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Koederitz Law Firm, LLC

Louisiana Auto Accident FAQs

If you are involved in an auto accident, you may be entitled to recover damages for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, medical expenses, loss of earnings, inconvenience and property damage. Your spouse and children may have a claims for loss of consortium.

Louisiana Auto Accidnet lawyer Gary Koederitz have represented hundreds of individuals that have sustained car accident injuries throughout Louisiana for more than twenty-seven years.

Motor Vehicle Accidents Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions and answers are presented for general informational purposes only, are not specific legal advice applicable to any particular case, are subject to exceptions, and generally relate to Louisiana law. Do not rely upon these general questions and answers in making legal decisions.

Question:
What should I do if I am in an accident?

Answer:
Report all accidents to the police immediately. Notify your own insurance company so they will have a record. Obtain a copy of your traffic accident report if the police officer gives one to you. Review all the information and insure the information is complete and legible. Keep all notes and documents relating to the accident. Try to obtain all witnesses names and addresses. Promptly seek medical attention if you are injured.

Question:
Who pays my medical bills?

Answer:
The insurance company providing coverage for the car you were in, if it has medical payments coverage, must pay your medical bills as they are incurred. Your own automobile policy will also pay your medical bills, if you have medical payments coverage. Also, your own health insurance will generally pay your medical expenses, if you comply with the terms of your health insurance. The at fault drivers insurance company is always liable for your medical bills. However, they do not need to pay medical bills until the end of your case. If you are on the job when the accident occurs, worker's compensation insurance will pay medical expenses.

Question:
Who pays my property damage?

Answer:
If the accident was not your fault, you can collect from the person that hit you or his or her insurance company. No matter who was at fault, you can collect from your own policy if it has collision coverage. If you pay a deductible, you can recover this from the at fault driver.

Question:
Do I have to use the body shop recommended by the insurance company?

Answer:
No. You are entitled to your own damage estimate and choice of repair shop.

Question:
Can I request original equipment manufactured parts, or am I forced to use after market parts to repair my vehicle?

Answer:
The answer to this question depends in part upon whether the repair work is being paid for by your own insurance company or by the other driver's insurance company. If your own company is paying for the replacement parts, you must consult the specific terms of your policy that describe your insurer's obligations. If it is the other driver's insurance company that is paying for the replacement parts, then it is our opinion that they are generally responsible to replace damage parts with new parts manufactured by the maker of your car.

Question:
How long does it take to settle my property damage?

Answer:
The insurance company is required to settle your property damage claim within 30 days, or risk having to pay a penalty to you.

Question:
What do I get for my car if it is totaled?

Answer:
You are entitled to receive the market value of your vehicle at the time of the accident. This amount may be higher or lower depending on the condition of your vehicle, the mileage, and whether you may have made recent improvements to the car that you can document. The amount of any loan payoff for your car does not affect the value of the vehicle.

Question:
Can I get a rental car?

Answer:
If your own insurance policy includes rental car reimbursement, your insurer will pay for a rental car. If you do not have this coverage, the insurer of the person that hit you will usually pay all or most of the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired or while a settlement is being made with you if your car has been totaled. Some insurance companies have contracts with rental car companies so that payment is made by the insurance company directly to the rental car company.

Question:
What is uninsured motorist coverage?

Answer:
Uninsured motorist coverage is a separate type of insurance coverage that you buy from your own insurance company. In the event you are in an accident caused by a person that has no insurance or insufficient insurance to pay all your damages, then your uninsured motorist coverage becomes that driver's insurer. Your uninsured motorist coverage pays all damages that can not be satisfied by the other driver's insurance company. An exception to this rule is uninsured motorist coverage, economic loss only, which does not cover all types of damages.

Question:
What is the economic loss uninsured motorist coverage?

Answer:
In the past, uninsured motorist (um) coverage would pay for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and disability and other damages. This coverage pays only for "economic loss", which is your medical bills and lost wages. We urge you to elect full uninsured motorist coverage, in an amount equal to your liability limits. The amount of savings in your premium cost for economic loss only coverage is minimal.

Question:
What is "no pay - no play"?

Answer:
This law provides that a person driving without liability insurance loses certain rights after an accident, even if the accident is completely the fault of another person. An uninsured driver is not allowed to collect the first $10,000 of personal injury or property damage suffered as a result of and accident, regardless of who caused the accident. There are exceptions to this law. For example, passengers in uninsured vehicles do not lose rights against other drivers that are at fault, and even an uninsured driver does not lose his rights if the other driver causes the accident and is convicted of driving while intoxicated.

Question:
Should I give a statement to an insurance adjuster?

