FAQs

If you are considering legal action after sustaining a serious injury in an accident, you likely want to be as well informed as you possibly can be before acting. While the best way to evaluate your legal options will be to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer, there are a few preliminary questions you may like to have answered before you come into our Lake Charles law office.

Collected below are the questions, and answers to those questions, that our Lake Charles injury attorneys have found to be most beneficial for people considering their legal options after a serious accident. To further discuss any of your questions with one of the Lake Charles personal injury lawyers at N. Craig Richardson, please call our Lake Charles offices at (337) 381-5349 today.

Why should I file a personal injury claim?

The financial damages associated with a serious injury may continue to affect you for the rest of your life, leaving you and your family with the burden of paying for the negligence or carelessness of another. To prepare and accommodate for the full extent of damages you sustained in the accident, you should consult with one of our personal injury lawyers who may help you assess all of the damages associated with your injuries and subsequently pursue legal action before it becomes too late to do so.

When will it be too late to file a personal injury claim?

After an accident, victims and their families must file a personal injury claim within a specified period of time. These time restrictions are known as statutes of limitation and may be specific to the accident you, a family member or friend was involved in.  After an accident, the injured party typically has a single year-long window to file a personal injury claim. However, there are exceptions, and you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to better determine your options.  The sooner you speak with an accident lawyer about your case the better informed you will be about recourse.

What kind of compensation can I expect from my personal injury claim?

Since compensation can vary so wildly from case to case, it is exceedingly difficult to predict exactly how much compensation a person may recover with your claim. However, in successfully litigated personal injury cases, victims and their families typically recover full or partial compensation for any medical or rehabilitative bills, any loss of income, and any other pain and suffering that directly resulted from the accident. With that in mind, your attorney will be able to help you come to a better understanding of how much compensation you may be able to recover with your particular claim.

What will I need for my personal injury claim?

While every case will present a unique set of challenges, you should go ahead and begin collecting documentation of your injury and the circumstances under which that injury occurred. For instance, you might collect the following items if you were injured in a truck accident: a copy of the police accident report, a copy of your doctor’s medical evaluation, copies of the bills associated with your injury, and photographs of the vehicle you were in at the time of the accident. To better determine what evidence you will need to possess while litigating your particular claim, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer at your earliest convenience.

Will I need to testify in court as part of my claim?

There is a chance that you may be required to provide personal testimony in court to support your claim. Should you be asked to provide personal testimony, your attorney will walk you through the process in order to prepare you to provide the testimony that will likely be critical to your claim. Since personal testimony is not required in every case, you should speak with your attorney to get a better idea about what exactly will be expected of you as you pursue your particular personal injury claim.

What should I ask attorneys that I am considering for my representation?

As you begin the process of choosing a personal injury attorney, the sheer number of attorneys that are out there can be overwhelming. With that in mind, then, you should consider approaching the attorneys you are considering with a specific set of questions intended to help you arrive at a decision, such as the following:

  • How many cases like mine have you won?
  • How can I get a hold of you throughout the claims process?
  • What do you expect of your clients throughout the that process?
  • What fees do you charge?

While these questions are by no means exhaustive, they do represent a good place to start as you begin selecting an attorney that is best suited to you.

What can I do if my insurance company has been slow to process my claim?

When insurance companies are excessively slow to process valid claims, legal action may be required to ensure that policy terms are honored and compensation is accordingly dispersed. As such, if you feel that your insurance company has purposefully delayed the dispersal of your claim, you should speak with a personal injury attorney who can better help you assess the legal action that may be available to you.

How long will it take to get through the claims process?

Since every case will present its own unique challenges, there is no good way to predict exactly how long it will take to get through any given claim. Once you have discussed the particulars of your claim with one of our attorneys, however, we will be in a better position to put a time frame on your claim. Generally speaking, though, claims that may potentially be settled without working through the process of litigation will likely take significantly less time than otherwise. In any case, our attorneys will be right there with you to provide you with the legal advice and support that you will need to work through your claim.

Can I just work through my case by myself?

While there is nothing to prevent you from representing yourself as you work through the claims process, you should strongly reconsider your options. To begin with, the party you are pursuing your claim against will almost certainly be represented by an experienced attorney. With that in mind, then, you will need to develop a legal strategy that anticipates all of the nuances of the defense, all on your own. While it is certainly doable, your chances of recovering compensation with your claim may be significantly reduced without the guidance of an experienced attorney.

How will negligence be determined in my case?

When establishing negligence in any given case, the court will analyze the actions of the individual or organization that is accused of being responsible for the accident. Generally, a person may be found to be negligent when they are found to have acted in a way that any other reasonable person would have under identical circumstances. Beyond this foundational aspect, an individual must satisfy all the requirements specified under tort law in order for his or her actions to be considered negligent.