Attorney Portrait Information

My Car Got Totaled in New Orleans and I’m Not At Fault—Do I Have a Case?

| Read Time: 2 minutes

If you’ve been in a car accident and you are not at fault, you can expect some vehicle damage, whether big or small. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, your vehicle may suffer extreme damage and be rendered a “total loss.” If this is your situation, you may have legal options. It is crucial to understand total loss and what it means for you. What Is a Total Loss Vehicle? After a car accident, your vehicle will suffer damage. However, the total loss of a vehicle is the most severe kind of damage. RS 37:702 from the Louisiana statute explains that a “total loss” is a motor vehicle “which has sustained damage equivalent to 75% or more of the market value as determined by the most current National Automobile Dealers Association handbook.” If a vehicle has sustained less damage and is repairable, it is not considered a total loss. What If My Car Is Totaled and I Have Only Liability Insurance? In Louisiana, all drivers must have liability car insurance. This insurance serves to pay others if you cause injuries or damage to another’s property in a car accident. The minimum coverage amounts include: $15,000 for bodily injury to one person; $30,000 for bodily injury to multiple people during one accident; $25,000 for property damage in one accident. This insurance will not cover damage to your vehicle if you were at fault for an accident. You need collision coverage for that. However, if you are in a car accident and it was the other driver’s fault, you can file a claim with their insurance company. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay you for your property damage, including your totaled vehicle.  Along with your liability car insurance, it is also wise to have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. If the other driver happens to be underinsured, their insurance will pay first, but once that runs out, you can file a claim with your uninsured motorist coverage. You can also make a claim with your uninsured motorist insurance if the other driver is uninsured altogether. Can I Sue for My Car Being Totaled? If your vehicle is totaled in a car wreck, the most the insurance will pay is the vehicle’s fair market value on the day of the accident. If your car is financed, this compensation may do no more than pay off your vehicle, leaving you with no funds to get a new one. An issue may arise when the at-fault driver’s insurance company incorrectly calculates the value of your vehicle. If this occurs, you may reject the insurance company’s offer and provide your reasoning. However, do not expect the insurance company to change their offer. In a situation like this, you might be able to sue the insurance company for its low valuation. Consult with a qualified car accident attorney. Contact an Attorney If you have been in a car wreck and your vehicle was totaled, consult with an experienced car accident attorney. They will be able to answer all your questions and help you get the compensation you deserve for your vehicle. The Johns Law Firm collectively has decades of experience handling a variety of civil litigation matters. We are passionate about offering every client a personalized experience, and we are dedicated to providing the highest quality legal representation. We offer no-obligation case evaluations to get to know you and your case. Contact us today, and let’s see how we can help you.

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Attorney Portrait Information

What Are Diminished Value Claims in Texas?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

