Car Accident Attorney in Lafayette

Car accidents can be sudden, devastating, and life-altering, particularly when they involve vehicles on Lafayette’s bustling roads. Navigating the aftermath — from medical bills to insurance claims — can be a daunting challenge. That’s where the Ikerd Law Firm steps in. As an experienced personal injury attorney in Lafayette, we specialize in providing legal representation for victims of car accidents.

Our dedicated legal team understands the intricacies of personal injury law, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Whether you’re dealing with minor injuries or facing the consequences of a major collision, trust the Ikerd Law Firm to stand by your side, guiding you every step of the way.

Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

Assess Your Injuries and Safety

Women calling for help after accidentYour safety should always come first after a car accident. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries, and move to a safe area, if possible.

Call for Help

Call 911 to report the accident. Request medical assistance if necessary. The police will arrive on the scene to gather information and create an accident report.

Be sure to tell them everything you remember about the wreck and document any pain you may have.

Collect Evidence

If you are able to, take photos of the accident scene, your vehicle, and any injuries you sustained. Additionally, gathering contact and insurance information from the other driver(s) is key to collecting contact information for any witnesses as well, something many people forget.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t believe you are seriously injured, you still need to seek medical attention following a car accident.

Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical professional can assess and document any injuries you may have. Oftentimes, because of adrenaline or other factors, you will not feel pain from new injuries for several hours or days.

Understanding the Legal Process


Before litigation begins, your attorney will work to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. This may involve submitting a demand letter and engaging in settlement negotiations.


If a settlement can not be reached, your attorney will file a lawsuit and begin the litigation process. This may involve discovery, depositions, and pre-trial motions.

Settlement or Trial

The case can be resolved through a negotiated settlement or proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome. Your attorney will prepare your case and represent you throughout this process.

Statute of Limitations (or “Prescription”) for Car Accident Cases in Louisiana

In Louisiana, we use the term “prescription” for how long you have to bring a lawsuit after an injury, accident, or tort occurs. In most other states, this is called a “statute of limitations.” For the most part, they mean the same thing.

The statute of limitations for car accident cases is a crucial factor to consider when pursuing a claim for compensation.

Failing to meet this deadline can result in losing your right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.

The statute of limitations/prescription is as follows:

  • Personal Injury Claims: If you have suffered injuries in a car accident and wish to file a personal injury claim, you have one year from the date of the accident to do so. This applies to injuries sustained by drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
  • Property Damage Claims: The statute of limitations for property damage claims, such as damage to your vehicle, is also one year from the date of the accident. This deadline applies to claims against the at-fault driver or their insurance company.
  • Wrongful Death Claims: If someone died because of a car accident, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is one year from the date of death. Note: This deadline can differ from the date of the accident if your loved one did not immediately pass away at the time of the accident, but later died as a result of injuries in the wreck.

What is the Value of My Car Accident Case?

The worth of your case relies on various aspects, such as how severe your injuries are, the medical costs you have faced, how long it will take you to recover, and other factors.

Generally, car accident victims may be eligible to recover the following types of compensation:

Economic Damages

Victims receive these damages to aid them in recuperating from the financial setbacks linked to their injuries.

car wreck accident

  • Medical expenses, past and future
  • Hospitalization
  • Costs for surgery
  • Imaging tests
  • Emergency services
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Vehicle damage
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy sessions
  • Prescription medications
  • Personal care costs

Noneconomic Damages

Victims are granted these damages to assist them in coping with the pain and emotional distress they’ve endured.

  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Diminished quality of life

Compensation You May Be Entitled to Receive

Medical Expenses

You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses related to your accident, including doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and ongoing treatment.

Lost Wages

If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages, both past and future.

Property Damage

Compensation for property damage, such as damage to your vehicle, may also be recoverable in your claim.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering, as well as emotional distress, may be included in the compensation you receive for your car wreck.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Louisiana

In Louisiana, every driver must have a minimum level of auto insurance coverage, which includes liability coverage.

If you have been injured in a car accident, your attorney may assist you in filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.

If you are the one who caused the accident, your policy’s liability coverage is intended to compensate for the medical expenses of the injured individuals and any damages to the other driver’s vehicle.

By law, the minimum liability coverage includes:

  • $15,000 for bodily injury to one person
  • $30,000 for bodily injury to multiple people
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

Although these are the minimum requirements, many drivers choose to purchase more than the state-mandated minimum.

Liability insurance covers personal injuries or property damage caused by you, a family member, or anyone else driving your car with permission at the time of the collision.

You and your family members may also be covered if you are driving a rental car or borrowing someone else’s vehicle, up to the limits of the policy.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help in Your Case

Hiring an auto accident attorney is crucial to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

An attorney will be your advocate, making sure that insurance companies and other parties involved treat you fairly and do not take advantage of your situation.

Investigating Your Case

An experienced attorney will thoroughly investigate your case to determine liability and collect evidence to support your claim.

This may involve hiring experts, reviewing medical records, and reconstructing the crash scene.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging and stressful. A car wreck attorney can negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair settlement offer.

Filing a Lawsuit

If negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit to pursue compensation. They will guide you through the legal process and represent you in court.

Protecting Your Rights

Hiring a car wreck attorney is crucial to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

An attorney will be your advocate, making sure that insurance companies and other parties involved treat you fairly and do not take advantage of your situation.

Pursuing Compensation

A skilled car collision attorney can help you pursue compensation for the damages you have incurred. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Contact the Ikerd Law Firm Today For a Free Consultation

Hiring a skilled and experienced car accident lawyer is essential to protecting your rights and pursuing the compensation you deserve.

The Ikerd Law Firm will guide you through the complex legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.

Give us a call today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Honestly, it depends. If you have no physical injuries and only have property damage to your vehicle, you may be better off seeking estimates from your local body repair shop and handling the insurance claim yourself.

If you only have slight injuries that resolve after a short time and are not still bothering you after 11-12 months, you may be able to resolve the case by yourself as well.

However, understand, insurance companies and adjusters are in the business of trying to get you to agree for the least amount of money possible. They are ok with a lawsuit being filed against them if they think they can save a dollar.

They ONLY exist to be sued in the first place.

Therefore, they may see a person trying to handle their own claim by themselves as a way to save money and undervalue their case. They may make the paperwork requirements difficult for you to comply with before settlement.

That is why, even if your accident seems minor, it may still be a good idea to consult with an attorney.

They can help you navigate the claims process, and if hidden injuries or other complications arise later, they can assist in pursuing further compensation.

Louisiana follows a comparative fault system, which means you may still be entitled to compensation even if you were partially at fault.

However, should your case go to trial, your award will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.

Before accepting any settlement offer from the insurance company, it is advisable to consult with your car wreck attorney.

They can review the offer and determine whether it is fair based on the damages you have incurred.

The time it takes to resolve a car wreck case depends on several factors, such as the complexity of the case, the extent of the injuries, and whether the case goes to trial.

An experienced car wreck attorney can provide a more accurate timeline based on the specifics of your case.

At the Ikerd Law Firm, we strive to resolve our cases quickly and not let them linger. Oftentimes clients come to us while still treating their injuries. We do not like to settle cases until your injuries are completely resolved or at least stabilized, because until that point we do not know how much you have “lost” to determine how much you should be compensated.

Every case is different. But the Ikerd Law Firm is here to help you in this stressful and sometimes confusing process! Call today for a free consultation.

Let's Get In Touch



(337) 366-8994