Personal Injury FAQ
If you aren’t confident about your personal injury rights or have questions about auto insurance, you are not alone. I am Alan Stegall, a personal injury lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in the Shreveport and Bossier City area. Below I answer some common questions that clients have about vehicle accidents and personal injury matters.
I am also happy to discuss your specific situation in a free consultation if you have suffered an injury because of someone’s negligence.
What does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?
It should not cost you anything out-of-pocket. Most injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency fee — if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid. The fee is a fixed percentage of your recovery, depending on whether your case is settled out of court or has to be litigated.
What damages can I get in a personal injury lawsuit?
You are entitled to seek both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and anticipated medical expenses, plus the property damage to your vehicle. Noneconomic damages refers to pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, and compensation for disfigurement or a permanent impairment.
Does Louisiana require auto insurance?
Yes, but Louisiana has the lowest minimum requirement for car accident insurance. Every Louisiana motorist is required by law to carry at least 15/30/25 insurance in case they cause a wreck: $15,000 in bodily injury coverage (with a maximum of $30,000 per accident) plus up to $25,000 in property damage per accident.
By comparison, the minimum in Texas is 30/60/25 or twice as much injury coverage. In the event of a serious accident, that $15,000 is quickly burned up by the ambulance ride, hospital care and lost wages. And despite our state’s low minimum, there are thousands of Louisiana drivers motoring around without any insurance.
What is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM)?
When you are injured in an accident, the at-fault driver is responsible for your losses. But what happens if that driver only has the minimum coverage or no insurance at all? This is a very common scenario in Louisiana. Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist, or UM/UIM, is optional insurance under your policy. If your damages exceed the other driver’s coverage limits, your insurance company pays the difference. If the other driver is not insured at all, your insurance covers all your losses (up to you policy limits).
We definitely recommended paying for UM/UIM protection in case you are the victim of a wreck; you never know what coverage the other driver may have. We also highly recommend you carry more than the 15/30/25 minimum liability insurance in case you are sued for causing an accident.
What is med pay coverage?
Medical payments coverage, or “med pay” is another optional insurance. If you have med pay, it automatically pays your medical bills from an auto accident regardless of fault. It also covers all members of your family if they are injured as passengers in someone else’s vehicle.
What is a ‘wrongful’ death?
A wrongful death action is a civil lawsuit that alleges that another person or entity caused or contributed to a fatal accident. The wrongful act could be carelessness or negligence (like texting while driving or allowing a powerful dog to roam free), or it could be reckless or intentional behavior like driving drunk or assaulting someone.
Do You Have More Questions?
Every accident or personal injury case is unique and fact-specific. I am happy to answer your questions and discuss your situation in a free consultation, call the Law Office of Alan Stegall in Shreveport at 318-221-8000 or contact me online.