After a car accident, you will frequently interact with your insurance company regarding details of your accident, inspections, and repairs. If your vehicle has suffered significant damage, you may also consider discussing your vehicle’s diminished value. It is essential to become familiar with the concept and how it works. What Is Meant by “Diminished Value”? After a car accident, your vehicle will undoubtedly suffer damages. Unfortunately, even after your car is repaired and looks like new, it will never be the same again. This will present issues for you in the future, especially when it comes time to resell your vehicle. Buyers will look at your vehicle as altered and will likely not want to pay you what the car would typically be worth. This is diminished value. Diminished value is the difference between what your vehicle was worth pre-accident and what it is worth post-accident. How Do I File a Diminished Value Claim in Texas? Firstly, to qualify for diminished value, you must not be the at-fault party in the accident. If you were not at fault, you might be able to file a diminished value claim in Texas. For a diminished value claim, you must prove three things: Your vehicle lost value; There is a dollar amount to the value lost; and The insurance company will allow you to recover the diminished value. Your attorney can help you compile all the necessary information for your diminished value claim. Types of Diminished Value There are three types of diminished value. They include: Inherent diminished value, Immediate diminished value, and Repair-related diminished value. Inherent diminished value is the most commonly used type of diminished value. This kind of diminished value occurs when a vehicle loses value due to a history of damage.  Immediate diminished value represents the difference between the resale value right after an accident but before repairs. This type of diminished value is not often used. Repair-related diminished value represents the loss of a vehicle’s value based on low-quality repairs after a car accident. This kind of diminished value rests on the idea that the car cannot be restored to its original condition.  How Do I Calculate the Diminished Value of My Car? It is crucial to save all documentation and receipts from your car’s repairs. These items may come in handy in the future for your claim.  Generally, most insurance companies use a calculation known as “17c.” This formula works to produce a value for your vehicle. The steps are as follows. Calculate the Value of the Car You can use various tools to calculate the current value of your car. The value of your vehicle is dependent on the year, make, and model.  Apply a 10% Cap to the Value This formula takes the value of the vehicle and multiplies it by .10 to get a base loss of value. Apply a Damage Multiplier Now you will take any structural damage to the vehicle into account. For this step, you must take the number from step 2 and calculate it according to the level of damage: 1 = severe structural damage .75 = major damage to structure and panels .50 = moderate damage to structure and panels .25 = minor damage to structure and panels 0 = no structural damage or replaced panels Your Vehicle’s Mileage Next, you will take your vehicle’s mileage into consideration. Take the number from step 3 and multiply it depending on your car’s mileage: 1 = 0-19,999 miles .80 = 20,000-39,999 miles .60 = 40,000-59,999 miles .40 = 60,000-79,999 miles .20 = 80,000-99,999 miles 0 = 100,000+ miles These four steps will help give you your vehicle’s diminished value. How to Submit a Diminished Value Claim You may open up a conversation about a possible diminished value claim with your insurance adjuster. You may explain your situation to them. Ultimately, you may need to submit a diminished value demand letter to your insurance company. This letter should include: An explanation as to the purpose of the letter; The legal basis of your diminished value claim; The facts of your claim, with proof, if possible; and An explanation of the value of your diminished value claim. While you can do this yourself, we recommend that you seek help from an experienced Texas attorney. An attorney understands Texas law and can better represent you in this matter. Choose The Johns Law Firm The Johns Law Firm is a young law firm, composed of seven passionate attorneys. We recognize that every situation is different and pride ourselves on offering our clients personalized experiences. We know you have options, but we work diligently to set ourselves apart through our dedication, hard work, and fierce representation. Contact us today for your no-obligation case evaluation, and let’s see how we can help you. 

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury FAQ

5 Secrets to Finding a Successful New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Choosing an attorney can be a challenging task. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney, you may be wondering where to start and what to consider. Below are the five secrets to successfully finding the best personal injury attorney. Do Your Research First, ask family and friends for recommendations. Whether they provide guidance or you find potential attorneys on your own, conduct thorough research. You can find plenty of information on the internet, and the more information you find, the better. Try to get to know these potential attorneys as much as you can before scheduling consultations.  Find An Attorney That Understands Your Case During your research, look for attorneys that have previous experience handling cases similar to yours. If you are looking to file a personal injury lawsuit, make sure your attorney handles these particular cases. Finding an attorney that practices the specific area of law you’re looking for helps tremendously because no two areas of law are alike. Personal injury has its own laws that govern it, and a personal injury attorney will know and understand those laws that pertain to your case. This will give you an even higher chance of eventually reaching a favorable outcome. Consider the Firm as Well as the Attorney While you’re researching your attorney, also consider the law firm they work for. First and foremost, look at the size of the firm. While large law firms can be great, understand that small law firms will often offer a more personalized experience. Smaller law firms do not have large law firm caseloads, giving attorneys more time to work on your case. Additionally, consider the firm’s reputation. Many firms’ reputations will be evident through a simple search. A firm with a positive reputation commands more respect from opposing parties. Some firms also form these great reputations by giving back to the community. This shows a firm’s dedication to helping those around them, which means good things for you and your case. Look at Reviews and Past Successes Other details to note when researching the best personal injury lawyer are previous cases and client reviews. Attorneys will often share past cases and successes directly on their websites. Notice these cases and their outcomes. This is a good indication of what you may be able to expect. Client reviews are an excellent way to better understand how your attorney and firm operate, what you can expect from them, and how the process works. If you’ve never experienced a lawsuit, you may be apprehensive. Client reviews can put your mind at ease and further help you choose the best personal injury attorney. Meet with Attorneys After conducting your research and getting all the necessary information, schedule a consultation with your chosen attorney. If you narrow your list down to more than one attorney, meet with each of them. Before your consultation, make sure to collect any relevant information you may wish to present to the attorney and make a list of questions. Your meeting is a time dedicated to you, and your attorney will do their best to answer any questions you may have.  A consultation will give you the best chance to get to know the attorney. Look for an attorney that: Has the time to dedicate to your case; Is willing to be communicative throughout the process; and Seems easy to work with. You will be spending plenty of time working alongside your attorney. Meeting with them will give you the best idea of whether they are a good fit for you and what you’re looking for in an attorney. Consider The Johns Law Firm At The Johns Law Firm, we know you have options. We strive to set ourselves apart and offer clients the best and most personalized experience possible. Our goal is to have our clients feel confident in their decision to choose us from beginning to end. We are passionate about our clients and our community and helping in any way we can. Our firm offers a no-obligation consultation. We’ll review your case while you get to know us. Contact us today to get started.

