What You Need to Know about Hiring a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer: Part 2

The issue is that you have to prove what they did to cause the accident. Car accident evidence is not always easy to gather, especially because you may be dealing with injuries at the scene. 

An experienced attorney can get to work immediately, gathering the evidence that you need to prove liability. They can handle the details and all the tasks that you cannot, both because you are injured and do not know the car accident legal system. 

Your Damages in a Louisiana Car Accident 

 

Louisiana car crashes can be expensive. Not only are there prohibitive medical bills, but you also have other economic and non-economic costs. These damages do not even account for the experience that you have endured since the accident. One 2010 study placed the average per person cost of moderate car accident injuries at $123,000 per person. For accidents with severe injuries, the cost goes well beyond $400,000. These figures do not account for lost of quality of life, and they also do not factor in a decade’s worth of inflation. 

 

In any car accident case, you are entitled to the following damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Property damage
  • Emotional trauma 
  • Wrongful death damages for your family (if your loved one died in the accident)

 

Insurance Companies Will Make Your Life More Difficult

 

The insurance company does not want to pay you for the full value of your damages. What makes things even more complicated is that many Louisiana drivers carry the minimum amount of insurance since policies are so expensive in the state. Therefore, you may need to deal with your own auto insurance company using your underinsured motorist coverage (assuming you have it). Your own insurance company will not be any fairer with you than the other driver’s insurer. Customer service does not extend to fully and fairly paying claims.

 

You Can Always Reject a Low Settlement Offer

 

You have the legal right to say no to a settlement offer that does not fully pay for your damages. You can always continue to negotiate with the insurance company. If you cannot reach a settlement, you can always have your day in court, where a judge or jury will decide your case. At Egenberg Trial Lawyers, we will work for you to obtain the highest possible settlement or award after your car accident. These funds are money that you need to pay your bills and compensate you for the harm caused to you by someone else’s carelessness. 

 

Contact a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer Today

 

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you need a sensible and determined attorney. At Egenberg Trial Lawyers, we will handle your case with care and compassion while we fight for you against anyone who would try to cut your compensation. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us today at (504) 229-5700 or contact us online. Do not delay in calling a lawyer because it can hurt your legal case. 

What You Need to Know about Hiring a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer: Part 1

Someone else’s bad day or questionable judgment can have a permanent impact on your life. All it takes is being in the wrong place at the wrong time for a split second for things to change. Before you can even receive financial compensation for a car accident, you need to prove that someone else was responsible for the crash. Then, you must haggle with the insurance company to get all the money that you deserve. Neither of these is an easy thing for families dealing with car accident injuries. Dealing with an insurance company is not something that you should attempt to do on your own. 

You Can Hire a Lawyer Without Money from Your Pocket

The one thing that you have going for you in the car accident legal process is that you can hire an experienced attorney without having to pay any money upfront. You can leave the details of your case to us, and we will do the heavy lifting, helping you make the decisions that can put you in the best position to receive financial compensation. 

There are reasons why car insurance costs a small fortune in Louisiana. One is that the state ranks in the upper third in the country for fatal auto accidents. Wrongful death claims are expensive for auto insurance companies because of the extensive damages that families suffer. 

Why New Orleans Roads Are Getting More Dangerous

Road safety in Louisiana is getting worse, as it is in the rest of the country. Here are some of the common causes of car crashes in Louisiana:

 

  • Aggressive driving – this problem has gotten worse, especially since the start of the pandemic, as people have gotten used to driving with fewer cars on the road
  • Distracted driving – motorists simply will not put down their mobile devices to concentrate on the road, even though it is harshly punished in Louisiana
  • Drunk driving – Louisiana has a higher than national average rate of drunk drivers who have a blood alcohol level between .08 and .14
  • Inexperienced drivers – it takes a level of experience to handle New Orleans roads that many drivers do not have

 

Examples of Car Accident Negligence

 

In any car crash, you must prove that the other driver did something wrong. The mere fact that the crash happened is not enough evidence to put you in a position to receive financial compensation. You need to show that the other driver was negligent. Not everything that a driver does in an accident is considered negligent. It will only be negligence if the driver departs from the standard of care.

 

Here are some examples of things that could be considered negligence:

 

  • Not looking before changing lanes and sideswiping a driver
  • Running a red light or a stop sign
  • Causing an accident while speeding
  • Aggressively weaving in and out of traffic

 

The other driver would be liable whether they were reckless or negligent. 

