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Monroe, LA: What If You’re Injured in a Car Accident on Vacation?

With COVID-19 causing caution towards airplanes or other forms of shared transportation, many Americans are using their vacation time to take a road trip. When it comes to avoiding infection from other travelers, road trips are the way to go. However, more crowded roadways could mean more potential for car accidents. We’ve all heard that most car accidents happen within about a 15-mile radius from home. But for the one-quarter of accidents that do happen far from home, the aftermath can be even more stressful due to the unfamiliar surroundings.

What happens if you’re injured in a car accident while traveling outside of Monroe, LA? Keep reading to know what to do if your vacation turns into a trip to the hospital.

First Steps to Take

If you’re in a car accident while on vacation, your immediate action plan should be very similar to what you would do if you were injured near home.

  1. You should first check to see if everyone in the car is okay. Remember that many of the most common car accident injuries do not manifest themselves immediately. Serious injuries such as brain damage or spinal cord damage could take a few days to show symptoms.
  2. To be safe rather than sorry, it’s always recommended to visit a doctor for a thorough checkup after an accident, even if you believe your injuries were minor or nonexistent.
  3. File a report with the local police. Not only is this often required by law, but it will become important if you choose to file a personal injury case later on.
  4. Document what happened. While sometimes required for a police report, this information should be treated as future evidence should you choose to pursue an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. You will need evidence of all the damage that was done and any evidence that could prove who caused the accident. You should photograph the scene of the accident from several angles. Photograph all damage done to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved. If you have visible injuries you should photograph those too. If there are witnesses present, ask if they are willing to provide their contact information and a statement about what happened. You may need to contact them again if you pursue a case. If you go to the doctor, save receipts and documents from your visit.
  5. Contact a car accident attorney. Even if you feel that your injuries were too minor to consider a legal case, it’s still wise to get a car accident attorney’s advice. Should your injuries develop into something more serious, getting started on your case sooner rather than later will help you in the long run. Often, people involved in car accidents do not “bother” with a legal case simply because they do not know what their case is worth. Car accident expenses can add up fast, even when injuries are minor or moderate. If you were injured because of someone’s negligence, you owe it to yourself to claim the compensation you deserve! When you are involved in an accident in a different state, it’s especially important to get legal advice on varying state laws regarding fault, negligence, and compensation.

What You Might Be Entitled to Claim

If you choose to pursue a legal case after a car accident while on vacation, you could receive compensation for various damages, including but not limited to:

  • Past and future medical expenses (not just your immediate hospital bills, but physical therapy, check-ups, treatments, and medication that you will need in the future because of your injuries)
  • Rental car expenses (if your personal vehicle was damaged or if your rental car was damaged and you need a replacement)
  • Expenses incurred from an interrupted vacation, such as flight changes/cancellations, hotel cancellations, extended hotel stay expenses while you recover, and more.
  • The unjust use of your vacation time
  • Pain and suffering caused by the trauma of the accident, the bad memories connected to your vacation, the emotional distress of being injured, and more.
  • Lost wages. If you are prevented from returning to work because of the accident, you can claim compensation for the income you would have received.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and loss of future earning capacity (if your injuries cause permanent disability)
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Therapy expenses to treat emotional disorders such as PTSD that arise from the accident

How An Attorney Can Help

Every state has different personal injury laws. Some state laws prevent you from claiming compensation if you share fault for the accident. A car accident attorney will help you navigate those nuances, prove who was at fault, and make a compelling argument for why you deserve compensation. Call our Monroe, LA office at (318) 855-0285 or online.

 

Campbell, House & Company

1815 Roselawn Ave

Monroe, LA 71201

(318) 855-0285

Fax: 505.764.9722

10 Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving

Each day in the U.S., approximately 9 people die and over 1,000 are injured because of distracted driving, says the CDC.

Distracted driving caused  2,841 deaths in 2018, including 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians, and 77 bicyclists, reports the NHTSA.

