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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Attorney Portrait Information

Steps to Take After a New Orleans Car Accident

| Read Time: 2 minutes

After you experience a car accident in New Orleans, you may feel overwhelmed with all you need to do. You might face a lengthy task list that includes car repairs, medical treatment, filing insurance claims, and more. If you worry about your ability to negotiate with the insurance company for payment, know that an accident lawyer can help. At the Johns Law Firm, our New Orleans accident attorneys help clients injured in car wrecks. We negotiate with the insurance company for a maximum settlement and take negligent drivers to trial if needed. To speak to one of our knowledgeable attorneys, call us for a free consultation. If you want to know what to do after a New Orleans car crash, keep reading. Take These Five Steps After a New Orleans Car Accident When you experience a New Orleans car accident, you need to take these five steps to protect yourself. These steps give you the best chance of physical recovery and financial compensation. Call the Authorities Immediately after an accident, you should call New Orleans police and paramedics. If you can get out of your vehicle, wait for the police and paramedics at a safe roadside location. Do not leave the scene of the accident until authorities arrive. Seek Medical Treatment Your medical care should be your top priority. Once paramedics arrive, they will evaluate your physical condition and transport you to the hospital if necessary. Even if you don’t need emergency medical care, you should still seek a medical evaluation soon after your accident. This evaluation can identify any injuries and provide key evidence for insurance negotiations. Collect Evidence If you do not need urgent medical treatment, collect evidence at the scene of the accident. You should take photos of the damage to your car and the other driver’s car. Photos of the surrounding scenery and anything that may have contributed to the accident can help your claim. Also, request the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Save All Receipts Save all receipts and medical bills. Receipts for everything from car repairs to crutches can provide evidence for fair accident compensation. Bring all documentation of your accident expenses to your consultation with an accident attorney. Call an Attorney You should contact an accident attorney soon after your New Orleans car accident. At the Johns Law Firm, our accident attorneys help injured motorists get the compensation they need. We utilize investigators who can uncover crucial evidence for us to use in insurance negotiations. Call our law firm soon after your accident to give us the best chance to recover accident evidence. Contact a New Orleans Accident Attorney for Legal Advice If you experienced a car accident in New Orleans, you may need a personal injury attorney. The attorneys at the Johns Law Firm can negotiate with the insurance company to try to win your maximum compensation. Call our accident lawyers for a free consultation where we can discuss your accident and advise you of legal options. Contact us today to secure experienced legal representation while you focus on your injury recovery.

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury FAQ

5 Reasons Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Not Take Your Case

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side can be invaluable if you’ve been hurt in an accident. Your attorney will protect your legal rights and fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Contrary to what you might believe, however, accidental injury lawyers don’t accept every client who contacts them for help. Understanding the reasons an attorney might not agree to take your case could save you time and trouble. Before you decide for yourself that you don’t have a strong case, take advantage of the free consultation and case evaluation that most personal injury lawyers offer. No. 1: You Suffered Only Minor Injuries To recover a substantial personal injury settlement, you must have suffered serious injuries. Although the definition of a serious injury is obviously subjective, this term typically refers to those injuries that either: Require extensive treatment, Cause long-lasting or permanent damage, Prevent you from returning to work, Diminish your earning capacity, or Diminish your quality of life. Assessing the severity of your injuries is difficult to do on your own. To determine if you have a strong case, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. No. 2: You Waited Too Long to Pursue Your Personal Injury Claim Every state has a statute of limitations that dictates how quickly you must take legal action in a personal injury case. The Texas statute of limitations, for example, provides you with two years to pursue legal action after the date of injury. The Florida statute of limitations offers a generous four years to file your claim for most types of personal injury cases. The Louisiana statute of limitations, on the other hand, is one of the most restrictive. You have only one year to file a lawsuit for most types of personal injury claims in Louisiana. It is important to understand that these are basic guidelines, and in many cases, provisions within the state laws may extend this window of opportunity. An attorney can review the facts of your case and determine if you still have time to file a personal injury claim. No. 3: The At-Fault Party Was Not Negligent We often refer to car crashes as “accidents” because, in many cases, drivers simply make mistakes. Even if you sustained serious injuries in an accident that you didn’t cause, the at-fault party is not automatically negligent. Establishing liability for your damages requires demonstrating the four components of negligence, which are: Duty of care, Breach of duty, Causation, and Actual damages. Negligence laws are complex and they vary from state to state. Talking to an attorney is the only way for you to know for certain if you have a claim based on negligence. If the at-fault party wasn’t negligent, that doesn’t automatically mean you have no case. You may be able to pursue your personal injury claim through your own insurance or a third party who may have contributed to your damages. Again, these are questions that an experienced attorney can answer for you. No. 4: You Have Little Chance of Recovering Compensation Most personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency basis. This means that you owe no legal fees unless the law firm recovers compensation for your damages. This is great for you, because you may already be struggling to get the treatment you need and pay your bills. However, in addition to believing you have a strong case, your attorney must believe that the at-fault party has insurance or another form of financial resources. Otherwise, even if you prevail in court, you have little chance of recovering any money from the defendant. No. 5: You’ve Been “Shopping Your Case” to Other Attorneys Although this practice is not common, some accident victims go from firm to firm, searching for whichever attorney will estimate their claim value the highest. If an attorney provides an opinion on your claim’s potential value, you generally should avoid saying something like, “Well, XYZ Law Firm said my case was worth much more!” When choosing a personal injury attorney, look for someone who has experience with your type of claim. Inquire about their years in practice. Ask how many clients they’ve helped. Ask about the firm’s track record of success for past clients. An attorney’s prior achievements may not reflect on the outcome of your case. However, knowing a law firm has gotten good results for their clients in the past means they’ll fight for you too. How Can I Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me? The Johns Law Firm provides free consultations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can see some of our past case results to better understand just how hard we fight for our clients. We aren’t like other firms that you might have talked to. We are young and aggressive with the experience it takes to get the job done for you. We assist clients in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia. To learn more about us or to schedule your free personal injury case evaluation, contact us now