 

Stay tuned for Part II of this blog series.

 

Why Does Louisiana Have the Second-Most Expensive Car Insurance Rates? Part 2

You should continuously look at other insurance policies in an effort to save money. 

Louisiana roads are also not in a very good state of repair, raising the risks of accidents. Michigan, the state with the highest insurance rates, is known for the terrible shape of its roads. Urban highways and roads in the New Orleans area are poorly designed and engineered, and many have fallen into a state of disrepair. The state’s gasoline tax is supposed to fund road repairs, but the state consistently falls short in the collections arena. 

 

Louisiana Roads Make Driving More Difficult

 

In addition, because the state has lower income levels and very powerful oil companies doing business here, Louisiana does not charge a very high gasoline tax. The .20 cents per gallon tax is one of the lowest in the United States. The lower collections mean that Louisiana does not have much money to spend on highway projects, and the roads get progressively more dangerous each year. Potholes and poor pavement conditions can cause drivers to lose control of their cars or steer suddenly to evade a road defect. 

 

Distracted Driving Jacks Up Insurance Rates

 

Louisiana is also known as a state with a particularly bad distracted driving problem. In 2020, there were over 23,000 people injured in the state because of distracted driving crashes. The state has the fifth-highest fatality rate for distracted driving crashes per billion miles traveled, meaning there are more crashes, and they are more severe. 

 

The state has tough laws for distracted driving and regularly runs awareness campaigns to rein in the illegal behavior, but neither seems to be working. In fact, the problem seems to be getting worse. When a driver looks down to send a text, they can travel the entire length of a football field before they return their eyes to the road. Distracted driving crashes happen at hour speeds, and they are more dangerous because the driver cannot take evasive actions. A prevalence of distracted driving crashes means that insurance companies pay out more in claims and have to charge higher prices on their policies.

 

Minimum Coverage Makes Your Claim More Complex

 

Because insurance is so expensive and many drivers have minimum coverage, your auto insurance claim may be more complex. You may need to file a claim against your own policy under your underinsured motorist coverage. When you have to deal with two insurance companies, you will have to negotiate even more intensively to get enough money to pay for your damages. Then, you may also need to turn to the courts to get sufficient compensation for your injuries.

 

Call a New Orleans Auto Accident Attorney

 

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you need an attorney. Egenberg Trial Lawyers works for Louisiana residents who have been hurt by someone else’s carelessness or recklessness behind the wheel. You can send us a message online or call us at (504) 229-5700 to schedule your free initial consultation. You owe us nothing unless we are able to help you win your case. 

 

Why Does Louisiana Have the Second-Most Expensive Car Insurance Rates? Part I

If you have shopped for car insurance in Louisiana, you have learned one thing very fast; auto insurance policies in the state are very expensive. In fact, Louisiana ranks as the second-most expensive state in the entire country for auto insurance. One study found that the state ranked only behind Michigan for cost, with Pelican State residents paying 46% higher than the national average for a policy. Because of the cost of policies in the state, many Louisiana drivers break the law and drive without insurance.

 

Here is a candid look at why insurance costs so much in Louisiana. There are many unfortunate realities for Louisiana drivers. All of these combine to make you pay more for your car insurance policy. 

 

Judges Often Rule in Favor of Small Claimants in Car Accident Cases

 

The Louisiana legal system, in part, dictates why policies are more expensive. In Louisiana, you can only request a jury trial if the amount in controversy is over $50,000. Many auto insurance lawsuits are for amounts smaller than that number. Those who cannot request a jury trial can still have their day in court, but a judge will decide the case instead of a jury. Many judges in Louisiana are elected officials, and there is a better chance that they may side with constituents whose votes they need in the next election. The irony is that the reason why you may have a better chance of receiving auto accident compensation is the same reason why you are paying more for your auto insurance policy. 

 

Insurance Companies Have Negative Impressions of Louisiana

 

For whatever reason, insurance companies are also suspicious of the state in general. Because insurance is so expensive, many motorists opt for the minimum amount of coverage to operate a vehicle. Insurance companies need to charge enough to make it worth their while to operate in the state. They raise prices on both the minimum policies, and they force other drivers with larger policies to subsidize the costs. Since many drivers do not have insurance and others drive with low coverage, the state, in general, gets a negative stigma. Auto insurance companies set rates to make money. If there is something that they can use to their own advantage, they certainly will. 