And while it’s true that “other” drivers often cause accidents, each of us is responsible for being the safest and most alert driver we can be. When we share the road, we share the responsibility to protect everyone on it as best we can.

Just a few seconds of distraction is enough to cause an accident that could result in serious injuries, lifelong disabilities, or death here at home in Shreveport, LA.

Successfully removing distractions starts with identifying distractions and understanding just how serious each one is.

The Main Types of Distraction

Anything that causes you to give less attention to driving is a distraction that endangers you and others. There are three main types of distraction, says the CDC.

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: taking your mind off the road

Texting while driving combines all three types of distraction, making it particularly unsafe. At a speed of 55 mph, looking away from the road for 5 seconds means we cover the length of a football field without knowing what’s happening around us.

So, besides the notorious cellphone, what are the most serious distracted driving culprits?

SafeStart rates the top 10 worst causes of distracted driving and gives the percentage of accidents that resulted from each.

  • #10: Smoking – including lighting a cigarette or putting out a cigarette causes 1% of distracted driving accidents.
  • #9: Moving objects. Have you ever spent the majority of your morning commute trying to get rid of an unwelcome insect in your car? Or what about your pet demanding your attention? Moving objects in your car contribute to 1% of distracted driving accidents.
  • #8: Using devices that operate the vehicle – actions like putting on a seatbelt or adjusting mirrors causes 1% of distracted driving accidents. Doing these tasks before getting on the road can cut down on accidents and keep everyone safer.
  • #7: Changing audio or air controls. Just taking a few seconds to adjust the radio or change the climate in your car can distract drivers enough to contribute to 2% of distracted driving accidents.
  • #6: Eating and drinking. It’s tempting to think you’ll be saving time by finishing your breakfast in the car or even just getting a quick coffee for your commute. But eating and drinking while driving leads to 2% of distracted driving accidents. That should be enough to make you think twice about eating that bagel behind the wheel.
  • #5: Using or reaching for a device that you brought into the car. This doesn’t just mean composing a text to your boss. Just reaching for your phone or another device causes 2% of distracted driving accidents.
  • #4: Other people in the car. This means kids crying in the backseat, friends chatting in the passenger seat, or even your dog who you turn your head to check on. The attention drivers give to other occupants leads to 5% of distracted driving accidents.
  • #3: What’s going on outside. Looking at objects, people, and events outside your car requires considerable attention, enough to contribute to 7% of distracted driving accidents. Don’t cause another accident by rubbernecking.
  • #2: Cell Phone use. Perhaps the most infamous cause of distracted driving. Unfortunately, many people use their final words in life on a text or phone call that could have waited. Even hands-free options cause distractions that contribute to 12% of distracted driving accidents. There are very few calls or texts that are worth risking lives for.
  • #1: Getting “lost in thought.” Just because you don’t text and drive doesn’t mean you’re off the hook! Turns out that general distraction such as letting your mind wander causes a chart-topping 62% of distracted driving accidents.

Start Making the Roads Safer

Hopefully, these stats encourage you to think twice before letting your attention go to something besides driving. Besides removing and minimizing your own distractions, another effective way to help prevent car accidents in the Shreveport area is to speak up and lead by example. If you see someone driving while distracted, remind them of the consequences of just a few seconds of distraction. And lead by example for your friends, family, coworkers, and community!

If You’re Injured Because of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is negligence. And if someone else’s negligence causes you injury, you can sue for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Contact a personal injury attorney at Campbell, House, & Company to get started. Call our Shreveport, LA office at or message us online.

 

Campbell, House & Company

1815 Roselawn Ave

Monroe, LA 71201

(318) 855-0285

Fax: 505.764.9722

How Much Money Can You Claim In A Wrongful Death Case in Monroe, Louisiana?

Dealing with the tragic death of a loved one might be one of the toughest challenges you’ll ever face. Aside from the grief and shock of losing someone you love, wrongful deaths bring a series of legal questions, confusion, and potential challenges.

After a wrongful death, you have the option of filing a claim for compensation. It might feel disrespectful or weird to be thinking about money in a time like this, but you might need to. After losing a family member in an accident, you will likely be facing hospital bills, funeral expenses, and losses such as income that you relied on.

