What to Expect in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Bohrer Brady | Personal Injury Attorneys Baton Rouge LA
If you are seriously injured in an auto accident, railroad accident, work-related incident, or by a dangerous or defective drug or product, it is important to take prompt action to preserve your rights and to ensure you will be eligible for the compensation you deserve. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Bohrer Brady in Baton Rouge, Louisiana can help—no matter where you are in the United States.
Preparing to Meet with Your Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident or have suffered an injury due to the non-action, negligence or actions of another, it is important to see an attorney to discuss your possible claim.
Before meeting with your attorney, it is wise to prepare information relating to your case. This checklist provides different types of details you may be asked to bring to an initial meeting with your personal injury attorney. Gather any of the following documents you have access to, as well as any other information you may have regarding the incident. Bring this information with you.
Please note: This checklist is meant to be a guideline. Your unique case may require additional or different documentation.
General information and documentation related to your injury may include:
- Name and address of the ambulance company
- Name and address of the hospital you were taken to
- The date(s) of the incident that caused your injury
- The date(s) that you were taken to the hospital/emergency room
- Names and addresses of the doctors or chiropractors who examined you
- Names and addresses of any witnesses to the incident that caused your injury
- Dates you were unable to work due to your injuries
- Name and contact information for your insurance company, insurance agent and any other insurance representatives you have talked to
- A copy of your accident report
- Copies of written statements
- Applicable insurance policies: homeowners, renters or automobile
- Health insurance documents, including your policy or coverage information
- Disability insurance documentation
- Veterans insurance policy, if applicable
- Any other documentation, including hospital records
- Copies of any correspondence you have had with your insurance company, including letters, emails, etc.
- Medical bills
- Receipts for anything you’ve had to buy or fix because of your injuries
- Documentation of lost wages
Auto Accident Documentation
If your injuries are the result of a car accident, there may be other types of documents and information you should bring to your attorney, including:
- Date, time and location of the accident
- Proof of premium payments, including statements, bills, canceled checks, receipts or anything else you have to show that your insurance premium has been paid
- Information exchanged at the time of the accident, including names, contact information from the other party or witnesses, or any correspondence with any party after the accident
- Information you gave the police at the time of the accident, including the police report
- Traffic tickets related to the accident
- Photographs of any property damage caused by the accident
- Any statements you may have given to your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company
- Medical records
- Records of any psychological/psychiatric care or treatment needed due to the accident
- Any information you may have about the other driver in the accident, pedestrians or witnesses. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, make/model/color of car(s), license plate numbers, insurance companies, location at the time of the accident and/or description of what they saw
Establishing a Personal Injury Case
In order to prevail on your personal injury claim, you must be able to prove to the court that the defendant (responsible party) is liable for your injuries. In most cases, this is done by showing the defendant’s negligence.
The elements of negligence are as follows:
- Duty of care — This means that it has to be established that the other person had a duty to prevent reasonable harm to another by their actions or inactions.
- Breach of duty — A defendant breaches the duty of care by failing to do what a reasonable person would do. This can mean that they failed to warn or signal, or that they behaved in a way that intentionally or unintentionally caused the plaintiff’s injury.
- Causation — Causation is often the most difficult element to prove. The injury must have been the direct or proximate result of the defendant’s action or inaction. The plaintiff’s injuries would not have occurred if it hadn’t been for the defendant’s behavior (action or inaction).
- Damages — The plaintiff must show that, due to the defendant’s breach, he or she suffered harm and incurred loss.
Damages in a Personal Injury Case
If each element is established in your case, the court may award damages for losses. Most damages awarded are compensatory in nature, meaning they are monetary. They are called “compensatory” because they are awarded to compensate you for actual losses that you incurred or suffered.
Courts will consider many factors when determining the amount of compensatory damages to award. Factors may vary depending on the specific facts of your case.
You may be awarded damages for pain and suffering (physical and/or emotional), lost wages, medical expenses, future medical treatment, loss of consortium, loss of household duties, loss of quality of life, disfigurement, disability and/or loss of parental guidance.
Why Choose Bohrer Brady Personal Injury Lawyers?
- Our law firm can investigate the accident and will use experts when necessary to determine all the circumstances. Police reports, accident reports and other documentation can sometimes be incorrect or incomplete. We help to make sure your voice is heard.
- Catastrophic/serious injury requires a look into the future. We consult with life care experts to determine the injury victim’s future medical needs. Often that means planning for a lifetime of attendant care and specific medical needs.
- If the insurance company does not understand the extraordinary needs of a TBI (traumatic brain injury) victim, head injury, or spinal cord injury victim, or of someone who has sustained other life-altering injuries, our experienced trial lawyers will tell the complete story.
- A spinal cord injury can mean a lifetime with paraplegia or quadriplegia. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can mean losing a career and needing special care. Our attorneys work with the victims and their families to provide a settlement that will cover current and future financial needs.
If a family member has suffered a catastrophic injury in a car or truck accident, talk to our attorneys about it. Our personal injury lawyers can help you understand the laws and your loved one’s rights. You do not have to go through this alone.
Personal Injury Lawyers | Glossary of Terms
Our personal injury lawyers provide a glossary of some key personal injury terms for your convenience.
Assault and Battery
Assault and battery are often heard together; however, they are separate legal claims. An assault is putting a person in immediate fear (or apprehension) of physical injury or offensive contact. Battery is actually using force to harm another individual.
Birth injuries are injuries to a baby, which occur during delivery and are caused by medical negligence. The type of injuries and degree of negligence may differ from case to case. Usually, birth injuries occur in situations where a medical professional failed to act or responded inadequately to a complication or medical condition during a birth.
Catastrophic injuries are severe physical injuries that require extensive medical treatment and are often long-lasting or permanent in nature. These injuries may result from any kind of accident and may affect any or all body systems.
Exploitation of a Nursing Home Resident
Exploitation takes place when an individual misuses a resident’s personal property or funds for his or her own benefit. Often this is done without the owner’s consent, through threats, coercion, deception or undue influence. Thus, the resident is taken advantage of.
The term licensee is often used in a slip and fall case. A licensee is someone who enters the property of another with the owner’s consent. The owner owes such a person a duty to keep the property safe and to warn the licensee of any known dangers. If the landowner fails this duty and the licensee is injured, he or she may have a claim against the owner for those injuries.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, dentist, or other medical/healthcare worker performs his or her duties in a manner that is negligent. This means that the medical worker’s action or non-action does not meet the industry standard of care and, as a result, the patient suffers injury.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries may be caused by a single event or over a period of time (i.e. repetitive activity). Generally, soft tissue injuries are bruises, sprains, or strains to the muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Injuries to internal organs or bones are not considered soft tissue injuries.
Workers’ compensation refers to benefits given to workers who have been injured during the course of their employment. Employees may receive compensation for costs, such as lost salary, medical treatment, job rehabilitation and/or other types of compensation depending on the situation. In return, the employer cannot be sued by the employee for the same injuries/incident. Such benefits are required for all United States workers by state and federal law.
A wrongful death claim is a legal action by survivors of a deceased individual. In order to have such a claim, the loved one’s death must have been caused by the wrongful actions of another party. The decedent’s loved ones, bringing the claim, may receive monetary compensation for their losses, as determined by the court. Every state has a wrongful death statute; however, the laws may differ greatly.