 

You would think that many insurance companies would want to operate in Louisiana because they could charge more. However, it is the other way around. Fewer companies want to do business in Louisiana, so the ones who are in the state get to charge higher premiums. Less competition means that companies have more pricing power. 

 

Some Insurance Companies Charge Too Much

 

In some cases, insurance companies are simply overcharging, and people are paying more than they have to for car insurance. In fact, State Farm recently announced that they were cutting rates for some Louisiana drivers. Motorists may simply need to shop around and compare prices more, rather than just accept the first rate that they are offered. 

 

Stay tuned for Part II of this blog series.

 

 

How Much is Your New Orleans Bicycle Accident Worth?

One of the first questions that new clients ask us is how much they would be able to recover for their bicycle accident injury. This is a question that we will be able to give you a more exact response to after learning much more about your case. What we can do right now is explain the factors that help determine how much you receive.

No two injuries are the same in a bicycle accident case, even when two people suffer very similar harms. A badly broken leg can have a completely different effect, depending on the individual accident victim. One person can be a healthy 25-year old who has a physical job. They may suffer more damages than a retired person on a fixed income because this accident victim cannot earn the money that they need to support themselves. A competitive runner who jogs every day may be more affected by a severe injury than one who does not have as active of a lifestyle.

 

The Factors that Will Contribute to Your Bicycle Accident Payment

Having said that, we can explain how your bicycle accident claim is valued. Your claim is about far more than just your medical bills. Not only are you entitled to be paid for the economic damages that come out of your pocket, but the defendant also must compensate you for the experience that you have gone through from the accident. Since there are many pieces of your bicycle accident damages, these claims can be difficult to value. The challenge is even greater in a serious bicycle accident, when you are deserving of a check well into the six figures.

 

Economic Damages from Your Bicycle Accident

For economic damages, these are your actual losses from the bicycle accident. You may need to pay out money for your share of health care costs. These can add up quickly after an accident, as you have copayments for hospitalizations and medication. The other major part of economic damages is payment for not being able to work. If you miss time from your job or cannot do the same work that you did before your injury, that will be a part of your settlement. 

 

How Non-Economic Damages Work in Your Bicycle Accident Case

Next, the defendant must also pay you for your post-accident ordeal. This is what is known as non-economic damages because it is more difficult to place a direct dollar value on them. Every accident victim suffers differently from their injuries. One may be anxious, depressed and unable to sleep at night. Another may have suffered severe emotional distress. These are all part of your damages because you would never have experienced these emotions had it not been for your bicycle accident.

Non-economic damages are not easy to value because they are subjective in nature. The insurance company does not know what you have gone through, and chances are that they do not care. They are just looking to slap as low of a number of these as possible to settle the claim for less. Your claim may be worth more to you if you have an experienced lawyer telling your story and fighting on your side. 

The insurance company will use a multiplier of your medical bills to value pain and suffering. They will attach a higher multiplier to more serious injuries. However, this does not usually do justice for your particular experience. If they can take any shortcut to avoid paying you what you are legally entitled to, they will gladly do it. Your pain and suffering are unique to you and your experience. This is why you will need to be prepared to reject a low settlement offer that does not fairly compensate you. 

 

Making Sure that You Get Full Payment for Your Bike Accident

The value of your case and what you may receive as a settlement can often be two different things. If you do not have an experienced attorney or do not have the resolve to take on the insurance company, this gap will grow even wider. Just because you have suffered a certain amount of damages does not mean that the insurance company will want to pay you for them. In other words, the value of your case can be irrelevant if you are not able to fight for what you deserve. 

You can count on the fact that the insurance company knows the exact answer to the question about your case’s value. This is what they do all day, every day. They see thousands of accidents each month, and they have adjusters and sophisticated programs that can quickly place a dollar value on your case. However, they would never share that information with you because that is the advantage that they have. They are counting on slipping a low settlement offer by you when you do not know how much money you deserve. 

You need to equalize this advantage with a lawyer who also knows the value of bicycle accident cases. You can rest assured that we will learn the facts of your case well and arrive at a value of your case that we will use when we negotiate a possible settlement. While the ultimate decision on whether to settle is your, we will fight for you when it is necessary. If the insurance company will not make a reasonable settlement offer, we are prepared to litigate in court to get the money to which you are legally entitled when someone else’s negligence has injured you. 

