Auto Accident Compensation

Recovering after being involved in a car or commercial vehicle crash can be a painful and arduous process.

Once emergency assistance is called and imminent dangers have been eradicated, a case is built around the issue of fault.  Louisiana is a “Direct Action State,” which means an injured party can name an insurance company in the incident report. Your auto insurance will cover your personal injury for certain situations. Sometimes it’s confusing when your insurance will cover you and when the other parties’ insurance will be responsible for your auto accident compensation. A case begins to build around the issue of fault once emergency assistance comes and eradicate immediate dangers.

For example, the “at fault” or “negligent” driver’s bodily injury liability policy covers injuries to other motorists and passengers. Because of this, the negligent parties’ insurance company will quickly contact the other injured party. They attempt to quickly get a statement that may lessen the symptoms or re-arrange the story to minimize compensation. Insurance companies use misleading language, and often take rushed statements to potentially relieve themselves of financial burden.

Several laws with regard to negligence and auto accident compensation differ from state to state.

A few states apply the principle of Contributory Negligence – under this application of negligence. A motorist wouldn’t receive payout on a personal injury claim if they were even partly at fault for the crash. One may consider calling an attorney to the scene of the accident to assist in determining fault in states that apply the Contributory Negligence law. This could also be a case where one would want to take many of their own photos and collect any evidence to support a later statement.

Whether your state applies the Contributory Negligence law or not, it is a good practice to take as many of your own photos as possible. Photograph any damaged property, injuries, injury aftermath (aka blood etc.) and all vehicles involved. When you call a lawyer on to an accident scene, they can assist in gathering and collecting this important information.

Louisiana and many other states apply the Comparative Negligence Law for Accident Compensation

The system determines if a party is fully or partially at fault. The law dictates to use the formula to determine a percentage of fault. Where Comparative Negligence is applied, the insured receives the compensation amount multiplied by their percent at fault. For example, if a bodily injury claim amounts to $10,000 in medical expenses – but the injured motorist was deemed 20% at fault for an accident mainly caused by an 18-wheeler, they would receive payment against their expenses equal to the percent they were not at fault, in this case $8,000.

Aside from the precarious determination of fault, and statements made to police and insurance companies – when not at fault in an accident you may also be entitled to car accident compensation that your insurance does NOT outline or cover. The vehicle at fault’s insurance company could provide you with such compensation. However, you’ll need a competent lawyer to help you navigate this system and get the money you are entitled to. You could also be entitled to compensation for emotional and indirect costs, like PTSD. You could also gain compensation related to trauma for being in an accident and trauma for your passengers, particularly children. One can also get more tangible costs like compensation for time spent out of work.

Compensatory damages are most common.

They include property loss, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and have a quantifiable value or amount. General damages are the things that are more subjective and are harder to attach an actual dollar amount to. This includes pain and suffering, emotional trauma, inability to have a child as a result of accident injuries, loss of limb, strain on a relationship. For all of the above, lawyer can work with you and your family to determine the most effective strategy for your auto accident compensation.