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Attorney Portrait Insurance

8 Things to Do If You Are Injured While Working Offshore

| Read Time: 4 minutes

The offshore industry is a big factor in the Gulf South economy. Often lost in the shuffle are the workers who make this industry run. Let’s face it, offshore work is not only demanding, it is dangerous. The Johns Firm, LLC assists and represents offshore workers who have been injured in Texas, Louisiana, and throughout the Gulf South. While it is natural to feel a sense of dedication and loyalty to your employer. However, you need to understand that your injury claim will not be handled by the employer you know. It will be handled by an insurance company’s claims department and a team of experienced defense attorneys whose goal is to limit or deny your compensation. If you are injured on the job offshore, you need to take steps to protect your rights so your injury claim can be handled fairly. Here is a list of 8 things to do if you are injured offshore. Report You Injury to Your Accident and Employer Immediately Let’s face it, many of us don’t like to admit that we have been injured. We like to delay the inevitable, thinking that maybe the pain will go away. But when you wait to report your injury to your employer it only hurts your claim preventing you from recovering the medical benefits and financial compensation you deserve. One trick employers like to play is claiming that your injury is not work-related. Evidence that you did not immediately report an accident or injury only helps the employer avoid responsibility for your injury. For the best results, you should report your accident and injury immediately to your employer. Tell the Truth When you report an accident or injury to your employer, be careful to tell the complete truth. If you don’t know the details of what exactly happened, do not guess. Many honest people’s claims have gone nowhere because they decided to guess what happened instead of simply telling their employer what they know. You should always use extreme caution to be as factually accurate as possible. Get A Written Report Signed by Your Employer When you report your accident or injury to your employer, get a written report and be sure that the report is 100% accurate. Sometimes employers will create false reports with the hope that the injured worker will be do preoccupied with their medical condition to notice. If you can, review the report carefully. If the employer is being untruthful in their reporting, let them know in writing and consult an attorney. If your employer is attempting to stack the deck against you early on, you need to act with extreme caution. Do Not Go Back to Work if you are Injured Many employees make the mistake of returning to work the remainder of their hitch in the hope that the pain will go away. Don’t make this mistake. I once worked on a case where the employee returned to work despite severe back pain after slipping down a flight of stairs offshore. He worked the rest of his hitch, went home, and tried ice treatment and over-the-counter pain medication to treat his symptoms. When it was time to start his next hitch, he was unable to work, and he reported the accident and injury to the employer. The employer forced the employed to file a claim and proceed to trial more than one year later to get the benefits he deserved. The moral of this story is to report your injuries immediately and seek immediate medical assistance if the pain makes it difficult to work. If you cannot return to work, you should request to be taken back to shore. Provide Your Employer with a Written Statement In addition to getting a written report of injury, it is helpful if an injured worker provides a written statement about what happened. A written statement is different from a report. While the employer typically will prepare its initial incident report, the employee can provide a written statement to make sure that the full story of what happened is accurately reported. Again, if you provide a written statement, be sure that every fact is accurate. Exaggerating or embellishing what happened will only hurt your case in the long-run. You Should Select an Independent Physician for Medical Treatment Many employers will send an employee to their preferred physician after an accident or injury. Do not fall for this trap. We have seen employer preferred physicians misdiagnose numerous serious injuries to create a false narrative that the employee was not injured on the job. The law gives you the right to select your own physician. You do not have to see the employer’s preferred physician immediately after an accident. If you have a serious injury that requires immediate treatment, go to the emergency room. If you have a primary care physician that you use, be sure to visit him or her soon after the accident. Many times a primary care physician can refer you to a specialist who they believe will provide the best treatment possible. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders When you seek medical treatment, it is important that you comply with your doctor’s recommendations. If you do not comply with treatment recommendations, your employer will most certainly use that to claim that you are not being truthful about your injury. Accurately Report Your Symptoms to Your Doctor One of the hardest things for many of us to do is provide an accurate description of our medical issues. When you see your doctor following an accident, be sure to tell them exactly what is wrong. If you have pain and numbness in your back, take the time to describe exactly how the pain is impacting. For example, does not numbness extend into your legs. Is the pain stabbing? Is it constant? Is it more of a dull sensation? Have your legs just gone out on you while walking? It is important to provide your doctor with as much information as possible so they can provide the treatment...

