Lake Charles Personal Injury Lawyers
Dedicated Representation for Victims & Their Families
No one should have to suffer the devastating, often life-altering consequences of someone else’s careless or reckless behavior. Unfortunately, negligence occurs all too often. If you were injured or if your loved one was killed as a result of another person or party’s negligent actions, turn to the Lake Charles personal injury team at Hinch & Associates PLC. Our highly respected lawyers have a proven track record of success; we are good at what we do, and we truly care about helping our clients secure the highest possible compensation for their injuries, pain, and suffering.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
Our Lake Charles personal injury lawyers are well-versed in all aspects of personal injury proceedings and litigation. We know how the legal process unfolds and can inform you of what to expect, even as we guide you through the various stages and advocate tirelessly on your behalf. We proudly serve clients throughout the Lake Charles Metropolitan Area.
Our lawyers handle complex personal injury cases involving:
- Car accidents
- Catastrophic injuries
- Motorcycle accidents
- Plant and refinery accidents
- Maritime law
- Truck accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Wrongful death
No matter the type of accident you have been involved in, we understand the unique challenges you face. You are likely facing mounting medical bills, compounded by lost wages/income from time you’ve had to take off work to recover and receive treatment. If your injuries have proven disabling, you may be concerned about the long-term financial ramifications of not being able to return to your job—not to mention the myriad ways in which this disability will affect your life.
Our goal in every case is to recover full, fair compensation for our clients’ medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning ability, physical pain, emotional suffering, property damage, and any other losses they have sustained.
Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Louisiana
Per Louisiana Civil Code section 3492, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Louisiana is one year. In other words, you have until the first anniversary of your injury to file a claim in civil court against the responsible party. This deadline applies to any personal injury lawsuit based on the legal concept of negligence or an intentional tort, such as a claim filed after a car accident, slip and fall, or an intentional tort.
If you attempt to file a personal injury claim after this deadline has passed, your case will almost certainly be dismissed and you will effectively be barred from seeking compensation for your injuries. For this reason, it is crucial to get a skilled personal injury lawyers involved as soon as possible after your injuries to guard your rights and maximize your chances of securing a favorable settlement.
Lake Charles Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much is my personal injury claim worth?
Every injury case is different. With that being said, the value of your claim will be heavily influenced by the extent of your injuries and the damages sustained. For example, a case involving whiplash injuries after a car accident may yield a smaller settlement than a case involving the wrongful death of a loved one. It is best to discuss your case with an lawyer to get a more accurate representation of the value of your claim.
Are personal injury settlements taxable?
In most cases, no. While the answer to this question may vary depending on the specifics of your case, most settlements awarded as compensation for out-of-pocket expenses incurred related to an injury are not taxable. It is best to speak with a tax professional to determine the exact tax implications of your settlement.
If I hire a lawyer, does that mean my case will go to trial?
Not always. Most personal injury claims are settled through out-of-court negotiations. With that being said, if our firm believes there is a considerable discrepancy between what the insurance company is offering and what we believe your case is worth, we are prepared to take your case to trial to pursue a favorable outcome. Our trial lawyers have 30+ years of combined trial experience and have the skills necessary to maximize your chances of success.
What should I do after suffering an injury?
If you have been injured, be sure to do the following:
- Get medical attention right away. Do not delay in seeing a doctor, as this can potentially harm your claim and give the opposition reason to doubt the true cause of your injuries. Follow your doctor's treatment orders closely.
- If you are not rushed to the emergency room, take photos or videos of the accident scene for later reference. Any evidence you can gather that proves the cause of your injuries will be helpful to your lawyer.
- If you can, get the contact information of any witnesses to your injuries as their testimony can help your claim.
- Do not apologize or admit fault in the immediate aftermath, as it can potentially harm your claim and expose you to liability before an investigation is even performed. Anything you say can be used against you.
- Report the injury. Depending on the nature and circumstances of your injury, this may involve calling the police, informing the owner or the manager of the establishment you were injured in, or informing your employer or supervisor if you were injured on the job. This will create a written record of the incident that can be critical to your claim.
- Do not discuss your injuries or give a statement to an insurance company until you have had a chance to speak to your lawyer. Remember, anything you say can be used against you.
- Even if you think you may not have a case, get in touch with a lawyer at once to discover your legal options and determine the most appropriate course of action.
Who will pay my medical bills?
Many injured clients are concerned about how they will pay for their medical bills. The answer to this question will vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Your auto or health insurance may cover some of your medical costs, but depending on your coverage, you may have to file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. Your lawyer can help you understand your options and guide you towards the most appropriate course of action.
My case is small. Is it worth pursuing?
As with many legal matters, the answer is it depends. It is important to remember that not all personal injury claims are of the multi-million dollar variety; many smaller claims can benefit from the expertise of a lawyer. Generally speaking, if you have suffered little more than a few bruises or scrapes and have no lasting injuries that will cause you to miss more than a few days of work, it may not be worthwhile pursuing a personal injury claim. With that being said, you must be careful of making this judgment of "no injuries" on your own. In an case, always seek medical help after an accident of any kind and always discuss your situation with a lawyer.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
All personal injury cases are different and will have a different timeline based on the specific circumstances at play. With that being said, the overwhelming majority of cases are settled out of court without the need for a lengthy trial. Unfortunately, the time it takes to reach a resolution is difficult to predict and can vary dramatically from case to case. Generally speaking, however, cases involving substantial injuries and large amounts of money will take longer to settle because the opposition will fight harder against it. Cases with unclear liability or complex laws can also take longer to resolve. Hiring a lawyer can sometimes motivate an insurer to offer a fair settlement earlier in the negotiation process, since they know they have less opportunity to take advantage of you.
Do I really need a lawyer for a personal injury case?
In most cases, it's advised. Some simple cases involving minor injuries or clear liability can be resolved on your own without a lawyer by negotiating with the involved insurance companies. However, you likely need a lawyer if the facts surrounding your case are complex, your injuries are significant, or the other party is denying responsibility for your accident.
In any case, it is always best to consult with an attorney at the outset to understand your legal rights and determine the best way to proceed.
How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?
Most personal injury lawyers, including those at Hinch & Associates PLC, accept cases on a "contingency fee basis." This means that the firm that handles your case will shoulder all upfront costs of handling your case and will only be paid if they are successful in recovering compensation on your behalf. Instead of being paid upfront, the lawyer will receive a percentage of your awarded verdict or settlement as payment.
Client-Focused Advocacy. Results-Driven Representation.
Here at Hinch & Associates PLC, we realize that our clients are real people with real lives. We genuinely care about you and your future; our Lake Charles personal injury lawyers are committed to providing you with compassionate guidance, consistent communication, and dedicated representation every step of the way. We will answer your questions, discuss your concerns, and help you navigate the legal process of recovery so you can focus on healing and moving forward with your life.