When you are seriously injured because of a car wreck in Metairie, Louisiana or the surrounding areas, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit.

While you should make the decision to contact an attorney to help you with this process, you may want to try handling the case on your own.

Whether you hire an attorney or handle it on your own, there are a number of very important steps that you must take to file your personal injury claim.

Steps to Filing a Louisiana Personal Injury Claim

Filing a lawsuit in Louisiana properly is very important.

If you file incorrectly, your claim can be dismissed and you may never recover from your damages.

Here are a few important things that you need to properly file a lawsuit:

  1. Proper name and correct address of at-fault party or parties;
  2. Proper name and correct address of at-fault party’s insurance company;
  3. Appropriate description of the location of the collision, incident, or action that caused you damages;
  4. Appropriate description of collision, incident, or action that caused you damages;
  5. Appropriate description of the damages (special and general) that you suffered due to the collision, incident, or action;
  6. Properly drafted complaint/petition for damages (this document gives an overview of the case – it identifies you (plaintiff), the defendant, what happened, and other basic facts.
  7. File the complaint/petition in the proper court and before the case prescribes (or statute of limitations expires);
  8. Pay for the filing fee;
  9. Have the complaint/petition properly served on the defendant(s) at the correct address;
  10. Pay the service fee;
  11. Check to make sure service made properly and within required time frames;
  12. If service not made timely or properly, re-request service and pay an additional fee for service;
  13. Make sure the defendant(s) answer the suit timely. If not, take appropriate action to place the defendant in default.
  14. If the defendant answers suit timely, begin litigation with the defendant.

This is a brief and non-exhaustive overview of the beginnings of a personal injury lawsuit.

Your specific case may be different or require additional steps.

In order to hold the insurance company and the defendant accountable for your damages, you must complete all steps properly. 

While this sounds daunting, a qualified Metairie personal injury attorney can take care of this process and make sure things are done correctly.

This is just the beginning. After these steps, much more extensive information and steps will be required.

These steps include discovery (answering questions from the defendant, having our questions answered by the defendant, requesting documents, producing documents, giving depositions, taking depositions, working with experts, etc.), negotiations, trial preparation, and going to trial.

By cooperating with your Metairie personal injury lawyer, you will become a team, and by working together you’ll greatly increase the chances of negotiating a fair settlement or winning your personal injury claim in court.

Do I Have to Sue the Other Party After a Wreck?

You have a NOT to sue!!

Wait...did they really say that?

Yes, we did!

You have the right not to sue in your personal injury case. And more often than not, it’s best you only take your case to court when you absolutely have to because the other side or their insurance company is refusing to pay.

This is true even if you were seriously injured and not at fault. Why?

First of all, going to court is no guarantee of maximizing what you receive. And in many circumstances, going to court may actually reduce the total reward you receive because costs are increased.

Secondly, taking your case to trial will involve a lot of stress and time lost, and may even result in additional legal fees to prepare and represent your case that exceed any additional reward you receive.

So we always make sure to advise you on the full cost of going to trial vs. settling before deciding to go to court.

And lastly, some personal injury attorneys simply love to go to court to be in the limelight, garner press for their firm, or worse, simply to satisfy their egos. But that strategy can put your reward at risk entirely!

We always advise clients to settle and move on with their life whenever fair compensation is being offered.

Of course, should liable parties refuse to pay fair damages, we’re ready to go to trial to defend your just compensation. But in the vast majority of cases, this simply isn’t necessary.

Contacting A Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney

After a serious accident, while you are dealing with disabling injuries, large medical bills, car repairs, and insurance companies, having someone work for and with you can mean the world.

If the prospect of going through this alone seems daunting and you decide you need help, Louisiana personal injury lawyer Loyd Bourgeois is ready to provide you with the assistance you need! Contact us today to schedule a FREE no obligation legal consultation – (985) 240-9773.

Loyd J. Bourgeois
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Accident, injury, and disability lawyer serving Luling, Metairie, New Orleans, and South Louisiana