It’s a good idea to pursue a claim, not only to cover the immediate expenses but also to help you with expenses and losses down the road that result from your loved one’s death. And if a legal case seems overwhelming, don’t panic. At Campbell, House, & Company, there’s a team of experienced and caring attorneys waiting to take the weight of your shoulders turning this chaotic time.

So, if you’ve decided to take legal action after a wrongful death in Monroe, Louisiana. It’s natural to wonder how much compensation you will receive.

First of all, it’s important to realize there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to financial awards in wrongful death cases. Because each case is unique, you should not rely on compensation calculators that circulate the internet or on results from other cases. Doing so could actually hurt your case by deceiving you into settling for less than what you deserve.

Instead, your best chance of optimum success is to work with a wrongful death attorney who truly cares about you and your case. Campbell, House, & Company is an experienced group of compassionate and highly competent attorneys ready to fight for your rights under Louisiana wrongful death law.

How To Understand What Your Case Is Worth

Your unique circumstances and the competence of your attorney will determine the outcome of your case. An attorney can help you figure out what you can reasonably claim in a Monroe, Louisiana case. To start determining your case’s value, your attorney will consider the following factors:

  • The age of your loved one at the time of their death
  • Your loved one’s physical health prior to the accident
  • Your loved one’s earning capacity and potential – this includes their education, work experience, training, and physical abilities.
  • Any household tasks that your loved one provided. For example, if your spouse cared for your children, you will most likely need to hire childcare now. You can claim the expenses related to childcare in your wrongful death case.
  • Income that was provided by your loved one
  • Benefits or gifts that you received because of your loved one, such as healthcare.
  • If your loved one had dependents, the ages and circumstances of those dependents.
  • Loss of inheritance, if applicable
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Any medical expenses and hospital bills that resulted from your loved one’s injuries in the accident
  • Your mental anguish caused by their death
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of affection
  • Loss of moral support
  • Loss of guidance
  • Loss of attention
  • Loss of sexual relationship
  • Pain and suffering that your loved one experienced because of the other party’s negligence

You’ve probably noticed that some of these factors don’t have a set value. For example, while you might receive a hospital bill in a very tangible dollar amount, a damage such as loss of companionship doesn’t have a price. That’s where an experienced attorney is essential. An attorney can help argue that you deserve significant compensation for these non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

In addition to the above factors, you might also be able to claim punitive damages. While the above damages are considered compensation for something that was taken from you, punitive damages act as a punishment on the negligent party. For example, if your loved one was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver, you can try to claim punitive damages as a way to penalize the drunk driver’s inexcusable recklessness. Or, if your loved one died in a workplace accident, your attorney might be able to prove that the accident could have been easily prevented if it weren’t for someone’s extreme negligence. Talk to your attorney about the possibility of claiming punitive damages in addition to your other compensation.

What’s Next?

We know that money won’t make life seem normal after losing a loved one, but your compensation awards can provide the financial stability and peace of mind you need to start moving forward. A successful compensation claim can also help you gain assurance that, to the extent that was possible, justice was done. Contact our Monroe office at (318) 855-0285 or online.

 

Campbell, House & Company

1815 Roselawn Ave

Monroe, LA 71201

(318) 855-0285

Fax: 505.764.9722

Injured? When To Accept An Insurance Settlement in Shreveport, LA

It’s unjust that you should have to suffer because of another person’s negligence. That’s why personal injury law exists – to help you get justice in the form of financial compensation. Unfortunately, even after the accident, you might be the victim of more injustice if you’re not careful.

What To Expect From Insurance Companies

Insurance companies exist for their bottom line. So while they advertise promises of security for their clients, they often hesitate to offer settlements that actually cover the value of the claim. Often, insurance companies (whether you are filing a claim with your own insurance or filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance) will try to convince you to accept a settlement that is less than the amount you’re entitled to. They often get away with this because many accident victims don’t know the real value of their damages and what they could legally claim – we’ll get to that later in this article.

