Were you injured in a Louisiana car accident? Are you dealing with medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, physical injuries, and other serious damages from an auto accident?
Car accident injuries can change your life. But Louisiana law gives you the means to reclaim your future. If you were hurt because someone else was careless, reckless, or negligent, you can seek compensation for your losses. The financial compensation recovered through a personal injury claim can help you move forward physically, emotionally, and financially after a devastating Baton Rouge traffic accident.
Have you met with a Baton Rouge car accident lawyer yet? No matter where you are in the car accident claims process, we invite you to schedule a completely free legal consultation at Bianca | Matkins today.
Our law firm also specializes in advocating for clients from the Deaf community and their families. Car accident victims requiring ASL services have the option to be paired with an ASL-fluent personal injury attorney from our law firm.
How Do I Know if I Need a Car Accident Attorney?
Working with a car accident attorney gives you the best chance of recovering maximum compensation for your losses. Without skilled, experienced legal representation, you risk being taken advantage of by the insurance company—and receiving far less financial compensation than you actually deserve under Louisiana law. Partnering with a lawyer is also the best way to ensure that the liable party doesn’t engage in similarly dangerous behaviors again.
Not every Louisiana car accident requires the expertise of a Baton Rouge car accident lawyer. But if your car crash involves:
- Disputed liability,
- Severe injuries or wrongful death,
- The need for future medical care,
- Issues with the insurance company,
- A driver without car insurance,
- Multiple liable parties,
- A grossly negligent motorist,
- Or any other complications that could impact your ability to obtain a fair settlement,
then it is best to retain legal counsel to protect your law-given right to full financial recovery.
The personal injury law office of Bianca | Matkins will sit down with you for a no-obligation consultation to determine your legal options. We can discuss things like how much compensation you are owed, how to deal with insurance adjusters, how to file a wrongful death lawsuit if needed, and how we’ve handled personal injury cases like yours in the past.
When you decide that you are ready to move forward with your case, our legal team will be by your side to help you recover compensation from the at-fault party and their insurer.
What Should I Do After a Baton Rouge Car Accident?
Those involved in Baton Rouge car accidents can take certain measures to protect their health, safety, and right to seek compensation.
Get Checked by a Doctor
Go immediately to the emergency room if you suffer critical injuries. Otherwise, schedule an immediate check-up with your physician to eliminate the possibility that you suffered hidden injuries (like traumatic brain injuries). Severe bodily injury can be masked by the hormones released in traumatic events like automobile accidents.
Exchange name and contact information and car insurance information with all other motorists. Write down the other driver’s license plate number and make, model, year, and color of vehicle.
If you (or someone with you) is able, take pictures and videos of the accident scene. Ask any bystanders if they would be willing to act as an eyewitness. Take down their contact info to share with your car accident attorney. Any evidence you are able to gather at the crash site can be beneficial to your car accident case.
Get a Copy of the Police Report
A police officer’s report of the incident is an important piece of evidence in your auto accident claim. You can obtain a copy by following the instructions below.
Obtain a Copy of the Accident Report From the City of Baton Rouge:
You can get a copy of the police report ten days after your car wreck. You can either request a copy of the accident report by mail or stop in at police headquarters between 8 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. You will be charged $7.50 per report and $1 per driver or witness statement. The address for pick-up or mailing is:
Baton Rouge City Police
Attn.: Traffic Records
9000 Airline Highway
Baton Rouge, LA 70815
Obtain a Copy of the Accident Report From the Louisiana State Police:
You can make an online crash report request with the Louisiana State Police for car accidents that occurred on non-toll roads on or after Jun. 30, 2017. Reports are available 10-15 business days after the collision. You can search by case number, driver’s license number, license plate number, or involved party’s last name. Each report is $11.50 and may be paid for online with Visa, MasterCard, or American Express credit or debit card.
Report Your Accident to the Insurance Company
Most policyholders have an obligation under the terms of their car insurance agreement to report any accident. You will need to get in touch with your insurance carrier to let them know you have been involved in a collision.