 

New Orleans Bicycle Accident Lawyers

The attorneys at Egenberg Trial Lawyers know how to stand up to the insurance company on behalf of our clients when they seek to lower their recovery. We will not let this stand. Insurance companies know us and take us seriously when they see us on the other side. Let us fight for you to get the money that you deserve. Call us today at (504) 229-5700 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.

Do I Need a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney after an Accident?

After you have been injured in a New Orleans car accident, there are two things that you need to worry about; your health and your legal rights. The law allows you to receive financial compensation if someone else was responsible for your accident injuries. However, the actual system in place aims to make it as hard as possible for you to get the money that you deserve. Hiring a car accident lawyer could help you push through some of the barriers placed in your way.

The Key Steps of the Car Accident Claims Process

In every car accident case, there are two primary issues for an injured accident victim, and an attorney would help you in both of these tasks. 

  • Proving that someone else was to blame for the accident, entitling you to receive money for your damages
  • Negotiating your compensation to receive the right amount of money to pay for your damages

Before you even try to seek compensation, you must know your legal options. An attorney would explain the possibilities for obtaining compensation:

  • You could work through the other driver’s insurance company as part of the claims process
  • You could file a lawsuit in court and have the jury decide the matter

An Attorney Can Help Prove Fault in Your Accident

What happened in a car accident may not be immediately apparent. The other driver’s insurance company has every financial incentive to doubt and dispute your side of the story. They may not accept that their driver was at fault. Even if their driver bears the blame, they may argue that you also share some of the responsibility in an attempt to reduce the amount of money that you can receive.

After your car accident, you start with your own word about what caused the crash. Before you file a claim or a lawsuit, you must build on that with evidence about what happened. For every lawyer who tells you to begin working on your claim at the scene of the accident, we understand that it is often impossible when you are dealing with injuries of your own. However, you still must have proof to be in a position to receive financial compensation.

An attorney can do the work that you are unable to do on your own in gathering the evidence necessary to prove your claim. This way, you have evidence as part of your claim to make a persuasive case that someone else was to blame. If not, you may end up in a situation where it is your word against the other driver’s and you may not be able to receive damages.

Obtaining Enough Compensation Almost Always Means a Fight

Even if you are able to show liability, that is only part of the legal battle that you have ahead of you. In some cases, the insurance company is more than happy to make a settlement offer, knowing that it is for far less than you really deserve. When liability is more clear-cut, the insurance company’s mission then shifts to saving money that they are legally obligated to pay you. 

Before you even file your claim, your lawyer will add value by telling you how much your case is worth. This knowledge is crucial. Without it, you run a far higher risk of accepting a settlement offer that benefits the insurance company and leaves you underpaid.

Then, an attorney could help by properly explaining your damages to the insurance company. They will look for any excuse possible to pay you less than you deserve. If your story is not very clear on paper, they will draw every inference possible against you. Every accident victim needs someone who can very clearly tell their story.

Once you receive a settlement offer, it is not usually a cause for celebration. The offer is usually far less than you are entitled to, forcing you to begin negotiations. You would likely need to go back to the insurance company several times with your own demands before you end up in the right ballpark and can sign a settlement agreement. You may not reach that point, forcing you to take your case to court.

The Insurance Company Loves Unrepresented Claimants

There are other reasons why you should have a car accident attorney on your side. An insurance company sees a target of opportunity when they notice that someone is trying to handle their own claim. The insurance company is not above using sneaky methods to trick or coerce you into making some kind of statement that cuts against your own case. Oftentimes, accident victims do not see it coming until it is too late. By that time, they have cost themselves money. 

When you hire an attorney, you do not have to worry about the details and legwork of your compensation process. There is always work to be done, and you may not have the knowledge or ability to get it done given your injuries and the disparity in knowledge between you and the insurance company. Enlisting the help of an experienced professional will at least take something off your plate at a time when you already have plenty on it. Then, you can make the right decisions about your legal case with the help of your attorney.

Contact a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney Today

The attorneys at Egenberg Trial Lawyers have a long track record of helping car accident victims get the money that they deserve. Standing up for injured clients is what we do, and we are motivated by the prospect of taking on big and powerful companies on behalf of the people whom we represent. The first thing to do is reach out to us to talk about your case at an initial consultation. You can contact us online or call us at (504) 229-5700 to schedule a time to talk about your case. 