The first thing you need to know is that insurance companies in Shreveport are counting on you to want to settle fast and with as little inconvenience as possible. They know that you’ll have medical bills and property damage expenses piling up and that you might be impatient to get the money. They’re counting on you to not understand the full scope of your damages and what the law might allow you to claim.

Don’t accept a settlement too soon or you’ll lose out on compensation you deserve.

Evaluating The Total Value Of Your Damages

To evaluate the total value of your damages, you need to think outside the box. Your accident damages could be far more than just the cost of a new car or your first medical bills.

Personal injury damages can be broken down into two general categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.

  • Economic Damages

Justia defines economic damages as “tangible damages that can easily be quantified, and their value does not change depending on the jury that is evaluating them.” In personal injury cases, economic damages usually include expenses such as:

  • Car replacement or repairs
  • Rental car costs
  • Hired services such as housekeeping (if your injuries prevent you from doing daily tasks)
  • Lost wages due to missing work while recovering or because you lost an ability to earn in the future (sometimes called lost earning capacity)
  • Medical bills (past and future – including expenses required for your full recovery such as physical therapy and treatment for PTSD or other psychological issues)
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses
  • Non-Economic Damages

Also sometimes referred to as “pain and suffering,” non-economic damages are harder to valuate but are often some of the greatest losses after a serious accident. Non-economic damages can include:

  • Pain
  • Emotional anguish
  • Humiliation
  • Reputational damage
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities
  • Worsening of prior injuries

Who determines the value of these damages? Economic damages can be proven by signed statements from medical professionals, receipts or statements from mechanics, and other records that show your expenses. Non-economic damages will usually need to be presented by a personal injury lawyer and evaluated by a judge or jury.

When trying to put a number on the amount of money you can claim, it’s best to get legal assistance so that nothing falls through the cracks.

When Is It Safe To Settle?

As you can guess, evaluating your damages can take a lot of time and careful attention, as well as the opinions of many professionals and/or witnesses. So at what point can you accept a settlement with confidence?

Generally, when it comes to medical expenses, you should wait until Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) before you accept a settlement. MMI is the point in your recovery in which your condition is stable to the extent that additional intervention won’t make things any better. It doesn’t mean you have fully recovered, but it means that a doctor can confidently assess what your recovery journey will look like, what treatments you will require, and what the costs of those treatments will be.

Do not accept an insurance settlement without getting advice from medical and legal professionals. It makes sense that you’re anxious to get your compensation, but remember that a little patience can go a long way when it comes to your settlement.

Do you want experienced legal assistance to help you determine the value of your case and successfully claim your compensation in Shreveport, Louisiana? The world might feel like it’s against you after a serious accident, but our legal team is all for you! Don’t guess when it comes to your personal injury settlement. Don’t risk missing a significant portion of your compensation. It’s not just about the money, it’s about justice for you! Contact our Shreveport office at (318) 855-0285 or contact us online!

 

Campbell, House & Company

1815 Roselawn Ave

Monroe, LA 71201

(318) 855-0285

Fax: 505.764.9722

Your Risk of Psychological Injuries After An Accident In Monroe, LA

When you’re reeling from the aftereffects of a serious car accident – you’re probably focused on your physical injuries, property damage, and all the bills that are piling up.

But it’s important to remember that some of your most serious injuries might be harder to detect. Victims of car accidents often experience psychological injuries in addition to (or even in the absence of) physical wounds.

Understanding Psychological Injuries

According to WebMD, even minor accidents can result in severe emotional trauma such as fears and phobias about riding in a car. WebMD reports a study that finds that one-third of car accident victims experience some form of PTSD, anxiety, depression, or phobias after an accident – with passengers often having even more emotional repercussions than drivers.

