Personal Injuries Auto Accidents

Every year thousands of people make an insurance claim after being in an automobile accident. A surprising number of your neighbors and community members have gone through the insurance claims process after an accident. Unfortunately, people involved in automobile accidents may speak with as many as 5-10 different claims adjusters, body shop repairmen, and medical professionals to complete all their property damage repairs and settle their bodily injury claims with the insurance company. The entire process can be stressful and overwhelming.

But we have good news for you …

We have helped many clients with automobile accidents, including distracted, intoxicated, drunk, impaired, 18-wheeler tractor-trailer trucks, company trucks, highway road defects, and construction zone cases. In many cases, although the insurance company did not want to do the right thing by paying the total amount for all damages, we have been able to help accident victims against insurance companies like yours.

Poolson Oden Auto Accidents attorney
The Ongoing Struggle with the Insurance Industry
The insurance industry is part of the fabric of our lives: home, auto, RV, motorcycles, health, life, disability, and on and on and on. Once a consumer such as yourself becomes a customer who buys insurance, he/she has entered into a legally binding contract with the insurance company – the insurance company has received payment in exchange for accepting duties and obligations concerning its insurer/policyholder. The same is true for the other driver and his/her insurance company.

Whether a personal or commercial vehicle, the insurance company for the other driver is at the helm of determining whether or not they will pay you for your claim, including medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Car Accident Checklist

Many friends and family have contacted our office after a car wreck in a panic, asking what to do. So here’s our advice for you after a car accident:

  • Stop immediately, but do not block traffic.
  • Call the police, and tell them about all aches, pains, and injuries.
  • Get the drivers’ and witnesses’ names, phone numbers, and addresses.
  • Get the make, model, license plate numbers, and insurance of all vehicles involved.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene, injuries, and all the information above.
  • Remain calm and courteous.
  • Following the accident, make an appointment with your doctor.
  • Do not post on social media about your accident.
  • Do not accept any settlements at the scene of the accident.
  • Notify your attorney as soon as possible. Bring all questions and concerns so that you may be guided through the next steps.
Car Accident FAQs

Secrets to Handling Car Crash Claims Successfully

What Insurance Companies Don’t Want YOU to Know about Auto Accidents!
You’ll learn:
  • What to do when you’ve been hurt in an accident.
  • What coverages are available for your claim.
  • What mistakes to avoid after your car accident.
Secrets to handling car crash claims successfully

If the other driver was at fault, do you call your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company?

Regardless of who was at fault, you should always report an accident to your insurance company. Most, if not all, insurance policies require that you report a claim for the insurance company to defend and indemnify you should the other driver make a claim against you. Although you notify your insurance company of an accident, it does not necessarily mean you are claiming with your insurance company.

After you report the claim to your insurance company, you should contact the other driver’s insurance company and make a claim with them. It is essential that you are consistent with your recollection of the facts and that your explanation and details of the accident remain the same each time you explain details of the accident. If your explanation of how the accident happened changes from one conversation to another, it may raise questions about liability and determining which driver is “At fault.” This is why we highly recommend that drivers involved in an auto accident call our office first, as that may be the number one most important phone call they make after a wreck.

What coverages are available for your claim?

There are many elements to an accident claim, and each element can be attributed to a particular coverage under the terms of an insurance policy:

1. Property Damage Liability

Property damage coverage applies to the actual damage to your vehicle. Suppose the other driver was solely at fault. In that case, the other driver’s insurance company should pay you the fair market value of the damage to your vehicle, and you should not be responsible for paying your own deductible.

2. Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury coverage is for any physical injury you suffer from the wreck. If the other driver was solely at fault, the other driver’s insurance company should pay you for all necessary medical expenses. Unfortunately, much litigation ensues under this coverage – usually as a result of the injured person and the other driver’s insurance company disagreeing on what are necessary medical expenses. Importantly, suppose the insurance company agrees to pay for some but not all of your medical treatments. In that case, you agree to settle the claim by signing a release agreement or accepting funds from the insurance company in exchange for releasing the insurance company. The other driver’s insurance company will not cover any outstanding medical costs or treatments you need in the future.

You must be completely healed and healthy (in the same condition after the accident as you were before the accident) before signing any paperwork with any insurance company, including your own. Signing paperwork too soon can result in losing your rights for full payment of medical expenses and treatments that are necessary for you to get better and return to the life you had before the wreck.

If you were forced to miss work due to getting hurt in a wreck, the other driver’s insurance company might be responsible for paying you for past, present, and future lost wages. Payments for medical expenses and lost wages are referred to as “Special Damages.”

Additional damages may be available to you, such as loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, loss of household services, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of use of an automobile, and gratuitous services performed by family members. Also, in Louisiana, the insurance company is responsible for paying “General Damages,” which include mental and physical pain and suffering. The insurance companies hotly contest this claim. It would help if you spoke with a trial attorney experienced in evaluating claims and dealing with insurance companies to ensure you receive top dollar for your injuries. Otherwise, you will be short-changing yourself in the negotiations.

3. Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage helps cover medical expenses associated with a wreck. If you, your passengers, or any family members driving during the wreck are injured, medical payments coverage can help protect you. It may also save you or your family members if they’re injured in another car or as a pedestrian, depending on the terms of your policy.