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Attorney Portrait Insurance

A Former Spouse Is Claiming Life Insurance Money: What Do I Do?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

It is not uncommon for there to be competing claims for life insurance benefits between a recently widowed spouse and a former spouse. For the people seeking life insurance benefits, these disputes are emotional and different. These disputes typically occur when the deceased spouse neglected to change the beneficiary after a divorce. The rules on this issue are complex and vary from state-to-state. If you find yourself in a beneficiary dispute, you should seek the assistance of an experienced insurance attorney. Isn’t a Divorced Spouse Automatically Removed as A Beneficiary? Not always. Some but not all states have enacted a “revocation-on-divorce” law that states that a divorced spouse must be removed as a life insurance beneficiary. Typical exceptions to these laws are when there is a divorce settlement agreement for the ex-spouse to remain a life insurance beneficiary or the ex-spouse has been re-designated as a beneficiary. In other words, states with “revocation-on-divorce” laws require there be some affirmative act to prove that the insured intended for the ex-spouse to be a life insurance beneficiary. Even if there is no revocation-on-divorce law in your state, a spouse may still be entitled to at least a portion of the insurance proceeds. In community property states, a spouse may be entitled to at least one-half the life insurance benefits from a term life policy. Benefits from whole life insurance policies may be allocated based on the percentage of premiums paid during the marriage. Another consideration is when an insured attempts to change the beneficiary on an insurance policy but for a variety of reasons the beneficiary is never changed. In these situations, it is wise to consult our insurance attorneys who can guide you through your options and inform you of your legal rights. What About ERISA? Many life insurance policies are a fringe benefit provided by an employer. Life insurance policies issued through an employer are governed by a complex federal law called the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which governs most employer-provided benefits to employees. ERISA-governed life insurance policies have specific rules that are entirely different from the state-specific framework of laws and rules that govern non-ERISA insurance policies. Under ERISA, the most recent named beneficiary is the rightful claimant. This means that under ERISA, an ex-spouse who remains the designated beneficiary on a policy will normally receive the life insurance proceeds unless one of a few specific exclusions apply. What Will the Insurance Company Do If There Are Competing Claims? If there are multiple people claiming life insurance benefits, the insurance company will likely file an interpleader or concursus action. In this situation, the insurance company will deposit the insurance proceeds into the court’s registry. It is then up to each claimant to make a claim for the insurance benefits. An interpleader or concursus action is a complex legal proceeding that will require each claimant to assert their claims in court. If the life insurance company has filed an interpleader or concursus action, you need to retain an experienced insurance lawyer to provide legal representation through this process. You should assume the other person(s) claiming life insurance benefits will have legal representation and will be intent on recovering the full amount of life insurance proceeds to your detriment. Failing to make a claim or making a misstep in court, could result in you not recovering the insurance benefits you are entitled to. Getting Legal Help is the First Step If you are involved in a beneficiary dispute, or just want to better understand your rights, contact our team of insurance attorneys. We have assisted hundreds of policyholders and claimants in complex insurance matters.

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