Lake Charles Car Accident Lawyer
707 Dr Michael DeBakey Drive Suite A Lake Charles, LA 70601
Car accidents happen every day throughout Louisiana. The results range from minor to catastrophic. In all cases, injured victims deserve excellent legal representation on their path toward maximum recovery. If you were injured at little to no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering, medical bills, and more.
In these situations, you need a dedicated legal advocate to fight for your right to compensation. The Lake Charles personal injury lawyers at Shamieh Law have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injured victims. We know how to push back when at-fault parties and their insurers try to diminish the value of your claim. Let us put that experience to work in your favor.
Contact us today to get started with a free, confidential case review. Our car accident attorneys serve the community in Lake Charles from our conveniently located office at the corner of Western Street and Dr. Michael DeBakey Drive.
Our Lake Charles Car Accident Lawyers Will Fight for You
Born in Lake Charles, Ramez Shamieh founded our firm with a commitment to “Winning With Awareness.” This means that we treat our clients like family and ensure that everyone involved in their cases receives the compassion, dignity, and respect they deserve. Under his leadership, we have secured millions of dollars on behalf of injury victims and built a strong reputation among our clients, as well as in the legal community.
Our team has received numerous local and national awards and honors for excellent service and outstanding results. Among other publications and organizations, our all-star legal team has been recognized by:
- Super Lawyers
- Texas Lawyer
- The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
- The Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys
Our team takes great pride in serving injury victims during some of the most challenging times of their lives. Our personal injury attorneys, paralegals, and case managers work tirelessly to secure the best results possible in every case we handle. We are ready to do the same for you.
Glowing Client Testimonials
At Shamieh Law, we believe in the high quality of our services, but you don’t have to take our word for it. The glowing reviews we regularly receive from our clients speak for themselves. Below are just a few words of praise we have received from three of our many satisfied clients:
- “I had never been involved in a car accident. I was in shock, clueless, and in a lot of pain! Shamieh Law was professional, and they helped me at every step along the way. They took care of my settlement. I’m pleased and satisfied with the results. I highly recommend them.” – Rulli
- “I had a bad accident that required plenty of medical work. Shamieh Law and its team went to work and took care of all my issues. I walked away with a very fair payout. Their services were perfect.” – Corey
- “Very attentive to any and all questions and issues. So far, they have been able to help alleviate all of my worries or apprehensions regarding my case.” – Clinton
Excellent Case Results
Our firm has recovered over $100 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Below are just a few of our car accident case results. Learn more by visiting our case results page.
- $600,000 for a rear-end collision victim who needed a cervical disc replacement.
- $200,000 for a family of four that was hit by a negligent driver who ran a red light, causing spinal injuries requiring injections.
- $375,000 for a rear-end collision victim who was run off the road, causing injuries that required three spinal injections, as well as cervical and lumbar surgery.
- $225,000 for a woman who underwent a disc resection and whose pregnancy was lost due to the impact of a collision.
- $500,000 in a case involving a minor who drove their parents’ car on the wrong side of the road and caused a head-on crash before fleeing the scene.
- $200,000 for a low-speed rear-end collision victim who needed neck surgery.
Types of Car Accident Claims We Handle in Lake Charles
Shamieh Law is a full-service personal injury firm with the skills and resources needed to handle any kind of car accident claim. We also understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to car accident lawsuits.
When you choose us as your attorneys, we will conduct a thorough, independent investigation of your accident and work with you to determine the best approach. In every case, we develop a legal strategy uniquely tailored to the circumstances each client faces and the goals they want to achieve. Below are a few of the car accident scenarios we have handled in the past:
- Blind spot accidents
- DWI/DUI accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Low-speed accidents
- Merging accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Multi-vehicle pileups
- Pedestrian accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Rental car accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Side-impact collisions
- Sideswipe accidents
- Single-vehicle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Uber, Lyft, and rideshare accidents
How Is Liability Determined in a Lake Charles Car Accident?
You may only recover compensation for your accident if you can prove that another party is liable for your losses by a preponderance of the evidence. Our Lake Charles injury lawyers will draw from a variety of evidence to demonstrate the other party’s liability. This may include police reports, witness statements, photographs, surveillance footage, medical records, and more.