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT REAR-END ACCIDENTS IN LOUISIANA

Rear-end crashes may be far more serious than you think. At first, it may seem like you were in a minor crash, even if there was some damage to your car. However, rear-end car accident injuries are not always apparent at the time of the crash, or even in the first days after the accident. The other entity that may act like a rear-end accident was not serious is the insurance company. Regardless of the type of crash, you are legally entitled to compensation when someone else caused the crash. 

 

Your Injuries May Not Be Apparent at the Time of the Crash

 

The most common type of injury in a rear-end car accident is whiplash. When your car is hit from behind, the physics of the crash means that your head snaps forward while your body remains still. The violent motion of your head and neck can cause a number of different types of injuries.

 

First, you could suffer neck and back injuries from whiplash. Some accident victims could suffer from severe pain or reduced motion. At the minimum, they could suffer a neck strain. Some whiplash injuries could be far more serious and require surgery or extensive rehabilitation. Whiplash neck injuries could be permanent.

 

Second, and even more alarming, whiplash could cause a traumatic brain injury. The violent motion could cause your brain to move inside your head. The brain could hit the skull, causing a concussion or more serious brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries could require significant medical intervention for you to have a chance of returning to normal. If you delay in getting checked out and treated, you could lose valuable treatment time. 

 

Always See a Doctor After a Crash Just to Be Sure

 

The delayed, yet serious injuries caused by whiplash make a trip to the doctor’s office a must after a rear-end car accident. Even if you think that you have not been injured, you should confirm that with your doctor. One trip to a physician could reveal injuries that you did not think you had. The early diagnosis could save you from suffering more serious damage because your injuries lingered without treatment.

 

If you intend to seek financial compensation, you must visit a doctor for a comprehensive diagnosis. Delaying a trip to the doctor’s office increases the chances that the insurance company could claim that:

 

  • Your injuries originated from something other than your rear-end car accident
  • You made your injuries worse by delaying treatment, and you should receive less money as a result

 

Even if your rear-end car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition, you can still be compensated for your injuries, no matter what the insurance company says. In any personal injury case, the rule is that you take your victim as you find them, meaning that it does not matter whether you were more likely to be injured in a rear-end car accident. The responsible party must pay for all damages that they caused, regardless of your condition prior to your accident. 

 

There Are Some Presumptions of Liability

 

In any rear-end car accident, there is a presumption that the driver of the car that hit the lead vehicle is at fault for the crash. While this is a presumption, it is not an ironclad rule. If the lead vehicle stopped short in front of the rear car or cut them off, then the front car could bear responsibility. Nonetheless, the rear driver faces an uphill battle if they are trying to obtain compensation. However, if you were the rear driver, and you believe that the front car was at fault, it never hurts to contact an attorney to discuss your case. It will not cost you anything. 

 

Because some rear-end car accidents are not serious, and they have a lower fatality rate than other types of crashes, insurance companies may try to minimize your damages. In some cases, they are able to get away with it. However, the responsible party has a legal obligation to pay for all your accident damages, regardless of how the crash occurred. Just because you were rear-ended does not mean that you are any less injured. Insurance companies are especially skeptical of whiplash claims because people frequently make them. However, someone else’s claim has nothing whatsoever to do with your injuries. 

 

You Need an Experienced Attorney for a Rear-End Crash Claim

 

Hiring an attorney is one way to keep an insurance company from paying you too little. Rear-end car crashes can still cause serious bodily injury. An attorney will help you compile your claim and value your own personal injury. If the compensation that you have been offered is too low, you can reject it and respond with your own demand. You do not just have to simply accept what the insurance company offers. 

 

In addition, having an experienced attorney working for you can keep the insurance company from trying to blame you in part for your own injuries. The insurance company may try to argue that you stopped in front of their driver who hit you. Even if their claims do not have a sound basis, they can still get in your way when you are trying to negotiate compensation. Your attorney would defend your actions before the crash because it would maximize your own payment. Even if the insurance company only partially blames you, it would still cost you money. Insurance companies treat you differently when there is a tough attorney holding them accountable. 

 

Call a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer

 

There is no such thing as a car accident that is not serious. Even if you suffered slight injuries or damages, you have still been impacted by someone else’s actions. If you do nothing, you are leaving money on the table. It is always worthwhile to explore your legal options with an attorney. At Egenberg Trial Lawyers, we help those who have been injured in a car accident. Call our office today at (504) 229-5700 or contact us online to discuss your case in a free initial consultation. 