Answer:
Generally, we advise our clients not to give statements to insurance adjusters or other representatives of the at-fault driver. There are exceptions; however, we recommend that your attorney be present if you are going to give a statement to the adjuster. Remember that the adjuster's job is to represent the insurance company and to settle your claim as cheaply and quickly as possible. Any statement that you give may be used against you later during the claims process or even in litigation.

Question:
Do I have to file a lawsuit? If so, how much time do I have?

Answer:
Many cases can be settled without a lawsuit being filed. If your injury heals completely and the total amount of damages you have suffered can be determined within one year of the accident date, a settlement can probably be made by negotiation with the insurance company. However, if your injuries are permanent in nature, or if the amount of damage you have sustained can not be determined within one year, or the insurance company does not agree to pay the amount you believe you are due, a lawsuit must be filed. Louisiana Law provides that a lawsuit must be filed for damages caused by an automobile accident within one year of the occurrence of the accident. If a lawsuit is not filed by the one year anniversary, then your claim will be barred by prescription, which is commonly referred to as the Statue of Limitations, and you will have lost any rights to make a claim against the other driver or his insurance company as a result of the accident.

Question:
How much can I recover for my injuries?

Answer:
Louisiana Law allows you to recover all of the damages you have suffered as a result of an automobile accident. These damages typically include elements such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, medical expenses, loss wages, loss of wage earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, and property damage. The amount of money you will recover for those damages will depend upon the extent of your injuries. Your ability to collect those damages may depend upon the amount of insurance the other driver has, and whether you have uninsured motorist coverage to supplement the other driver's insurance if necessary.

Question:
How often should I see the doctor?

Answer:
This is strictly between you and the doctor. However, we urge people to obtain medical treatment as long as symptoms persist. Insurance companies evaluate your case based upon your medical treatment. If you are in pain and in need of medical care, not going to the doctor indicates to the insurance company that you are not hurt.

Question:
Do I need a lawyer?

Answer:
This is a decision that you must make based upon all of your circumstances. Our firm has extensive experience representing individuals that have been injured in automobile accidents. The benefits of having an attorney include having the attorney deal with the insurance company for you, advising you with respect to your claims, providing you with advice regarding the value of your claims based upon years of experience. Some studies have shown that accident victims that are represented by attorney's receive higher recoveries in settlement than those that are not represented.

Question:
How much does it cost to hire and attorney?

Answer:
Our firm represents most accident victims for a contingency fee. This means that we will be paid a percentage of the amount of money we can make the insurance company pay you. If for any reason the insurance company does not have to pay you, you will not owe any attorney fee. In most automobile accident cases, the contingency fee will range from 25% to 1/3 of the amount recovered for you. Generally, cases which can be settled without a lawsuit being filed will be charged a lower contingency fee. Our attorney's fee will be agreed upon with you in writing at the beginning of your case.

Question:
How long will it take to finish my claim?

Answer:
The amount of time it takes to conclude your claim will depend on several factors. One is the severity of your injury and the length of time that it takes for your doctor to be able to diagnose the injury and treat it. This information is important in determining the amount of medical expenses that will be due to you, and whether you will have any permanent pain or restrictions as a result of the accident. If you are unable to work as a result of the accident, you will also need sufficient time to determine whether you are going to be able to return to your previous employment. This is information is important in determining the amount of damages you will suffer for a loss wages and wage earning capacity. Generally, your case takes longer if a lawsuit must be filed.

Question:
Will I be charged for a consultation?

Answer:
No. We do not charge for an initial consultation in accident cases. We will come to your hospital room or to your home if you are unable to come to our office. You do not incur any obligation by making your first telephone call to us.

Question:
How do I get in touch with the Koederitz Law Firm, LLC Law Firm?

Answer:
The easiest way to contact us is by using the form on the contact page. Please remember to include your telephone number so that we can call you if we need further information. You can also call us locally at 225-928-9111. Our fax number is 225-926-7117.

At Koederitz Law Firm, LLC if your case is accepted, an experienced Louisiana trial attorney, supported by qualified staff and experts in numerous fields, will fully investigate your Louisiana auto accident claim without obligation to you. If we believe that your car accident claim has merit, our Louisiana trial attorneys will aggressively enforce your rights.

Meet Louisiana Auto Accident Attorney Gary Koederitz

 

Our practice area encompasses the State of Louisiana, including West Baton Rouge Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish, St. Bernard Parish, Orleans Parish, Caddo Parish, Lafayette Parish, Calcasieu Parish, Rapides Parish, the Louisiana Gulf Coast, Houma, New Orleans, Hammond, Metaire, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, Slidell, New Iberia, Chalmette, Tallulah, Bogalusa, Covington, Franklin, Abbeville, Morgan City, Minden, Winnsboro, Gonzales and all Louisiana cities in between.

Koederitz Law Firm, LLC
4607 Bluebonnet Blvd., Suite B
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Telephone: (225) 295-9494
Telecopier: (225) 295-9495
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