Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
No Recovery - No Fee
Phone 225-927-7035

Baton Rouge Personal Injury Blog

Settling a car accident claim takes speed, organization and skill

Nobody wants to be hurt in a car accident and nobody wants to cope with the agony that comes after the accident -- the insurance claim.

Keeping that in mind, there are some basic things you should know about how to handle an insurance claim when you've been the victim of a negligent driver:

  1. Try to settle out of court. It's far less stressful and generally less expensive. What you might gain in an award in court could easily be lost again through court costs, the price of depositions, expert witnesses and more.
  2. Move fast. You don't want to let the insurance company know that you are planning on asking for a settlement. You also want to get to witnesses while their memories are clear and gather evidence while it's easy to collect.
  3. Get organized. Make certain that you build a solid case -- and that means putting together a paperwork trail. Gather every bill and medical report associated with your case and make certain they're in chronological order when you present it to the other driver's insurance company.
  4. Have a goal in mind. You can expect the insurance company's goal when it comes to what kind of settlement to offer you to be a lot lower than your goal. Ideally, you'll eventually meet in the middle.

Louisiana car crashes: The good and the bad

The good news? As recently as two years ago, a study indicated that the number of fatal Louisiana car accidents had decreased by almost 3 percent. This drop in deadly crashes means both you – the driver -- and your family -- as passengers and pedestrians – are safer.

The bad news? Lack of seatbelt use and drunk driving are still contributing factors in far too many motor vehicle accident deaths. While you do have some control over the proper use of seatbelts and your own careful, sober driving, you cannot foresee the actions or decisions of other drivers on the road. So exactly how much danger are you in? Perhaps more importantly, what should you do if you are involved in a serious car accident?

New medication being pushed on patients who don't need it

There's a condition you may have recently heard about -- especially if you have access to a television or a computer.

It's called PBA, or pseudobulbar effect, which can cause uncontrollable crying or laughing. It's relatively rare -- a side disorder affecting mostly people who have either multiple sclerosis or ALS that impacts less than 1 percent of people in the United States. Ads have been popping up on television screens and on computer screens all over asking people to learn more about the condition and to be understanding -- and to learn about the new drug that treats it.

3 huge mistakes people make after 'minor' motor vehicle accidents

There are so many things that can go wrong when you're behind the wheel of a car -- it's almost impossible to list all the ways that you can end up in a car accident.

However, there are a limited number of things that you can do right once an accident does happen.

Louisiana's medical malpractice laws require an experienced hand

Every state has unique laws when it comes to medical malpractice claims.

If you've been the victim of malpractice -- for example the misdiagnosis of something serious like cancer as something far more benign, like an infected lymph node -- there are a few things you should understand about how Louisiana handles malpractice claims.

Maternal mortality - how common is it?

Maternal mortality has risen in awareness this past year after a recent series of articles gained nationwide attention. At issues is the astonishingly high rate of maternal mortality in the U.S. compared with that of other developed countries.

Ongoing research is working on determining the causes of the preventable deaths, but it is clear that more data and additional study is needed so that hospitals and doctors can provide better care for mothers and families. 

How do you drive safely in fog?

Driving school doesn't really prepare you for everything. And, even if you're a seasoned driver, you can easily forget how to handle something if you don't regularly face a specific problem -- which may partially be why fog is one of the most dangerous driving conditions out there.

Fog isn't a usual event, but it tends to take place more often in the fall than in other seasons, so it's very much a seasonal issue. Here are some reminders about how to handle yourself (and your car) when the road is foggy:

  1. Drive slower. You don't want to take the risk of driving at the posted speed limit or faster because you cannot see far enough ahead to react in time to anything in your path.
  2. Reduce distractions. Put your cellphone on mute and put it down while you're driving, turn off the radio and put the GPS on voice-mode only so that you aren't even tempted to look. Don't try to eat, fish around the seat for anything or engage in other distracting behaviors while caught in a fog.
  3. Adjust your lights. Your bright lights won't help you in fog. They'll actually just reflect off the moisture in the air and the refraction from the water droplets will make it harder to see. Put you low-beam lights on so that you can see more easily and other drivers can see you -- even if it is technically daylight outside.
  4. Stay back from other vehicles. Remember, other drivers may be hesitant and a little scared, so the traffic may be moving slower than normal. Keep your distance and don't tailgate -- it won't help the situation or make the other driver go faster. Instead, you may make the other driver more nervous and prone to an accident.

Louisiana's law limits responsibility in drunk driving cases

Louisiana is somewhat unique among the states when it comes to its attitude toward social hosts who allow guests or patrons to become visibly intoxicated.

In essence, the law says that it's the act of consuming the alcohol -- not the act of serving or selling it -- that causes someone to get drunk. If that drunken person gets behind the wheel of a car and causes an injury or death, all of the responsibility for the accident falls on the shoulders of the person who did the drinking.

Senate bill paves the way for self-driving cars

Over the past few years, automakers have promised to have self-driving cars on Louisiana roads by the end of the decade. While this initially may have been simple sales rhetoric, legislative steps are being taken that bring their promises closer to reality.

According to a recent ABCNews.com report, the Senate recently approved a bill that would allow automakers to apply for special exemptions to federal safety standards for autonomous vehicles. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted to allow each eligible automaker to sell up to 15,000 cars and light trucks with self-driving technology within the first year of the bill’s passage. 

Concussions, car accidents and recovery

A car accident is a jarring experience. You need to get the damaged vehicles off the road, cooperate with law enforcement and check everyone’s medical condition. It’s a whirlwind of activity immediately after a shocking situation. Amid the chaos, you need to consider your own health as well. While it’s human nature to look for injuries you can see, internal injuries can be even more severe.

As drivers and passengers react to a car crash, few think about concussions. A concussion is a brain injury with potentially lifelong consequences. The CDC notes that motor vehicle crashes are the third-leading cause of traumatic brain injury hospitalizations and deaths. Concussions aren’t just caused by a bump to the head: a sudden whiplash-like movement can cause brain injury.