The remainder of this section introduces three kinds of cases your attorney may bring seeking compensation on your behalf: negligence, product liability, and wrongful death. We address each one in turn.
1. Negligence Claims
Most personal injury claims are based on the legal theory of negligence. In order to secure compensation by arguing negligence, injured victims must prove four legal elements:
- Duty of Care – The at-fault party owed a duty of reasonable care to the injured victim.
- Breach of Duty – The defendant breached their duty of care through negligent or reckless behavior. In a car accident case, breaches may involve things like speeding, running a red light, or driving under the influence.
- Damages – The victim suffered harm, legally known as damages. Among other things, damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
- Causation – The defendant’s breach of duty caused the accident and the victim’s harm.
Most negligence-based car accident claims involve another driver who failed to take reasonable care to avoid harming others. However, other parties could also be liable, such as government entities that fail to perform proper road maintenance or a commercial driver’s employer when they fail to screen unqualified employees.
2. Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims arise when a defect in a vehicle or one of its components (e.g., airbags and seatbelts) contributes to an accident. Liable parties in these cases may include vehicle manufacturers, component manufacturers, or distributors.
The law governing these cases can lead to particularly complex litigation. Further, because the monetary stakes tend to be high in product liability cases, defendants are likely to push back hard. Therefore, it is essential that injury victims work closely with a skilled attorney when bringing this kind of claim.
3. Wrongful Death Claims
When a car accident results in death, the deceased victim’s surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Of course, no amount of money can undo or compensate for this kind of harm. That said, in the interest of justice and accountability, the law provides an avenue for surviving loved ones to seek compensation through a lawsuit.
If you have lost someone you love in a car accident, our hearts go out to you. The knowledgeable and compassionate legal team at Shamieh Law is here to make sure you know your full legal rights and options.
What If I Was Partly Responsible for the Car Accident?
In Louisiana, courts apply the doctrine of comparative fault. Under this law, you can still be eligible to recover compensation even if you were partially responsible for the accident. However, your compensation will be reduced proportionately to your degree of fault.
For example, suppose you sustained $1 million in damages in an accident in which you were 20 percent at fault. Your compensation would be reduced by 20 percent, leaving you with a final award of $800,000.
In cases like this, it is important to work closely with a skilled attorney to make sure the at-fault party and their insurers do not unfairly blame you for the accident. Shamieh Law has the skills and resources to thoroughly investigate your accident and determine its true cause. We also know how to push back when defendants try to bend the facts in an effort to diminish the value of your claim.
Compensation Available in Lake Charles Car Accident Lawsuits
Of course, the goal of a car accident lawsuit is to recover compensation for the injuries and losses you suffer because of an accident. The amount of compensation you’re entitled to will depend on the unique circumstances of your case, including the extent and severity of your injuries. Below are some of the things you can be compensated for through a lawsuit:
- Medical expenses – You may be eligible to recover compensation for all past and future medical costs associated with your injuries, including ambulance fees, hospital bills, surgery costs, follow-up visits, medications, and rehabilitation.
- Lost earnings – If the accident forced you to take time away from work, you can seek compensation for lost wages. This may also include the loss of future earning capacity if the injuries have a long-term impact on your ability to work.
- Disability accommodation and mobility aids – Your compensation may cover the cost of modifications to your home or vehicle if you experience a long-term disability due to the accident. It may also include compensation for mobility aids like wheelchairs and crutches.
- Pain and suffering – These damages aim to compensate you for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you experience because of your injuries.
- Lowered quality of life – You can also be compensated for things like your inability to engage in activities and hobbies you enjoyed before the accident.
However, if you file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for the loss of a family member killed in a Lake Charles car accident, your compensation will look a bit different. Damages in these lawsuits are intended to compensate surviving family members for things like grief, anguish, and loss of companionship. They can also be compensated for financial losses, such as funeral/burial costs, loss of income/benefits from the decedent, and loss of inheritance.
Driving Without Insurance: “No Pay, No Play”
Your ability to recover full compensation may be impacted if you drive without car insurance. Under Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” policy, uninsured drivers are prohibited from recovering the first $25,000 in property damage and the first $15,000 in personal injury damages sustained in an accident.
That said, there are some exceptions to this rule. Uninsured drivers may still recover full compensation if the other driver intentionally caused the accident, fled the scene, is convicted of driving while intoxicated, or was committing a felony at the time the accident occurred.