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Hurricane News Updates

Hurricane Laura Continues to Impact Texas and Louisiana

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Lake Charles, LA (8/28/2020) — At least 16 people have died in Texas and Louisiana due to Hurricane Laura.  With power outages across most of the Louisiana and Texas gulf coastline, locals have turned to power generators for electricity. These generators release carbon monoxide that, when trapped inside the walls of a house, builds up and poisons the people inside. At least 11 people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.  The other deaths are attributed to trees falling into houses and drowning. Officials estimate that areas along the gulf shore could remain without water and power for weeks, as streets are inaccessible due to fallen trees and debris.  Hospitals in Lake Charles are transferring patients to other hospitals due to downed phone lines and limited access to power. Also, with a lack of running water in the area, Lake Charles residents are worried about the coronavirus pandemic and their inability to wash their hands frequently. Hurricane Laura continues on its path into the Midwestern United States, threatening Tennessee with strong rain and winds. Source: WDSU 6, The New York Times Contact an Experienced Insurance Attorney Today Unfortunately, hurricanes happen far too often in Texas and Louisiana. At The Johns Law Firm, we understand how devastating these hurricanes are for the local communities. If you sustain injuries or your property incurs damage in a hurricane, and your insurance company denies your claim, please contact one of our Houston or New Orleans insurance attorneys at 866-762-0302 to set up a free consultation. We have experience in hurricane-related insurance and property claims. Our deepest condolences go out to the victims of this hurricane. If you believe the information in this post needs correction or removal, please click the “Remove Post” link. REMOVE POST

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Houston Accident News

Texas and Louisiana Will Continue To Feel Impacts From Hurricane Laura Into The Weekend

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Houston, TX (8/28/2020) — Hurricane Laura continues to rain down on southeast Texas and southern Louisiana as the storm pushes further into Midwestern states on Friday. Laura, a category four hurricane and a slow-moving storm, made landfall on Thursday morning. Meteorologists anticipate that scattered showers and thunderstorms will linger near the Texas-Louisiana state line; winds will remain strong, with gusts up to 50 miles per hour through the evening. Weather conditions are expected to improve as the storm continues on its path toward the Atlantic seaboard over the weekend, but locals should remain on alert for flash flooding. Laura is the largest hurricane to hit the southeast in more than a century. Source: ABC 13 Contact an Experienced Hurricane Attorney Today Unfortunately, hurricanes happen far too often in Texas and Louisiana. At The Johns Law Firm, we understand how devastating these hurricanes are for the local communities. If you sustain injuries or your property incurs damage in a hurricane and your insurance company denies your claim, please contact one of our Houston or New Orleans hurricane attorneys at 866-762-0302 to set up a free consultation. We have experience in insurance and property claims and maritime injury cases. Our deepest condolences go out to the victims of this hurricane. If you believe the information in this post needs correction or removal, please click the “Remove Post” link. REMOVE POST

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Attorney Portrait Houston Accident News

Vehicle Flies Off of I-45, Killing the Passenger and Injuring the Driver

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Houston, TX (8/1/2020) — One person died and another is in critical condition after a car fell around 100 feet off of I-45 early Saturday morning. The crash occurred at 2:30 a.m. at the exit for 288 South. According to Houston Police, a Dodge Charger, driven by a man in his mid-20s, was speeding down I-45 when he attempted to take the exit for 288 South. The man failed to slow down, causing the vehicle to fly off of the freeway and crash into a tree before rolling several times. His passenger, who has not been identified, died at the scene.  Police performed CPR on the driver after the wreck before transporting him to Memorial Hermann Hospital. A preliminary investigation found that the driver’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit. If he survives, he will be charged with intoxication manslaughter.  Source: KHOU11 Contact an Experienced Houston Car Accident Attorney Unfortunately, auto accidents like this happen far too often in Houston. Police must investigate these crashes thoroughly to determine the cause and hold those responsible accountable. At The Johns Law Firm, we understand how devastating these accidents are for the families and friends of the victims.  If you sustain injuries or lose a loved one in an accident, please contact one of our Houston car accident attorneys or call us at 866-762-0302 to set up a free consultation. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims of this horrible incident. If a family member would like the name of a person removed for any reason, please click the “Remove Post” link. REMOVE POST