Why are Fatal Crash Rates Climbing in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, like the rest of the country, people are driving far more dangerously these days. This statement is not just a scare tactic. It is backed up by the numbers. Reckless driving has increased sharply since the start of the pandemic. Less traffic on the roads and more room have caused people to take far more chances than they did previously.

 

The Pandemic Has Caused an Increase in Reckless Driving

 

It is a fair statement to say that drivers have gone from bad to worse over the past several years. Louisiana roadways were always a dangerous place. Now, the average accident in the state is far worse than it was. 

 

In addition, there is a perception that law enforcement has backed off of enforcing some traffic laws. For a time, some police officers did not want face-to-face interaction with motorists out of fear of contracting COVID-19. Some drivers got the feeling that normal rules in society were suspended during the pandemic. There has been an overall breakdown of societal norms that lead some drivers to the impression that rules do not apply to them. As a result, they make conscious choices that endanger other drivers. In general, it feels like there is less civility and regard for others, and that extends to the roadways. 

 

Drivers have also increased other extremely dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. It is difficult to say whether it is because of the pandemic or a general disregard for safety. Despite the fact that Louisiana has strict seatbelt laws, law enforcement has noted an increase in drivers disobeying these laws. In addition, not wearing a seatbelt can take a moderate car crash and turn it into a severe one. Some drivers may not follow seatbelt laws, and that increases the chances that a serious injury becomes a fatal one. 

 

Tougher Drunk Driving Laws Have Not Worked

 

Further, drunk and impaired driving is also up throughout the state. Alcohol is a factor in 40% of auto accident fatalities in Louisiana. The state has passed new laws that toughen the penalties for drunk driving, but there is still much progress to be made. The pandemic has made the problem of drunk driving far worse because people drink at home and get on the roads. 

 

Distracted Driving Is increasing Because of Smartphones

 

Distracted driving has also caused fatality rates to soar. Distracted driving crashes are among the most dangerous because the driver who is not paying attention makes little to no effort to slow down or avoid the crash. These days, there is far more to compete for drivers’ attention behind the wheel. If they are not sending a text or checking social media, they are eating or having a conversation.

 

Statistically, drivers have a higher chance of dying in a distracted driving crash because of the speed involved. Almost one in every ten traffic fatalities nationally happen in a distracted driving crash. Oftentimes, the most inexperienced drivers (teens) are the ones who drive distracted. No matter what laws Louisiana passes to cut down on this danger, distracted driving deaths have not budged. 

 

Larger Cars Mean More Serious Crashes

 

Auto accident fatalities are also climbing because the average car is much larger than in the past. Americans want bigger cars these days, and they are opting for SUVs and trucks in larger numbers. Most Americans do not want smaller sedans, and domestic automakers do not manufacture these vehicles anymore. Even when sedans are redesigned, their size increases with every new design.

 

The laws of science dictate that larger cars will cause far more force and impact when they crash into smaller vehicles. Although the occupants of larger cars are more protected in crashes because of the additional room for impact, those in smaller vehicles will bear the brunt of the accident. Even smaller cars with the highest safety ratings performed poorly in crash tests with larger cars. 

 

In addition, there are far more trucks on the road than there were in the fast. The rise of online shopping and an increase in economic activity means more trucks bringing their cargo to their destination. Not every truck driver is well-trained and experienced. In fact, the truck driver workforce is aging, being replaced by younger drivers, if the trucking company can even find new operators. With more trucks on the road, there is a higher chance of being in a crash involving an eighteen-wheeler. These crashes have much higher fatality rates. 

 

Wrongful Death Damages for Fatal Car Crashes

 

If your loved one has been killed in a car accident, Louisiana law allows you to file a wrongful death claim. If you are able to prove that someone else was responsible for the crash, your family can receive financial compensation to pay for its losses.

 

Wrongful death compensation can pay for:

 

  • The lost wages that your loved one would have earned for the rest of their career
  • Compensation for your family’s trauma and grief from losing a loved one in an accident
  • The loss of the love, support and guidance that your loved one provided

 

Wrongful death claims may result in higher settlements for the family, considering the damages that they have suffered and what the families have lost. Given what is at stake, you should have an attorney working on your behalf. 

 

Contact a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer

If your loved one has died in a car crash, you may be able to obtain financial compensation if you can prove that the other driver was at fault. An experienced attorney can gather evidence and help demonstrate responsibility for the crash. Then, you need legal help to receive the most possible money for your wrongful death claim because that is money that your family needs. Call the attorneys at Egenberg Trial Lawyers at (504) 229-5700 or message us online to discuss your case.

