If I file a personal injury claim, will I have to go to court?
Actually, an overwhelming majority of car accident claims are settled without the need to ever file a lawsuit. When I represent someone injured in a car accident, my office handles the case from start to finish. This allows my client to focus only on treating and getting better.
What if I was not wearing a seat belt at the time of my accident? Can I still recover damages?
Yes, but the insurance company can use proof of you not wearing a seatbelt to reduce the compensation you receive.
What if I believe the accident that I was in was at least partly my fault?
In Louisiana, we have comparative fault. This means you are able to receive compensation for your injuries even if you were partly at fault for the accident. The compensation you receive would be reduced by the same percentage of fault.
Example: If you were 50% at fault and are awarded $100,000 then you would only receive $50,000.
Can I still win my case if my memory of the accident now conflicts with things I might have said at the time of the accident?
Yes. This is where having an experience attorney to represent you becomes vital to you receiving a favorable settlement or judgement. A lawyer will obtain evidence to help win your case. This is also why it is important to consult with an experience attorney as early as possible because as time goes by evidence can wash away and this includes statements from witnesses.
I was in a car accident and have been told I should get a lawyer, but I have car insurance. Won't my car insurance cover my needs after an accident?
The truth is that a lawyer such as myself, represents your interests and only your interests, whereas an insurance company looks out for its best interests. If insurance companies paid injured victims the true value of their claim then there wouldn't be a need for lawyers. But that is not the case and that is why I am here to represent you.
What compensation might I be able to get if I am injured in an auto accident?
You can be entitled to past and future pain and suffering, past and future medical bills, lost wages, future wages (also know as loss of future earning capacity), loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, physical scarring, and past and future emotional damages.
I haven't been able to return to work since my car accident. How can I afford to hire a lawyer?
The Law of Office of David Rutledge operates under a contingency contract. This just means that my firm only gets compensated for the attorney fee if we collect a settlement or judgment on your behalf. If I don't collect on your behalf, then you don't owe me for my legal fee. Plus, the attorney fee gets paid out of the settlement funds or judgment so you don't ever have to pay out of pocket.
What steps should I take to protect my rights after a car accident?
1st) Always see about your health and well-being. It is common for people who have just been involved in a car accident to have an adrenaline rush. As a result, a person might not feel the physical effects of the accident until a day or so later. If this happens, it is still important to seek immediate medical help upon feeling any symptoms.
2nd) Contact my office so we can discuss your options.
3rd) Do not speak to any insurance representatives about your injuries until speaking to me first. An insurance company, even your own insurance company, can use your statement against you later. If you give a statement before you start feeling the physical effects of the accident, then the insurance company will use that statement to claim you were never injured in the accident.
4th) Do not accept any offer from the insurance company for your pain and suffering until speaking to me first.
Does your office offer Zoom meetings to setup new clients?
I have never been injured in a car accident before and I don't know what type of doctor or treatment I should receive. Can your office help me find a medical professional?
Yes. My clients are free to treat with any doctor they choose. However, if you need help in finding a medical professional, my office can help you.