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Personal Injury FAQ

The most Frequently Asked Questions Asked by Accident and Injury Victims

How is experienced is Gordon Matheny?

Hammond personal injury lawyer Gordon Matheny has over four decades of legal representation on personal injury, motor vehicle accident, malpractice, products liability, wrongful death, and more.

 

Where is the Matheny Law Firm located?

The Matheny Law Firm is located in downtown Hammond, Louisiana at the corner of SW Railroad and Robert. The address is 100 W Robert St., Hammond, LA 70401. The phone number is (985) 542-0293.

 

Do I need a lawyer?

Although you are not required by law to hire an attorney, it is wise to consult the legal advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure your best interests are protected. Most people do not have the resources, time and expertise to fight with insurance companies. Shortly after an accident, an insurance adjusters often contacts the injured persons or his or her family try to gain their confidence with the end goal of settling the case on terms favorable to the insurance company. Dealing with thes tactics can be very complex and frustrating in personal injury cases, so it is best to have a skilled, knowledgeable attorney representing your case.

Gordon Matheny can explain the your legal rights and all aspects of handling your personal injury claim. From the initial investigation, to gathering medical records and evaluating the settlement value of the case, Gordon Matheny is a valuable advocate to have on your side.

 

Does it really matter what attorney I hire in terms of the settlement or verdict amount?

If you have a very minor injury your claim could have a low value no matter what type of lawyer you hire. If you are suffering from major injuries, then the quality of your lawyer can play an extensive role in the amount of money you recover. An ineffective lawyer is someone usually who has little or no experience with injury claims. When you have this kind of lawyer your claim could be argued down to nothing.

 

How much does it cost to hire an attorney?

You will pay no attorney fees unless the case is resolved and money is recovered. If no money is ever recovered, you do not pay any attorney’s fees or expenses. At the Matheny Law Firm, we charge our clients based on this contingent fee. The client never receives a monthly bill that they have to pay. Instead, we charge a percentage of the amount we recover. This percentage is paid after the settlement and is calculated based upon the entire settlement amount.
At the time of settlement, the client pays out of the settlement for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred. These expenses include medical records and reports, filing fees, deposition charges, copy charges, and other similar expenses. These expenses are deducted after the percentage for attorneys’ fees is deducted.

 

How do I find the best attorney for my case?

Choosing an experienced attorney may be the most important step in assuring that you receive full and fair recovery for your injuries. It’s important to select an attorney who understands what you are going through and can meet your needs. Look no further…personal injury lawyer Gordon Matheny of the Matheny Law Firm will provide cost-effective, personalized, representation to your case.

 

Do I have to pay for an initial consultation with the Matheny Law Firm?

No. Every day, Gordon Matheny receives calls seeking consultations. These initial consultations are provided free of charge.

 

What is a personal injury case?

When you or a loved one sustains serious injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, this may be considered a personal injury case. Common types of personal injury claims include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, semi-truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, and wrongful death.

 

Do I have a case?

Liability and damages are two distinct parts to a personal injury case. Whose fault was the accident? Was the injured party also at fault? Damages include injuries, disability, suffering, and economic loss. If you have clear liability picture and serious injuries, then you probably have a case and need to contact personal injury lawyer Gordon Matheny.

 

How do I prove my personal injury case?

You need to prove that negligence was involved on behalf of the other party and that it was the direct result of your injury and you wouldn’t have been harmed otherwise. If the other party was lacking reasonable care and precaution, he/she may be considered to be negligent in that given circumstance.

 

What is the statute of limitations for injury claims in Louisiana?

Under Louisiana law, you typically have one year to file your personal injury claim before the statute of limitations runs out. With wrongful death or medical malpractice claims you are only given two years to file your claim. There are exceptions to this rule so make sure you speak with Gordon Matheny to find out the exact statute of limitations for your specific case. Time is of the essence, schedule your free case evaluation today and file your claim before it is too late!

 

Will my case go to trial?

Only about 25% of all personal injury cases ever make it to trial. The severity of your claim, the efficiency of your attorney, the insurance company and the certainty of evidence are factors. Many times, however, the parties are able to come to a settlement before trial becomes necessary. Contact the Matheny Law Firm today to find out whether or not your case will make it to trial.

 

Should I talk to insurance companies?

After an accident, speak only with the police for a written record of the events, your insurance company, and with your attorney. Make sure your personal injury lawyer handles all interaction with the negligent party’s insurance.

 

Should I accept a check from the other party’s insurance?

Never accept a check from an insurance company before consulting with your attorney. Accepting a check from them may be taken as a settlement. Adjusters may come to your home ready to write a check before you have had a chance to consult a doctor or attorney. You may feel pressured to accept any money. It’s important to remember that if you accept a check and your injuries worsen, the insurance company will no longer be held responsible for any future medical bills.

 

How much is my claim worth?

Medical bills, rehab costs, prescription drug costs, loss of earning capacity, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life are determining factors that your attoryney will evaluate before fighting for your compensation. There is no exact formula or science to calculating your claim, and it will all depend on the circumstances. Your attorney however, can look over your case and give you an estimate of how much to ask for and what a fair amount would be.

 

Can I get damages for my pain and suffering?

