Determining When a Louisiana Insurance Claim Becomes a Lawsuit
After a car accident in Louisiana, typically the first step to seeking compensation for accident injuries is going through the insurance claim process. While many claims lead to a resolution that is acceptable to all parties, including a fair payout for the injured parties, occasionally negotiations with insurance companies break down. When this happens, an injury lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
To discuss if you are at an appropriate point to file a personal injury claim, discuss the details of your situation with a New Orleans personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will analyze the circumstances and advise you on next steps.
Navigating Louisiana Personal Injury Claims
While each situation needs to be reviewed individually, often a person injured in a Louisiana car accident will file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This process will begin when you notify the insurance company of the event and submit a claim that includes information on your injuries, damages, and expenses. If you’re working with an attorney, they will likely send along a demand letter stating the full and fair value of your claim.
Through negotiation, a fair settlement can typically be reached and the claim is closed. Things become more complicated when a settlement can’t be agreed upon.
What to Do When Negotiations Don’t Lead to an Agreement
There are a range of reasons why negotiations with an insurance company break down, such as an insurance adjuster disputes liability, undervalues the damages sustained, or simply fails to offer a settlement amount that is high enough for the injured party to move past the event. If you believe the compensation amounts offered are far too low (or you have been denied compensation completely), talk to an attorney about your personal injury lawsuit options.
Circumstances when filing a lawsuit is more likely:
- Severe injuries. When individuals require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, damage recovery amounts are incredibly high and lawsuits may be needed in order to recover a full settlement.
- Disputed liability. Disagreements regarding accident fault could lead to a court process to establish liability.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorists. If an accident led to a high damage amount and the at-fault driver was not insured but the injured party had uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, they may need to file a lawsuit against your own insurance company in order to connect with the amount they need to move past the event.
- Bad faith insurance practices. While uncommon, if an insurance company engages in bad faith practices, such as unreasonably denying a claim or misrepresenting policy terms, legal action could be a path to holding them accountable.
A New Orleans personal injury lawyer can gather evidence, handle legal paperwork, and negotiate on your behalf. Then, if needed, your attorney will file a lawsuit to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Were you injured in an accident in New Orleans, Metairie or Gretna and believe a settlement offer is too low? Explore the possibility of a lawsuit through a conversation with the attorneys at Palazzo Law Firm. Call 504-433-1442 for a free consultation.