Car crash claims in Louisiana follow a specific process and timeline. This process varies from state to state but in Louisiana, these cases often end in settlements and follow a relatively predictable timeline.
Car accident attorneys throughout Louisiana usually follow a similar pattern of steps in order to get their clients the most money possible without dragging things out in expensive and time consuming litigation.
Here’s what a typical settlement process looks like:
Time of Accidents: Reporting and Filing
In the state of Louisiana, motorists are required by law to give notice to police if a car accident resulted in a death, an injury, or property damage over $500. If the car accident does not fit one of those scenarios, then the motorist must file a report with the Department of Public Safety within 24 hours of the accident if death, injury, or property damage of over $100 occurs.
The key thing is, that the accident needs to be reported in a timely manner. This starts the whole process rolling.
The Settlement Process
A settlement is just an agreement to pay a specific damage amount from one party of an accident to another without handling the matter in a court of law. This is by far the most efficient and cost effective way of handling car accident cases.
Of course, when a person files an insurance claim, the insurance company makes an offer to settle out of court. A person does not have to accept any offer and may seek the help of legal counsel to negotiate a larger settlement or explore other options.
Deadline for Filing Claims
In Louisiana, motorists have up to one year to file a claim after a car accident has occurred. This applies to both personal injury and property damage claims. It’s important to point out that if you fail to file a claim within one year of the accident, the courts will deny the claim no matter how compelling your case may be.
How Settlements Work in Louisiana
Louisiana is a comparative fault state meaning that both parties can potentially share responsibility for an injury claim. This means that in any given case, the injured party could be found partially liable for their injury and their damages reduced based on their comparative responsibility.
The best thing people can do after they’ve had a car accident is to first report it and then to contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury car accident cases. In this regard, they have fulfilled their duty to report the accident and they have also gotten the ball rolling in protecting themselves. This also ensures they will get the maximum damages available to them.
You should follow these simple steps whether you are the one most at fault or not. Contacting a professional early on in the process can help save you a lot of hassle later one.