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The basics of a personal injury claim

After a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, such as a motorcycle collision with a negligent driver, you may be trying to figure out the best way to pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation and possibly long-term care. After a wreck caused by someone else’s recklessness, you might be able to take legal action.

Your loved one deserves proper care after suffering life-changing injuries. In order to get that care, you may need to pursue a personal injury claim. While your attorney will be your best source of information, it is important to understand the basics of personal injury law.

Personal injury cases

When an individual suffers an injury due to someone else’s negligence, then the person that caused the injury might be legally responsible for the damage. In many cases, insurance companies are involved. As in the example above, the negligent driver’s insurance might offer a sufficient settlement for the motorcycle collision so that you never have to set foot in a courtroom. In other cases, the injured party has to file a formal lawsuit in civil court.

In order to start proceedings in a civil court, the injured party has to file a complaint against the person or other entity that caused the injury. You will have to claim that the person responsible for the wreck acted in a careless, reckless, or negligent way.

If you are able to enter into an informal settlement process, your attorney and the negligent driver’s insurance will sit down and negotiate a settlement. Once both sides reach an agreement, it will be put into writing and signed by each side. If you accept a settlement, you generally agree to give up your right to pursue further damages in court.

Statute of limitations

Most personal injuries in Louisiana are subject to time constraints for filing. The law refers to this as the statute of limitations. The clock usually starts ticking either when an injury occurs or you become aware of the injury. In addition, the statute of limitations will also depend on the type of injured suffered.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you might be able to pursue a personal injury claim. Your attorney will help you decide whether or not a settlement is in your best interest or if you should take the case to civil court.

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Lake Charles, Louisiana


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