To correctly answer this question you need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney in Hammond, Louisiana. If you’ve been injured in a collision by another person’s negligence, you’re entitled to compensation for your physical pain and mental anguish. The Matheny Law Firm will allow you to concentrate on getting better, knowing that the complexities of your personal injury case are being investigated and evaluated properly. We will document how your injuries have truly affected your ability to lead your normal life. Never let an insurance adjuster tell you why you aren’t entitled to some measure of relief. We will collect the compensation you are entitled to receive.

 

What do I need to do to make sure my rights are protected?

Consult with Gordon Matheny at the Matheny Law Firm immediately. It is very important that a police report is created and that photographs of the vehicles and the scene are taken as soon as possible. Insurance companies often fail to advise their policyholders what benefits they’re entitled to receive after being injured in an automobile collision. You need to know what benefits are available and for how long. Let the Matheny Law Firm make sure that you’re getting all that you paid for by your insurance premiums, by helping you correctly make a timely claim.

 

Will my accident case settle?

Over 90 percent of all injury cases settle. At the Matheny Law Firm, we prepare each personal injury case as if it were going to trial. If your case does not settle, we are prepared. If it does settle, we will generally get you more money because we have done our due diligence.

 

If I am injured in a car accident and it was clearly their fault, will the insurance pay for my car repair?

Yes. In almost every case when the liability and negligence is evident, the insurance companies will may for your car repair before you even finish your medical treatment. Until your car is back up and running, they will also pay for you to use a rental car.

 

Should police be notified after an accident occurs?

It is always a good idea to notify police and file a report if there is damage to either vehicle. If someone is injured you should always notify local law enforcement.

 

If I received a ticket, does that mean the accident is my fault?

In most cases the person who is ticketed for the accident is at fault. A ticket cannot be used as evidence in the courtroom to show fault of either party. Most cases involve a shared level of fault on both parties. For insurance purposes, most initial decisions on who should pay for the damages go to the person ticketed. This is simply done because the insurance company was not there to witness the accident and will initially rely on the officer or deputy’s decision.

 

How do my medical bills get paid?

This all depends on what kind of insurance you have and who was at fault. If the accident was your fault, excess bills could come out of your checkbook. If the fault is on the other person you may have a claim against them for unpaid medical bills.

 

Who covers the cost of damages to my car?

If the accident was your fault then your insurance is your only option for payment. If you have no collision coverage and the accident was your fault, no one pays for your damages. If the other driver is responsible you can use their insurance. If you have collision coverage, you can use your own or choose to use the other person’s insurance.

 

What constitutes a bodily injury claim?

A bodily injury claim is a claim for pain and suffering following an accident. If an accident is determined to be your fault, then you have no claim. If the other party is completely or mostly to blame you can bring a claim against them when you have suffered a permanent injury. Permanent injuries can be anything from fractures, bad scars, any injury that requires surgery and even some soft tissue injuries such as back and neck herniated disks, bulges, and shoulder and leg sprains, provided a qualified doctor can testify as to the percentage of permanency.

 

What is the value of my bodily injury claim?

Fault, damage and available coverage factor into the worth of your bodily claim. Even if you have suffered major injuries, a bodily injury claim has a value of zero if there is no fault. For limited coverage, value can be weakened to the available coverage despite drastic injuries. The greater the injury and the clearer the fault make the best value for your case.

 

What if I was working when the accident took place?

If your employer provides workers compensation coverage, you could have a worker’s compensation claim supplementing the car accident claim.

 

What is a UM claim?

An underinsured/uninsured motorist claim is equivalent to a bodily injury claim, but it is brought against your own insurance company. This is done when the person at fault does not carry any applicable insurance, or more commonly does not have enough to cover your injuries.

 

Do I have to report a minor accident to my insurance provider?

While there is no law in Louisiana that says you must report accidents to your insurance company, all automobile insurance policies require that you report an accident immediately. If the accident does not get reported in a timely fashion you violate the terms of your insurance policy and run the risk of voiding your insurance for that accident. In other words, YES, you have a contractual obligation.

 

I’ve been injured in a fall and I think that the owner of the property is responsible. Can you help?

Landowners and those in control of property have a duty to protect those upon the premises from certain dangers. What level of protection depends on your reason for being on the property. For example, a storeowner owes a customer a different level of protection than a homeowner owes a social guest. This can be a very complicated area of law and how any court may rule is hard to predict these days. If the defect or condition on the property was special, hidden, or somehow not otherwise recognizable, the landowner or those in control may be responsible for your injuries. Again, get photographs of the surrounding area and attempt to identify any witnesses. Consult with personal injury attorney Gordon Matheny for an experienced and reasoned opinion on whether you have a compensable case.

 

I was was bitten by a neighborhood dog and have scars from the bites. I am concerned about my future medical expenses. Should I talk to an attorney?

Yes. It is important to get an attorney involved early to determine the facts of the bite and the availability of insurance coverage. Take pictures of the wound(s) and continue to do so as they heal. Report the incident to a Animal Control officer and follow through to make sure that the animal is quarantined to ensure it is otherwise healthy. Experienced personal injury atttorney Gordon Matheny will evaluate these factors in determining the value of your damages.

 

What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death is best described as when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another. Wrongful death is the basis for a lawsuit, a wrongful death action, against the party or parties who caused the wrongful death. Action may be filed on behalf of the members of the family who have lost the company and support of the deceased due to wrongful death. The answer as to who exactly can bring a wrongful death action in any given case can be complex; therefore, anyone considering a wrongful death action should consult with an attorney.