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Attorney Portrait Information

Motorcyclist Killed in Crash With Pickup Truck on Highway 49

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Byron, GA (July 31, 2020) — A motorcyclist died Thursday night after striking a pickup truck while allegedly trying to avoid a traffic stop. The crash happened at the intersection of Highway 49 and Houston Lake Road. According to the Georgia State Patrol, the motorcyclist, identified as Deandre Reynolds, was driving at a high speed in the northbound lanes of the highway when the Peach County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop him. Reynolds then led police on a chase into Houston County. Following the pursuit, a man identified as Tavarous Williams was driving south in his Ford pickup truck when he attempted to make a turn onto Houston Lake Road. Reynolds collided with the pickup truck and was later pronounced dead at the scene. Georgia State Patrol found in its preliminary investigation that Reynolds wasn’t in sight of the Peach County Sheriff’s Office when he crashed into the truck. They are still trying to determine what caused Reynolds to run into the truck. Source: 13WMAZ Contact an Experienced Georgia Motorcycle Accident Attorney Unfortunately, auto accidents like this happen far too often in Georgia. Police must investigate these crashes thoroughly to determine the cause and hold those responsible accountable. At The Johns Law Firm, we understand how devastating these accidents are for the families and friends of the victims.  If you sustain injuries or lose a loved one in an accident, please contact one of our Georgia motorcycle accident attorneys or call us at 866-762-0302 to set up a free consultation. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victim of this horrible incident. If a family member would like the name of a person removed for any reason, please click the “Remove Post” link. REMOVE POST

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Attorney Portrait Louisiana Accident News

Pedestrian Struck, Killed in New Orleans East

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New Orleans, LA (July 31, 2020) — New Orleans Police have confirmed that a 68-year-old pedestrian was killed Friday night while trying to cross the street. The accident happened at 7:40 p.m. on Chef Menteur Highway at Cerise Avenue. According to investigators, the man was trying to cross the street when he was hit by a white Chevrolet truck driving west on the highway. He died at the scene of the accident. The identity of the victim is still unknown. Police are still investigating the accident and are awaiting blood and alcohol test results. Source: NOLA Contact an Experienced New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney Today Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents like this happen far too often in New Orleans. Police must investigate them thoroughly to determine the cause and hold those responsible accountable. At The Johns Law Firm, we understand how devastating these accidents are for the families and friends of the victims. If you sustain injuries or lose a loved one to an accident like this, please contact one of our New Orleans personal injury attorneys at 866-762-0302 to set up a free consultation. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.  Our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims of this horrible incident. If a family member would like the name of a person removed for any reason, please click the “Remove Post” link. REMOVE POST

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Attorney Portrait Information

Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Houston, TX

| Read Time: 3 minutes

After a car accident, you may be left with injuries, property damage, and financial hardships. To relieve some of the financial burdens, you might consider filing a lawsuit. Before doing so, it is essential to understand the law, including statutes of limitations.  What Is a Statute of Limitations? A statute of limitations is a law that governs how long a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. There are statutes of limitations for every kind of legal claim. Once this time clock runs out, you will be unable to recover for your losses. While you may file your lawsuit, the opposing party will likely call attention to the expiration of the statute of limitations, and your case will be dismissed. Filing your lawsuit before the statute of limitations has run is crucial. Why Do Statutes of Limitations Exist? Statutes of limitations exist for civil and criminal claims. While a statute of limitations may seem unfair or restrictive, these time limits serve a purpose. Statutes of limitations primarily serve to protect defendants from stale or frivolous lawsuits. They also encourage plaintiffs to file their lawsuits in a timely manner. The more time passes, the weaker a case can get. Evidence may be lost, people’s memories fade, and cases become harder to pursue. A statute of limitations eliminates these issues. How Long Do You Have to Make a Claim After a Car Accident in Texas? After a car accident, you must call your insurance company. While there are no laws governing how long you have to file a claim with your insurance, most insurance carriers require you to notify them as soon as possible. If you wish to pursue legal action after your car accident, the car accident statute of limitations in Texas is two years. These two years pertain to both personal injury claims and property damage claims. After the statute of limitations for motor vehicles has expired, you will no longer be able to recover for your accident. Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations? Certain situations may allow the two-year time limit to be paused or “tolled.” Age If a person is under the age of 18, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until they reach the age of majority.  Mental Capacity If a person is of unsound mind, the statute of limitations will be tolled until they regain a sound mind.  Discovery Rule The discovery rule applies when, after an accident, a person is unaware of their injuries. Not all injuries are apparent immediately after an accident, with some injuries taking some time to surface. The statute of limitations will begin to run only once the plaintiff has discovered their injuries.  How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim in Texas? Once you file a claim with your insurance company, they must either accept or reject your claim. Under Section 542.055 of the Texas Statutes, the insurance company has 15 days to do the following: Acknowledge your claim; Begin their investigation into the claim; and Request any relevant information needed to assist with their investigation. Aside from these steps, an insurer must communicate their acceptance or rejection of your claim. If the company rejects your claim, they must provide their reasons. Insurance companies may extend their investigation for up to 45 days if they have sufficient reason to do so.  Whether there is a delay in your claim process or you’ve experienced rejection, a knowledgeable attorney can help you every step of the way.  Should You Settle with Your Insurance Company? While your insurance company may present a settlement offer after reviewing your claim, we recommend that you not accept without first consulting with a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are known to offer low or unfair settlement in an effort to resolve issues quickly and avoid legal action. Before rushing to settle, speak with a qualified and experienced attorney. Choose Johns Law Firm Johns Law Firm is a young law firm, with all our attorneys ready and willing to help clients fight their legal battles. We pride ourselves on providing a client-centered experience. Our goal is to have all our clients feel confident in our work and abilities. We offer a no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us today, and let’s see how we can help you. 

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury FAQ

Tips on Hiring the Best Personal Injury Attorney

| Read Time: 3 minutes

If you have sustained injuries in a personal injury accident, you may be in the process of looking for an attorney. For your personal injury case, you don’t just want any attorney. Rather, you want the best personal injury attorney who will help you fight for your rights and potential recovery. But where do you start?  Selecting the right attorney for you and your needs can seem difficult and overwhelming. However, knowing what to look for can greatly improve your chances of selecting the best personal injury attorney for your case.  Is It Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney? Before getting too far into what to look for when hiring an attorney, let’s take one step back and address the question you might already be asking: Is it worth it to hire a personal injury lawyer?  There is often a misconception that lawyers cost more than they are worth. However, this is not necessarily the case.In fact, hiring an attorney for your personal injury case frequently results in a better outcome than you would have received without an attorney.  While each case is different and results are never guaranteed, an experienced personal injury attorney can often be an asset to your case. Things to Look for When Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney It can be difficult knowing where to even begin your search for a personal injury attorney. For example, a simple google search for “best injury attorney Houston” yields countless results. Fortunately, there are a few things you can look for to narrow down your results.  Look for an Attorney with Extensive Experience In Personal Injury Law Personal injury law can be very complicated. Accordingly, you should look for someone with extensive experience handling personal injury cases in particular. A law firm may tell you they can take your case so that they can get your business. However, you should verify that they actually have a personal injury practice. Don’t be afraid to search potential law firm websites to ensure that they have a practice area dedicated to personal injury law.Further, many attorneys will post examples on their websites of past cases and results for previous clients. Looking into these case results can be a great way to ensure that a particular firm has successfully taken on cases like yours in the past. Online Ratings and Reviews from Previous Clients Speak Volumes A great way to find a top-rated personal injury attorney is through the use of online ratings and reviews. In fact, an attorney’s previous clients are often the best resource when it comes to finding a great attorney.  Previous clients will frequently leave great reviews for attorneys who are able to get them great results. On the other hand, clients are also likely to be vocal about any less-than-stellar services received if they are unhappy. Either way, a review can tell you a lot about the attorney you might be considering. Websites like Avvo and Martindale are great resources to find reviews and ratings on the best personal injury attorneys in your area.  Select an Attorney You Can Get Along with A personal injury case can last months and even years. Thus, it is important to select an attorney whom you get along with. The initial consultation can be a great way for you to vet your potential attorney and determine if this is someone you can see yourself working with for extended periods of time.  Contact the Johns Law Firm Today Finding the right firm for you and your personal injury case can be difficult. However, at the Johns Law Firm, we want to make it as easy on you as possible. Our team of experienced attorneys has six decades of combined experience, and we are licensed in Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Connecticut. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and see if we are the right fit for you.

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