4. Uninsured Motorist Coverage/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (“UM Coverage”)

Uninsured motorist coverage (“UM Coverage”) protects you if you’re in a wreck with an at-fault driver who does not carry liability insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage steps in when you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are too low to cover the damage or medical expenses. Your insurance policy will list what coverages were in place during the accident. You can contact your insurance agent or insurance company to request a copy of your policy to determine what coverages you have. As your attorneys, our office communicates with insurance companies regularly. It will obtain a copy of any policies in effect for you to determine what coverages were in place at the time of the wreck to ensure we get the amounts needed to make you whole again.

Do you have to sign the forms you receive from the insurance adjuster?

There are many different types of forms the adjuster may give to you. Before signing any paperwork with the insurance company, it is essential to speak with a trial attorney who has experience handling your type of claim and dealing with insurance companies, so you do not sign any forms prematurely and forfeit any rights that would limit your recovery for payment for any losses you have, such as medical expenses, wages, and pain and suffering.

How will your medical bills get paid?

This depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding your claim. Suppose you were working in the course and scope of your employment at the time of the accident. In that case, worker’s compensation might pay for your medical treatment until you reach maximum medical improvement (“MMI”). Additionally, your insurance policy may include medical payment coverage. Suppose you suffered an injury from the accident. In that case, your insurance might pay for your medical treatment under the medical payments coverage, but these payments will be capped to the amount of the coverage. You may also use your health insurance to pay for medical treatment. There are specific guidelines for each health insurance policy, such as in-network/out-of-network providers, deductibles, and medically necessary treatment. You can refer to your health insurance policy and/or your human resources department at your work to determine the details of your health insurance policy. You can also speak with someone in our office to discuss your options to pay your medical bills.

The laws in Louisiana are strict on lawyers loaning money to clients; however, in certain circumstances, a lawyer may advance medical expenses for a client. You must speak with an attorney to evaluate all the available options to pay for your medical bills because you must seek medical treatment immediately following an accident. It is also essential to follow your medical provider’s instructions if you suffer an injury from an accident.

How can you calculate how much your case is worth?

The value of your case depends on many different factors.

The first factor includes medical bills from your accident. You will not know how much those bills are in total until you finish your treatment and your body has healed.

Next, you may be entitled to recover your “lost wages,” which are the amounts of money you lost because you were unable to work due to the accident. This calculation could include long-term lost wages if the injury prevents you from doing your job anymore in the future. For example, if you work in construction lifting heavy objects but can no longer lift more than 10 pounds, you may be restricted from doing your regular job. In that circumstance, if you were restricted due to the accident, you will be limited in what capacity you may return to work. We have helped many clients in similar circumstances and obtained financial awards to compensate them for their inability to earn future wages from their jobs before the accident.

Additional damages may be available to you, such as loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, loss of household services, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of use of an automobile, and gratuitous services performed by family members. Each item depends entirely on the facts and circumstances specific to your claim. Additionally, you may receive money for property damage, such as damage to your vehicle.

Even after all those numbers are added up, no mathematical formula can be used to determine the exact value of your case. Every case is different. The people dealing with your cases, such as the other driver’s insurance company or the jury, may have different judgments on its value. It would help if you spoke to an experienced trial attorney about your case to learn more. Be wary of an attorney “guarantees” how much you will receive for your case. No attorney can guarantee results for a case at its inception. Each case is unique and different. A proper claim evaluation cannot be made without investigating all the facts.

Our attorneys take great pride in becoming experts on our clients’ facts and medical conditions, as well as the law that applies to our client’s cases. Our attorneys have obtained maximum results for our clients because of our ability to become intimately familiar with the facts, law, and medicine for each client’s case.

When should you speak to an attorney?

IMMEDIATELY after an accident. It can be your most important phone call after a wreck. Selecting an attorney is a crucial decision. It is a personal decision that you and your family should make. It would help if you felt comfortable with whomever you hire to represent you. When speaking with an attorney, you should ask what kind of experience he/she has dealt with accident insurance claims and the types of claims he/she primarily handles. It is essential not only to speak with a lawyer but also with a lawyer with experience handling cases similar to yours.

Make sure to ask the attorney about his/her experience litigating and trying cases similar to yours, as well as the types of results he/she has obtained for past clients. Do your homework to see if the attorney has been reviewed by other clients and what other attorneys in the community say about that attorney.

There are many steps for handling an insurance claim from start to finish. The process can be overwhelming and stressful. Our role as your attorneys is to walk you through each step to take the burdens and pressures off your shoulders. There are many steps, from opening a claim to negotiating a claim, from filing a lawsuit to going to trial. The majority of cases nowadays do not go to trial. However, for the insurance company to properly evaluate your claim, your attorneys must be prepared to go to trial in case the insurance company does not do the right thing. We go to trial regularly, so we do not fear filing your claim and proceeding to litigation. Make sure that whomever you hire to handle your case feels the same.

It is essential to speak with a seasoned and experienced personal injury attorney who has handled claims similar to yours to have a strategy and plan for each step of the claims process and eventual litigation if the insurance company does not do the right thing.


Mr. Poolson was as professional as they come. We had a situation where a family member had an accident, and their insurance company sent a letter questioning whether or not the incident was merely an accident or the responsibility of a third party. Danny carefully listened to the situation, asked relevant questions to ascertain the facts that mattered, and provided extremely useful guidance. He explained everything in easy-to-understand terms without all the legalese that often over-complicates things. With his advice, we were able to quickly and easily resolve the matter with the insurance company - without the need to go to court or engage in any prolonged negotiation with them or a third party. I would not hesitate to use his services again should the need arise.
Daniel S.


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