from Airline and Goodwood, and it is no surprise that it is also prone to a high number of car wrecks. Airline Highway and Old Hammond Highway are both busy streets with a lot of traffic, and when these two streets intersect there is an increase in car accidents.

5. I-12 & Millerville

This intersection has a lot of heavy traffic. There are a number of restaurants, Super Target, Best Buy, and more in this area. The road conditions in this part of town are actually pretty good when compared to Airline Highway or College Drive, but congestion and heavy traffic flow at this intersection lead to a high number of accidents every year.

6. I-10 & Acadian Thruway

We are pretty familiar with this intersection since it is right outside our office! There is a little less traffic on Acadian Thruway then on College Drive, but there is still a fair amount of daily congestion around the on and off ramps of I-10 especially in the daily rush hours. Busy intersections, especially merging traffic coming on or off an interstate is always going to lead to more car accidents than most other streets. The quick succession of stop lights on Acadian right near the interstate sometimes causes traffic to back up, and when drivers get impatient they often get careless and accidents happen. Right now Acadian is even more dangerous due to a road resurfacing project that is also taking place. If you’re driving here, pay attention to the road and be patient!

7. Constitution Ave & College Drive

Our list wouldn’t be complete without at least one more intersection on College Drive. Constitution Ave intersects College Drive and has a stop light, but the light is short, and during times of heavy congestion drivers trying to turn on or cross College Drive might find themselves stuck for multiple light cycles as traffic backs up on College. This leads to impatient drivers, more reckless driving behavior, and more car accidents. Not to mention the road conditions on College Drive are already less than ideal.

As you can see most of the car wrecks in Baton Rouge occur around the interstate or the highway. It is always a good idea to pay close attention while driving in these areas. However, as we’ve seen earlier, Baton Rouge as a whole is a dangerous city to drive in. Stay vigilant on the roads and try to remain calm when you are stuck in traffic!

Baton Rouge Car Accident Attorneys

If you’ve been in a car accident in Baton Rouge, Murphy Law Firm can help you. Our personal injury lawyers have over 150 years of combined litigation experience. We are not afraid to take any case to trial if that is what it takes for our clients to receive a fair settlement. Call Murphy Law Firm at (225) 928-8800

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.

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.