Answers From Our Injury Lawyers
When most of our clients first come to us seeking assistance, they tell us that they have never before worked with a lawyer. Because personal injury law can be such a confusing area of law, it is only natural to have questions.
Our personal injury lawyers believe that you deserve to be equipped with the knowledge that you need to move forward successfully and secure the compensation that you need. This is why we have included answers to some of the questions that we are most frequently asked.
If you have more questions about the situation you’re facing, we would be happy to help answer your questions. Get in touch for a free consultation.
I’ve been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence. What should I do first?
If you or a loved one has been injured, you should seek reputable legal counsel to determine whether or not you have a personal injury claim. The attorneys at Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC, have extensive experience in finding the causes of accidents and medical malpractice injuries. If you have a valid claim, we will help you explore every option.
How do you assess the validity of my claim?
A claim’s validity is determined by examining the medical records involved in your case along with the relevant literature and input of expert physicians. Most importantly, we will find out if the required standards of medical care were compromised and whether this caused the injury.
If an insurance company contacts me, how much information should I give them?
We strongly recommend that you not speak with an insurance company about your injury or the circumstances surrounding it until you have consulted a lawyer. If misinterpreted or taken out of context, any information you give them could harm your claim. Always consult legal counsel before signing documents or discussing a settlement, as this may affect your right to pursue your claim.
What is the cost of an initial consultation at Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC?
Free. We do not charge for your initial consultation. If we accept your case for investigation after this initial consultation, there is still no charge to you because we handle these cases on a contingency fee basis. We only receive an attorney’s fee if we are successful in getting you a monetary recovery.
What are the chances my case will go to court?
The knowledgeable attorneys of Elam & Rousseaux, PLLC, work hard to settle your case outside of court. While it is impossible to predict an outcome without examining the circumstances, we can say with confidence that most of our claims can be settled without requiring a trial.
How does a personal injury claim affect the person I am suing?
In most cases, personal injury claims are handled by insurance companies and paid by insurance, so the medical professional or practice you sue will not be directly responsible for compensation. In an auto accident case, drivers are required to have automobile insurance, and we will communicate with their insurance company. In the same regard, personal injuries are civil cases, so a defendant will not go to jail.
Is there a certain window of time after an injury occurs that I must file a claim?
It’s in your best interest to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after your injury occurs, though your claim may still be valid if some time has passed. Keep in mind that there are statutes of limitations that limit the eligibility of claims depending on when the negligent act or accident occurred. It’s also more favorable if the information needed to build your case is more recent.
Why file a personal injury claim?
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to someone else’s neglect, the law entitles you to be compensated not only for expenses you have already incurred but for future losses as well. This compensation can also protect against changes in family situations, safeguarding the injured person’s future. Furthermore, your claim may prevent another person from suffering a similar injury.
If insurance paid my medical bills, do I still have a claim?
In many cases, your right to compensation for your medical bills doesn’t depend on whether or not they have been paid. Depending on the type of medical insurance you have, there is a possibility that your insurer will have a lien on any recovery for the amounts they paid due to the negligence of another. Your specific case may also award you compensation for other losses caused by your injury, including lost earnings, permanent scarring or disfigurement, future medical bills, and pain and suffering.
How is the value of my claim determined?
A claim is evaluated based on many factors, and it is impossible to estimate the value until a thorough investigation has been conducted, regardless of what some may try to tell you. After our investigation, we can offer an informed opinion regarding the value of your claim. If the insurance company proposes a settlement, we will give you our best counsel regarding whether you should accept the amount offered. Of course, you have the final decision to accept this settlement or to let a jury decide.
How long does the claims process generally take?
Medical malpractice claims and auto accident claims have very different time frames. With medical negligence claims, the first step in any investigation is to request the medical records. This process can take a month or longer. After our office has received your medical records, our initial investigation usually takes between one and two months.
There are many steps after this process that we will discuss after a decision has been made to pursue your claim. If a lawsuit is required, the amount of time varies based on the court calendar and whether the insurance company is willing to settle the case before trial. Ultimately, most claims take between one and three years to complete.
With auto accidents, after you have completed your medical treatment, we are in a position to request medical records, bills and documentation of lost income to present to the insurance company. Sometimes settlements can occur in months, and sometimes they take years. Once a lawsuit is filed, most auto accident cases will be given a trial date of within one year.