But even though they are your own insurance company, it doesn’t mean they have your best interests in mind. In fact, most insurers actively work to reduce payouts to clients. Be careful when speaking with an adjuster. Only relay the known facts of the crash. Never admit fault, make assumptions about liability, or agree to give a recorded statement. Refer all future communications to your legal team.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With a Baton Rouge Car Accident Attorney
Next, get an expert opinion on your car accident case. You shouldn’t have to pay for this service. Many personal injury firms, including ours at Bianca | Matkins, will provide you with a free consultation. This free meeting gives you a better idea of any potential challenges your case may pose, whether you have the right to pursue compensation, and what the process of filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit would look like in your case.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Baton Rouge
A traffic collision can be caused by many factors—defective car parts, dangerous road conditions, or adverse weather can all play a role. But most Baton Rouge car accidents have one common cause—someone else’s negligence. Most of the time, that comes in the form of driver error.
Common Types of Driver Error in Car Accident Cases
Whenever the other driver engages in dangerous, careless, or thoughtless behind-the-wheel behavior, it can be considered driver error. This includes (but is certainly not limited to):
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs
- Aggressive driving
- Texting and driving
- Distracted driving
- Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions
- Failure to signal turns or lane changes
- Dangerous passing or overtaking
- Fatigued driving or falling asleep at the wheel
- Running red lights or stop signs
The type of accident in which you are involved often gives some indication of the type of negligence that caused the crash. For example, rear-end crashes are often caused by tailgating. Head-on collisions are frequently the result of drunk driving. Distracted driving can cause a driver to run a red light and collide with another vehicle.
Your car accident lawyers from Bianca | Matkins will put in the hard work needed to track down any type of negligence that caused you to suffer bodily injury, property damage, and accident-related expenses in your car wreck.
Proving Negligence in a Baton Rouge Car Accident Claim
Negligence is a key point in every personal injury case. In Louisiana, the other driver (or another party) must have been negligent for you to pursue legal action against them through a car accident injury claim.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence means that someone failed in their duty to protect others from harm. It means that someone committed an act or omission that a reasonable person in the same position wouldn’t have—such as driving drunk, texting behind the wheel, or traveling 75 mph in a 35 zone.
The following four key elements of negligence must be demonstrated in any Baton Rouge car accident injury case:
- The other party owed you a duty of care.
- That party breached the duty of care.
- Because of that breach of duty, you suffered injuries.
- As a result of your injuries, you incurred measurable losses.
Only when you can prove these four legal elements can you recover compensation through your injury claim.
Almost all auto wrecks are someone’s fault. Very few Baton Rouge car accidents do not involve some type of negligence. To best represent our injured clients, we at Bianca | Matkins are careful to investigate the actions of all potentially liable parties to appropriately determine liability.
How Does a Car Accident Attorney Determine Liability After an Auto Accident?
It’s common for more than one person or party to be liable for an auto wreck. Parties that may be liable for your injuries include:
- Other motorists
- Commercial truck drivers
- Auto parts and vehicle manufacturing companies
- Government entities responsible for roads and highways
To accurately determine the party (or parties) responsible for your motor vehicle crash, your accident attorneys may examine sources of evidence such as:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Eyewitness testimony
- Testimony from expert witnesses like traffic reconstructionists
- Traffic camera, cell phone camera, dashcam, or surveillance camera footage
- Driver cell phone records
- The police officer’s report of the accident
- Any citations for broken traffic laws
- Physical damage to vehicles or nearby property
Pursuing Damages After a Baton Rouge Car Accident
“Damages” is the way the law allows car accident victims to recover from their losses. Justice is restored when the at-fault party is made to carry the financial burden they caused. Damages are typically divided into economic and noneconomic compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Injured victims may be entitled to economic damages that address financial losses. These may be:
- Lost wages
- Current medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Domestic services and in-home nursing care
- Transportation costs
- Property damage
- Lost earning capacity
Or noneconomic damages that address non-financial losses such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
In rare cases, injured victims may be entitled to punitive damages. This separate type of damages punishes the defendant rather than compensates the plaintiff. Most personal injury cases do not involve punitive damages, but they may apply in cases of severely wrongful behavior. Your car accident lawyers will be able to tell if you are eligible for this type of damages after a Baton Rouge car accident.