The Lifetime Costs of Traumatic Brain Injuries

There is a wide range of outcomes when talking about lifetime costs of TBIs. It all depends on the extent of your injury and your future prognosis. One study has placed the average lifetime costs of TBI treatment at between $85,000 and $3 million. This is just the cost of treatment. There are additional costs that would raise the value of your financial recovery. Before you file a claim for a TBI, it is important to understand all the ways that these injuries can cause you harm, both now and in the future. 

Medical Care for Traumatic Brain Injuries Is Very Expensive

The most obvious cost of a TBI is in the medical care that you may need. Rehabilitation is possible, depending on the extent of your treatment and how early you begin aggressive intervention. This could include neurological surgery and extensive rehabilitation. You may need an entire team of doctors to provide medical care, led by a neurologist. These costs can remain with you for a lifetime, especially when you will not be able to make a full recovery.

The rehabilitation that could be needed for years could include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy

In addition, a patient would need extensive psychological counseling because TBIs can cause emotional changes, such as depression and anxiety. Medical care costs can reach into the millions for a lifetime, and you must recover these costs now. 

Lifetime Costs of a Traumatic Brain Injury Includes Lost Wages

Studies also show that the employment prospects for someone with a TBI are far worse than they were before the injury. One study has the rate of unemployment among people with TBIs at more than five times higher than the expected rate. The overall unemployment rate for people with TBIs is over 40%.

This adds up to perhaps a lifetime of lost wages, as many TBI patients lack the capacity to work again. Even those who do may not be able to earn what they previously made because of their limitations from the injury. If someone was injured early in their professional career, the damages from lost wages could reach into the millions of dollars.

Further, the family could also suffer lost wages. If a family member must stop working to care for their injured loved one, this is also harm that the defendant must pay. Your lawyer will consult with a vocational expert to establish the exact amount of lost wages from an injury to get a starting point to negotiate with the insurance company. 

Another major part of TBI costs are the people necessary to care for a TBI patient. When someone is not able to do everything for themselves, they will need care to help with the activities of daily life. This could include home health care and other aids. This can be a major expense that the family must bear to make their life more manageable.

 

Your Lifetime of Complications Raises the Costs of Your TBI

These are just the economic costs for financial damages that have come out of your pocket. In reality, the lifetime costs of a TBI are far higher because of what you may go through from your injury. These are the non-economic costs that could be every bit as high as your lost wages and medical bills.

The main non-economic damage that will drive the lifetime costs of a TBI higher is the pain and suffering that you will endure. When you will never be the same after a TBI, there are a number of effects that stretch beyond physical pain and discomfort. Going through life limited by a TBI will also cause many emotional impacts. Having a reduced quality of life, along with the stress of a TBI, can cause the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of memory
  • Irritability 

You can also receive compensation for the emotional distress aspect of your TBI. This includes distress from both the incident that caused the injury as well as the continuing harm that you suffer.

You Need to Learn About the Extent of Your Costs After Your Traumatic Brain Injury

It is crucial that you have as much information about the lifetime costs of a TBI as possible after your injury. You will only have one chance to settle or recover compensation for your TBI. You do not want to do it before you know how you may be affected over the course of your lifetime. Accepting a settlement will require you to sign a release agreement that will keep you from coming back for more money if you do not recover enough money now. 

You may wonder how it is possible to know the lifetime costs of my TBI now. This is where your personal injury lawyer comes into the picture. It takes skill and experience to know how much a TBI is worth, especially when so much of the damage happens in the future. We will work with experts to help put a value on your case. We will consult with the following:

  • Medical experts who can help establish the degree of severity of your injury
  • Life care planning experts who could describe the amount of care that will be necessary to help the TBI victim in the future
  • Economic experts who can explain how inflation will affect the value of the claim (since you are recovering money for years into the future)
  • Vocational experts to establish how the TBI has impacted your ability to make money now and in the future

 

New Orleans Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers 

At Egenberg Trial Attorneys, we know how to value complex damages such as TBIs. We know what your claim is worth, and we do not hesitate to stand up and fight for you to get everything that you legally deserve after your TBI. Call us today at (504) 229-5700 or contact us online to arrange  a free consultation to discuss your case. You will owe us nothing out of your pocket for legal services, as we are only paid if you win.