Identifying PTSD

In the months following the accident, if you experience anxiety, consistent nightmares about the accident, and/or the strong desire to avoid getting in a car, you might be suffering from PTSD. According to FamilyDoctor.org, common symptoms of PTSD can include:

  • A persistent feeling of general uneasiness.
  • Anxiety regarding driving or riding in vehicles.
  • Desire to avoid medical tests or procedures.
  • Irritability, excessive worry, or anger.
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping.
  • A feeling of disconnection to events or other people.
  • Ongoing memories or thoughts about the accident that you can’t seem to control.

You Can Claim Compensation For Psychological Injuries

While personal injury lawsuits often focus on collecting compensation for monetary costs like medical bills and vehicle replacement, in some situations you can also claim compensation for psychological injuries such as PTSD.

Getting medical care for your emotional trauma is essential to claiming related compensation. To prove your need for emotional trauma compensation, you’ll need to provide evidence that the accident caused you PTSD or another psychological issue.  According to FindLaw, you’ll need to support your claim with testimony from a psychological trauma expert. The testimony will need to establish that:

  1. You’ve been appropriately diagnosed with PTSD.
  2. Your psychological condition is connected to the car accident in question (and not a prior event or circumstance).
  3. An estimation of how long your condition may persist.
  4. How your psychological suffering and needed treatment can be reflected in a dollar value.

How To Move Forward

Getting the proper therapy and care is essential for dealing with psychological injuries. Common treatments for PTSD include cognitive processing therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and some medications. Ask your doctor for therapist recommendations and remember that there is healing for PTSD.

Also, make sure to talk to a personal injury attorney about how to claim the compensation you deserve for your psychological injuries. Maximizing your personal injury claim can make the thought of paying for therapy a lot more positive!

The personal injury attorneys at Campbell, House, and Company understand all the areas of your life that can be affected by an accident. Get the compensation you need by calling (318) 855-0285 or contacting us online!

 

Campbell, House & Company

1815 Roselawn Ave

Monroe, LA 71201

(318) 855-0285

Fax: 505.764.9722

Claiming Lost Wages After An Accident

When another person’s negligence causes you injury, one of the many hardships you might face as a result of the accident is lost wages. Even minor injuries can prevent you from returning to work or performing all of your job requirements. As a result, you might lose all or part of your income. Keep reading to understand how you can get it back!

Types of Lost Wages You Can Claim

There are two types of lost wages you can claim in your personal injury case:

  1. Past Lost Income – income lost because of your injuries up until the point of your case being finalized
  2. Future Lost Earnings – income that you may lose in the future as a result of your injuries.

According to HG.org, past lost income is relatively easy to prove. You will typically need your employer to confirm your absences from work due to the accident and the earnings that you would have received if you had been able to come to work.

HG.org goes on to say that future lost earnings are the most complicated to claim because your future ability to earn wages is usually quite ambiguous. Most personal injury accident victims will experience some form of recovery over time and will be able to return to work either full-time or part-time. But in many cases, there is a “loss of earning capacity.” Because this aspect of the law is very nuanced, an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential.

Reasons You Might Lose Wages After An Accident

There are many possible scenarios for which you can claim compensation for lost wages.

  • You might not be able to work at all (or in the same capacity) for a time during your recovery. While you might eventually be able to return to your previous job, you can still claim the wages lost during your recovery time.
  • Your physical injuries might not prevent you from going to work, but your emotional injuries do. It’s quite common for accidents to leave victims with psychological damage or PTSD. Emotional damage can prevent you from performing your normal work tasks, which is also ground for claiming lost wages.
  • Your injuries might impact your future so that you can’t go back to your previous job, but you can perform some kind of work. You might be able to claim lost wages if the only work you can perform after the accident doesn’t pay as much as your previous job.

Have you been the victim of an accident that has caused or will cause you to lose income in Shreveport, Louisiana? Getting trusted legal representation is essential to successfully claiming all of the lost wages you are entitled to. A lawyer will help you calculate the past and future wages that you can claim and help provide the necessary evidence. Get started by calling (318) 855-0285 or contacting us online!

 

Campbell, House & Company

1815 Roselawn Ave

Monroe, LA 71201

(318) 855-0285

Fax: 505.764.9722