Time Limit to File a Car Accident Claim in Lake Charles
Time is of the essence if you have been involved in a car accident. Louisiana law sets a one-year deadline for filing personal injury cases. The countdown starts on the date of injury. Wrongful death lawsuits must also be filed within one year, but the countdown starts on the date your loved one passed away.
Remember, though extensions are possible in very limited cases, failure to file before the correct deadline will result in your case being dismissed in court. Further, our car accident injury attorneys will need time to investigate your accident and collect evidence before filing your claim. Therefore, it is wise to have your case reviewed as soon as possible. Do not wait.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Lake Charles
All sorts of factors can come together to contribute to a car accident. In most cases, some sort of driver negligence is to blame. These are some of the most common causes of car accidents in Lake Charles:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Fatigue or drowsy driving
- Distractions, such as texting, eating, radios, GPS, and passengers
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Unsafe lane changes
- Improper turns
- Road rage and other forms of aggressive driving
In some cases, vehicle-related or environmental factors may also be to blame. For example, tire blowouts and brake failures can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Further, poor weather conditions, such as fog, ice, and heavy rain, can also increase the risk of an accident.
Dangerous Roads in Lake Charles, Louisiana
Of course, a car accident can occur on any stretch of road. However, some roads are especially dangerous due to things like traffic congestion, poor maintenance, and poor design. The following are just a few of the most dangerous roadways in Lake Charles:
- West Gauthier Road
- Big Lake Road
- North McNeese Road
- Nelson Road
- US-190 I-210 Ramp
- Central Parkway
- 22nd Street
- North Shattuck Street
- West Prien Lake Road
- Holly Hill Road
- Enterprise Boulevard
Common Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries. Some are relatively minor, requiring just a few weeks of recovery. Others can be devastating, resulting in lifelong pain, disability, and even death. Here are some of the most common types of injuries we see in the car accident cases we handle:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs), including full or partial paralysis
- Scars, disfigurement, and amputation
- Shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears
- Sprains, strains, bruises
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Burn injuries
- Back and neck injuries, such as herniated discs and whiplash
- Nerve damage
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Psychological trauma, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD
What to Do After a Car Accident in Lake Charles
- The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a car accident can significantly impact the strength of your case if you decide to take legal action. Be sure to follow these basic steps after being involved in a Lake Charles car accident:
- Seek medical attention – Your physical well-being and recovery should be your first priority. Therefore, do not wait to seek medical attention—even if you do not think your injuries are serious. This will ensure they are fully documented in your medical records, which will become crucial evidence used to calculate the compensation you are owed.
- Report the accident – When the police arrive, they will prepare a crash report. Make sure you request a case number from the officers dispatched to the crash site. The report will also become an important piece of evidence in your case.
- Gather contact information – Collect the following information from all drivers involved in the accident: their name, address, license plate number, driver’s license number, and insurance policy number. Further, be sure to collect contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
- Gather evidence – Take photos and videos of the scene, including street signs, skid marks, vehicles involved in the crash, nearby surveillance equipment, evidence of intoxication, and any other significant details that may help build your claim.
- Beware of at-fault insurers – Do not discuss your injuries or details of the accident with the other party or their insurers. Anything you say can be used against you in your claim. Since you have no duty to speak to them, it is best to avoid doing so altogether. Simply refer them to your attorney.
- Beware of your own insurer – Cooperate with your own insurance company, as doing so is likely required by your insurance policy. However, do not discuss in-depth details. Again, simply refer them to your attorney. Even your own insurer does not have your best interests at heart.
- Avoid social media – Insurers scour public posts for anything they can use to deny your claim. It is best to be discreet until after your case is resolved.
- Consult with an attorney – Contact Shamieh Law before you sign anything from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Remember, any early settlement offers you receive from insurers are likely to undervalue your claim, especially if they know you have not yet consulted with an attorney.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with Shamieh Law, An Award-Winning Lake Charles Personal Injury Firm
No matter the severity of your car accident, you do not need to face its aftermath alone. Shamieh Law is here to help you navigate the law on the road toward full and fair compensation. Remember, because we offer free, no-obligation consultations, there is no downside to having your case reviewed by our award-winning Lake Charles car accident attorneys. Contact us to schedule yours today. You pay nothing unless we win your case.