Using Thermographic Imaging/Drones to Advance Hurricane Claims

Insurance companies often face delays in getting you the money that you deserve under the terms of your policy after catastrophic events such as hurricanes. Not only do they like to put up red tape, but they are also facing scores of other claims that require their adjusters to be in many places at one time. Insurers are increasingly turning to technology to obtain quicker analysis of damages. However, this may not be the boon to you that insurance companies would lead you to believe. 

Insurance Companies Say That Technology Gets You Paid Quicker

Insurers are now relying on things such as drones and thermographic imaging to get a closer look at hurricane damages. When insurance companies received approval to fly drones from the Federal Aviation Administration, they claimed that this technology could allow them to pay claims more quickly and would reduce any danger to adjusters. Hurricane Harvey was one of the first major storms where insurance companies first began to use this tool. Some insurers have launched large fleets of drones to help them respond to large-scale events like hurricanes.

The insurers claim that drones will help them avoid large backlogs of claims after major storms. They have said that drones will help them improve customer service. In addition, adjusters will not have to climb on as many roofs to inspect damaged homes. In some cases, drones may actually replace an adjuster’s inspection entirely, or it may reduce the amount of work that the adjuster does at the home. 

Technology Cuts Insurance Companies’ Costs, But Does it Help You?

Insurance companies have claimed that they are “pretty confident” that they could make accurate estimates of damages using drones. As a claimant, when an insurance company is confident about anything, you should be worried. While adjusters climbing on roofs is dangerous and time-consuming, it also allows them to get the best look at the damage to your home. Industry publications are touting the “success” that insurance companies are having with the use of drones. 

If there are any guesstimates that happen from the use of drones, you can rest assured that it will not be in your favor. There are concerns that the use of drones could be another way to further the advantage that the insurance company may have in the claims process. To the extent that drones give insurance companies a quicker view of damage, they may use it to deny claims on the basis that damage was caused by flooding. While manual inspection may add time to your claim, it also has safeguards that could protect your own interests. 

Be Careful About Quick Settlement Offers from Insurance Companies

On the other hand, advanced technology could mean that the claims process could happen more quickly, if the real reason for using drones really is to speed up payment. This would mean that you would need to be prepared for what may be a negotiation with the insurance company. Quick settlement offers may be a way for the insurer to sneak a low payment past you in the name of efficiency that does not fully pay your damages. 

Thermographic Imaging to Detect Water Damages

Similarly, insurance companies also claim that they are using thermal imaging to get a more detailed look at hurricane damage. Specifically, insurance companies use these images to pinpoint the source of damages from leaks and floods. They use differences in temperature to spot moisture patterns. 

They say that this technology picks up damages that inspectors otherwise would miss. In our experience, insurance companies do not invest millions of dollars in new technologies to pay policyholders more money. When you are dealing with insurers, it simply does not work this way. To the extent that insurers save money through using these technologies, the money will flow straight through to their bottom line, and it will not stop them from their usual practice of trying to underpay claims. 

Note that insurance policies that pay for hurricane damage do not cover flood damages. Homeowners would need to purchase a separate policy to pay for flooding damage. The use of thermal imaging technology could be a way for an insurance company to actually deny your claim and make it the responsibility of the flood insurance company as opposed to paying your claim more precisely and quickly. 

 

You Can Use Technology to Help Your Own Claim

However, you can also use thermal imaging to your own advantage. You do not have to wait for the insurance company to deny your claim, arguing that your damage was caused by flooding. You can hire a public adjuster of your own to estimate your claim. The same way that thermal imaging technology could be used by the insurance company to deny your claim, it can also be used in support of your claim by showing that your damages were not caused by floods. Technology can also work to your advantage when the insurance company is trying to avoid paying. 

Given New Orleans’ location in the path of frequent storms, you can expect the insurance company to deploy these technologies the next time that a hurricane comes through the area and causes widespread damage. This could change the way that they handle your claim. When you have a large insurance claim after a storm, you will benefit from legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. You do not have to be left holding the bag when an insurance company does not want to pay you for the full value of your property damage after a storm. 

New Orleans Property Damage Lawyers

Egenberg Trial Lawyers are experienced attorneys who have a track record of going after insurance companies who have either refused to pay our clients that they deserve or are offering much less than the fair value of claims. We know how to put the pressure on insurance companies when they are trying to avoid paying claims. Call us today at (504) 229-5700 or contact us online to set up a time to discuss your case.

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