The Law Offices of Ossie Brown
P 225-424-7388

Don't just accept a settlement after a serious car crash

Serious car accidents happen every single day in Louisiana. Sometimes, one or more people die in a crash. Other times, someone is severely injured. Over the last five years, there has been a ten percent increase in the number of crashes with serious injuries and nearly a six percent increase in fatal crashes when looking at the number of crashes per each 100,000 people in the state population. That means that your risk of getting seriously injured or even dying in a motor vehicle accident is higher than it used to be. That doesn't mean you should avoid driving.

Instead of avoiding cars, you should get informed about how to handle a serious accident. One of the first things you need to understand is that your insurance company won't necessarily set out to do what's right for you. Instead, insurance companies will try to limit their liability and losses after an accident. One of the ways that they do this is by offering low initial settlements to those who got seriously hurt or lost a loved one in a crash. You should always have an attorney who understands personal injury cases in Louisiana review a settlement before you accept it.

Knowing what to expect can help you make a good decision

Typically, insurance companies will offer either a lump-sum settlement or a structured settlement. Smaller claims, such as replacing a vehicle that got totaled, could be handled with one payment. More serious claims, such as lost wages and medical expenses related to an injury, could get paid out over many years. This kind of structured settlement can offer victims of a major crash benefits. There will be an ongoing, steady stream of income to replace lost wages and pay medical bills as they arise.

Getting a single, big check up front may seem enticing, but it could leave you without adequate compensation. Medical expenses and costs from an accident can continue cropping up for years after a crash. Ongoing physical therapy, home health aides or surgeries can quickly exceed your ability to pay. Those with major injuries, such as spinal injuries, severely broken bones or head injuries, could never regain the ability to go back to work. Combine that with steep medical costs, and you can see why a one-time settlement check could fall far short of your needs after an accident.

Your attorney can help you make critical decisions

Working with a lawyer who understands Louisiana insurance and personal injury laws can help. Your attorney can review a settlement and help you understand if it is appropriate, give the extent of your injuries. More importantly, your lawyer can advocate for the best possible outcome, whether it's a better settlement or a civil lawsuit to help you recover your losses.

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The Law Offices of Ossie Brown
123 Saint Ferdinand Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Phone: 225-424-7388
Fax: 225-334-7824
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