Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How to Value The Loss in a Louisiana Car Crash

If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident because of someone else’s negligence, you probably know you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries.
But did you know the compensation you receive is dependent on the type of harm incurred? It’s important to work with an experienced Monroe car accident attorney who can accurately estimate the value of loss you have suffered in a crash.

Two Types of Harm in Vehicle CrashesLouisiana Car Crash- FAQs for a lawyer

As the result of a car accident, you may suffer two general types of harm:
  • Economic (or “special damages”).
  • Non-economic (or “general damages”).
You can probably guess what economic harm includes:
It’s items like your medical expenses, any lost wages due to injuries, and the costs of having your car repaired or replaced.
The value of non-economic harm, on the other hand, is harder to peg with a dollar figure. It includes categories like your physical pain and suffering, any emotional consequences, and the loss of your enjoyment of life.

Losses Related to People

Losses from an auto accident also can be sorted according to the object of the harm: people and vehicles. Among the harm caused to people, some losses are economic.
Medical expenses: If you’ve suffered mental or emotional injuries, you may need medical care now and in the future. Your attorney will work with a medical professional to help you get better and to estimate the ongoing costs of your care.
Compensation for medical expenses may include:
  • Hospital stays.
  • Treatment in an emergency room.
  • Doctor visits.
  • Nursing services.
  • Medications.
  • Diagnostic tests.
Your attorney will assist you in gathering documentation to prove that your medical expenses are directly related to injuries you suffered in an accident.
Household help: You may need help with household tasks while you recover and even on a permanent basis, depending on the extent of your injuries. If you would not have incurred the expense if you hadn’t been injured, you may be entitled to compensation.
Lost income and lost earning capacity: If you lose wages or the ability to earn money in the future because of an accident, you may receive compensation.
Other human losses related to accidents are non-economic and can include:
  • Pain and suffering due to permanent disfigurement or ongoing, severe physical or emotional pain.
  • Loss of the ability to enjoy life.
  • Loss of the affections of a spouse.
  • Loss of the companionship of close family members.
  • Mental anguish, including emotional distress such as anxiety, grief, shock or feelings of loss of dignity.

Losses Related to Vehicles

When a vehicle is damaged in a crash, the resale value may be diminished even if the vehicle is repaired. For the owner this means:
Diminution — or reduction — in the value of the vehicle.
So even if you’re compensated for the cost of repairing your car after an accident, you may be entitled to additional compensation for the lost value (“diminished value of your vehicle”).
Under Louisiana law, you may be entitled to recover damages related to diminution if:
  • Your car is damaged but not destroyed in a crash.
  • The damage is due to someone else’s negligence.
  • You can prove that the fair market value of the vehicle is less because of the damage even if the vehicle is repaired to pre-accident condition.
If you’ve suffered loss in an accident — either from personal injury or damage to your vehicle — it’s important to work with an experienced Monroe car accident attorney. For a consultation, pleasecontact J. Antonio Tramontana at 888-982-1290.

The Textalyzer – A New Tool For Fighting Distracted Driving

In an effort to combat distracted driving, New York is proposing legislation that will make it legal for law enforcement to use a “textalyzer” on the phones of drivers after an accident. The textalyzer, which allows police to determine if the driver was texting at the time of the accident, will make it much easier to identify when drivers have been operating their vehicles while distracted.

Texting While Driving – A Dangerous Problem

The numbers are clear – distracted driving, especially related to mobile device use, is a major issue on both a state and a national level. According to the the official government website on distracted driving – Distraction.gov – there were3,129 deaths due to distracted driving crashes in 2014.
In Louisiana:
Louisiana Crash Data Reports, which gathers data on all crashes in the state of Louisiana, lists five fatalities and another 812 injuries due to cell phone use while driving in 2015.
The Distraction website lists a number of unsettling facts related to distracted driving, including the fact that a driver’s eyes are off the road for a full five seconds while texting – enough time to drive the length of a football field blindfolded. It is no surprise then that so much can go wrong while texting behind the wheel. The driver is not aware of his or her surroundings while hurtling along in a dangerous vehicle traveling at potentially high speeds.

Textalyzer can reduce distracted driving

How The Textalyzer Can Help

The texting-while-driving problem has a lot of parallels to the drunk driving epidemic, hence the name of the new device. Like the breathalyzer, the textalyzer can quickly determine if a driver was doing something that they shouldn’t have. The risks of texting while driving are apparent now, as evidenced by the statistics and the many movements to discourage the dangerous practice. Drivers should be driving, not messing around on their phones – for both their own safety, and for the safety of everyone else on the road.
One of the main arguments for the adoption of the textalyzer by law enforcement is that it will give clear insight into whether or not the driver was using the device in the moments leading up to the accident. If law enforcement can identify the use of the device right before the accident, then prosecuting the offender for distracted driving becomes much easier. With successful prosecution and punishment, it will become clear to all drivers that distracted driving puts you at risk of getting in big trouble. Like with drunk driving, most people will prefer to control themselves rather than risk getting caught.

Making Roads Safer

The fact that you can be obeying all the rules of the road, yet still get hurt due to another driver’s negligence, is not OK. Yet every day, other drivers get behind the wheel and choose to endanger the lives of others. Fortunately, technological innovations like the textalyzer are making it possible to deter at least some of the bad behavior that puts innocent people at risk. It may take some time for all states to adopt the use of the textalyzer, but it is encouraging to know that solutions are being created to combat the rise in distracted driving due to mobile device use.

Helping Injury Victims In Louisiana

If you or someone you care about has been hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it is important that you talk to an attorney about what happened. Our firm is here to answer your questions and help you determine if you have a case. Let us help you pursue those responsible for your injuries and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Please contact us now to get started.