(985) 851-3311
Contact
How can we help?

Houma Car Accident Litigation

If you were injured in a car accident, you may be tempted to represent yourself in your attempt to recover compensation. Unfortunately, Houma car accident litigation can be a long and complex process. An experienced car accident attorney can handle the case on your behalf, giving you peace of mind during your recovery.

Filing a Lawsuit

Houma car accident litigation proceeds in a car accident case when a lawyer representing the injured party institutes a lawsuit with a petition. The lawyer names the defendant, the party at fault, and in most cases, the insurance company that provided liability coverage to the at-fault party.

A lawsuit is served on the party at fault and their insurance carrier. The lawsuit sets forth what that person did wrong and why they are responsible for damages to the injured party. There is an itemization of special damages caused by the car wreck, such as:

  • medical expenses
  • lost earnings
  • pain and suffering
  • loss of consortium.

Other general damages can include loss of life’s pleasures and disability.

After Filing a Lawsuit

Once the victim’s lawyer files litigation, the defendant files a pleading known as an answer. If the defendant does not file an answer, a default judgment may be entered against the parties at fault. After the defendant files an answer, typically there is an exchange of information between both sides about questions such as:

  • Who has the insurance coverage?
  • How much is the insurance coverage?
  • How much are the medical bills?
  • Was the party at fault working for a company, and is the company responsible for their driver?

This exchange occurs in writing. There is also deposition testimony, which is similar to court but usually occurs in a law office’s conference room. The witnesses testify under oath like in court, but there is no judge present. This is the way that each party discovers and proves the facts of the case.

Evidence Law

Facts can be critical in a car accident case, but the jury does not hear all of the facts. This is known as evidence law. The court uses the evidence code and makes a determination on what a jury may see or hear. If evidence is admissible, this means the judge allows it to be presented to the jury in the car accident trial.

A party may object to the admissibility of certain evidence. If the judge rules against the objection, a record objecting to the ruling must be made by the party to preserve the evidentiary issue for a higher court to review on appeal.

Courtroom Proceedings

All testimony, argument, and rulings in a courtroom are recorded by the court reporter. Every item of evidence is identified.  Once the case is over, the court reporter transcribes the testimony of the witnesses, arguments of the lawyers, instructions by the judge, and rulings on evidence by the judge.  This record is prepared in the event there is an appeal to a higher court.

Appeals

Houma car accident litigation does not always end after the first trial. When a person is aggrieved by a trial verdict or judgment, they have the right to an appeal to the lower courts of appeal. In Terrebonne Parish, the local appeals court is the First Circuit Court of Appeal.

After the appeal is considered by the court of appeal, if either plaintiff or defendant is not satisfied by the ruling, they have the opportunity to request the Louisiana Supreme Court to hear the appeal. The Supreme Court makes a decision whether or not to hear the case. They will only accept an appeal when there is a conflict within the circuits. This is called a writ, and the writ to the Supreme Court is called a writ of certiorari. Once they decide to review or hear a case, the record is sent.

Importance of the Jury in Houma Car Accident Cases

Houma car accident attorneys want everyone to know that the jury is the conscience of the community. A jury’s decisions can have far-reaching implications that protect the community from harm. For example, if the defendants chose to violate safety rules, the jury may deter such activity by their verdict send a message that the community will not tolerate such dangerous behavior.

If you have been injured in an accident, you should contact an attorney with a proven record in Houma car accident litigation. Attorneys can fight on your behalf for any compensation you may be entitled to.