What To Do After a Traffic Accident Wrongful Death
When a crash victim suffers fatal injuries, the family may be eligible for wrongful death damages. By filing a claim after a preventable fatality, surviving dependents are able to recover onerous costs such as funeral and burial expenses, loss of income or inheritance, or medical bills the decedent incurred before death.
If you lost a loved one in a Louisiana car accident, contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights with a caring legal advocate.
In cases such as these, it is especially important that the liable party be held accountable for their actions. Fatal car accidents in Baton Rouge often involve drunk or drugged driving, extreme recklessness, road rage or aggressive driving, and other high-risk behaviors.
Our car accident lawyers make sure these dangerous motorists are held liable for the actions that killed an innocent person. In this way, we work hard to make the roads of Baton Rouge safer for all.
How Many Car Accidents Happen Near Me in Baton Rouge?
Our region of Louisiana is one of the most dangerous for traffic accidents. According to the LSU-published Louisiana Traffic Records Data Report, in 2021:
- East Baton Rouge Parish had more traffic crashes than any other parish: 130,675 crashes
- East Baton Rouge Parish saw more fatalities than any other parish: 68 deaths
- East Baton Rouge Parish’s rate of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes was second only to Jefferson Parish’s: 48.53% of fatal crashes involved alcohol
- There were 4,238 intersection crashes and 1,445 road departure crashes in East Baton Rouge Parish
Common Car Crash Injuries in Louisiana
You don’t need to have been in a car accident to know that collisions cause serious injuries. Some of the most common injuries resulting from a car crash include:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Laceration, bruising, and burn injury
- Soft tissue damage
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Wrongful death
Your car accident lawyer from Bianca | Matkins may need to partner with a medical expert to accurately assess the compensation you need to cover your injury-related expenses now and in the future. We have strong ties to the medical community here in East Baton Rouge Parish. We’ll be able to connect you with the right medical professionals and specialists who fully understand your car accident injuries.
Dealing With the Insurance Company After a Car Accident
If you’ve been injured in a Louisiana car crash, it won’t be long before insurance adjusters are calling you and asking questions about your traffic collision.
While dealing with everything else in your life, it can be difficult to negotiate these calls—especially when you know one wrong word could endanger your rights.
We recommend keeping the following guidelines in mind when communicating with insurance company representatives:
- Don’t discuss your injuries. Just say you’re seeking medical attention.
- Avoid any discussions about what you were doing prior to the crash.
- Stay off social media and adjust your privacy settings while your case is open.
- Never agree to give a recorded statement.
- You have no obligation to speak to another driver’s insurer.
- Don’t make any speculations. It’s okay to say you don’t know.
- Be wary of “trap” questions like “How are you doing?” or “Where were you going when the crash happened?” or “What do you think caused the accident?”
There’s a simple way to avoid saying anything that could jeopardize your claim. Just tell the insurance company that your car accident lawyer from Bianca | Matkins will be happy to answer any questions they have.
How Long Do I Have To File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, you only have one year to take legal action after a traffic collision. This one-year statute of limitations means that after a year has passed, you are no longer eligible to file for compensation. This deadline still applies even if your injuries worsen or you need more medical care (such as surgery or physical therapy) than you previously realized.
Building a strong car accident case takes time. The clock will begin ticking faster and faster as you work through tasks like fixing or replacing your vehicle, working to recover or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) after your injuries, missing work or changing careers, or adjusting to a “new normal” after permanent disability.
A year can pass before you’ve even begun to get back on your feet again.
That’s why it’s so important to find legal counsel you can trust. While you’re focusing on what’s truly important in your life, we’re behind the scenes making sure your legal matters are taken care of.
A Baton Rouge car accident lawyer from Bianca | Matkins is the steady, guiding hand you need when life seems impossible to handle on your own. You are not alone after a Baton Rouge car accident.
Contact an Experienced Baton Rouge Car Accident Lawyer Today
Car accidents have the power to shatter your life in ways you’d never imagined. We’re here to help you put the pieces back together.
We are currently taking on new clients at our Baton Rouge, LA personal injury law office. We extend the invitation of a free case consultation to any injury victim who has suffered an auto accident in Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, or elsewhere in South Louisiana.
Your wellbeing is our top priority. Contact us today to learn why our clients put their trust in Bianca | Matkins during life’s most difficult moments.