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Get Your Legal Questions Answered

The pursuit of a legal claim is filled with questions. Our attorneys have the answers. At Lagarde Law, we are prepared to help you feel confident about your case – and win.

Contact our office in Slidell or Covington, LA, if you need a civil, litigation, or personal injury attorney to help you win your case.

If You Have a Question About Your Case


Why should I hire an attorney after I have been in a wreck?

Insurance adjusters will often offer someone with an attorney MORE than if they have no attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney will know what your injury claim is worth and will negotiate with the insurance companies to make sure you receive a maximum settlement for your claim.

What does contingency basis mean?

“Contingency basis” means that you do not pay upfront for anything related to your claim. Instead, the attorney handles all costs related to the case and is ONLY paid if he recovers anything for YOU. Our contingency fee is 30% of the recovered amount if no suit is filed. If a lawsuit is filed our fee is 33.33%. That fee remains the same through the trial and appeal of your case.

What happens after I hire an attorney?

Once we accept your case, our office will handle all communications with the insurance companies regarding your personal injury claim. We will stay in direct communication with you and keep you updated on the status of your case.

What happens if I am hurt in a car wreck?

You must seek medical attention if you are experiencing any symptoms. Insurance companies will not compensate you without medical treatment. You continue treatment from health care providers until all medical complaints are resolved. If you do not have health insurance, we can make arrangements for you.

How long do I have after a wreck to hire an attorney?

Seek legal help as quickly as possible. Time is critical as it relates to both evidence at the scene of the accident as well as medical treatment of injuries. It is also important if you are injured to seek immediate medical attention and document any injuries sustained.

What happens if I was in a wreck with an 18-wheeler or commercial truck?

An accident involving a large truck, 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, tanker truck, cargo bus, or construction vehicle requires immediate investigation to preserve crucial evidence at the scene. Trucking companies will have their own team of investigators whose job is to ensure their company doesn’t pay. However, it is not uncommon for both the truck driver as well as the trucking company to be at fault for some form of negligence.

You need a skilled personal injury attorney who has knowledge of specific federal and state laws which apply only to truck drivers and companies to recover the maximum amount for your injuries.

How long does a personal injury lawsuit take to get a settlement?

The shortest cases can resolve in a few months and without formal litigation. In other cases, they can continue for a year or more. The more complicated your case, the longer it typically takes. However, you have some control over the length of time because it is up to you to accept or reject settlement offers.

Will my personal injury case go to trial?

Most personal injury cases do not go to trial and are instead resolved by settlement before the trial date arrives. Cases typically go to trial when there are disputed facts or a contested legal issue. The more carefully you and your attorney build your case, the greater the chance both parties can agree on the strength of your evidence and reach a fair settlement. In general, insurance companies pay more the closer your case is to trial.

How much is my personal injury case worth?

We are often asked how much a claim is worth at the very beginning of a case. It is difficult to value a claim at inception as the duration of medical treatment and the extent of the injuries are often unknown. Each personal injury case is different, and the value of your claim depends on the type of injury sustained and the medical treatment received. In some circumstances, due to the nature of the accident and immediate injuries, such as broken bones or extensive emergency room treatment, we can estimate a minimum amount of damages that may be recoverable.

Those estimates are based on years of experience in handling similar claims as well as reported case law wherein a court awarded damages for similar injuries. As you seek medical treatment, the value of your claim changes. If you are injured but did not seek medical treatment, it is more difficult to recover funds for those injuries. That is why seeking medical treatment for the entire duration of your injury is so important. Surgical procedures, broken bones, and permanent injuries are higher value claims. The value of your claim also includes economic damages like costs for medical treatment, lost wages, physical therapy, and paying for any help you need at home.

We can recover for the medical invoices as well as for the pain and suffering experienced by the client. (See also the other accident-specific categories as they apply for additional information.)

How do I know if I have a personal injury case?

Contact an attorney for a free consultation to go over your accident. In most situations, you will have a case if someone acted carelessly and those events caused your injuries. You may also have a case even if you do not feel hurt at the scene. Often whiplash or neck injury victims will not be in pain until days later. It’s important to consult a doctor even if you do not feel immediate pain as some of the more serious conditions emerge over time.

What do I do if the insurance adjuster calls me?

Do not speak with them. They are attempting to reduce or eliminate the liability of the other party and often want to record your conversation. Simply tell them to contact your attorney or your insurance company.

What is the difference between third-party coverage versus first-party coverage?

The at-fault vehicle’s insurance company is referred to as the “third-party insurer.” Your insurance company is referred to as the “first-party insurer.” You have no contractual relationship with the insurance company of the vehicle that was at fault in the accident, thus you are a “third-party” in that relationship. You do have a contractual relationship with your insurance company, thus you are a “first-party” in that context.

The third-party insurer in most instances will not reveal how much insurance coverage is available to you. Once a lawsuit is filed we can force the insurance company, through a process called discovery, to produce the actual policy and declaration page for the at-fault vehicle. In some instances, when the medical billing and treatment indicate that the value of the claim will exceed the insurance policy limits of the at-fault insurer the insurance company will reveal the policy limits because they want to settle the claim. Throughout the claim, our attorneys provide the insurance companies updates on your medical condition and incurred medical costs.

In the event a policy limits settlement is offered we require the production of the declaration page for the insurance policy to confirm the actual policy limits and an affidavit of no other insurance. An affidavit of no other insurance is a sworn statement by the owner and/or driver of the at-fault vehicle attesting that there is no other insurance coverage available. In Louisiana, the minimum amount of liability insurance required is $15,000 for personal injuries and $25,000 for property damages. In Mississippi and Alabama, the minimum insurance required is $25,000 for personal injuries. If you are in an accident with a vehicle from one of those states it is a reasonable assumption that there is $25,000 in coverage available to you.

What is uninsured motorist coverage?

Uninsured motorist is a type of insurance coverage available to you from your own insurance company. Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist insurance coverage are one and the same. In the event you are in an accident with a vehicle that has minimum policy limits under Louisiana law ($15,000), or no insurance at all, and your damages exceed $15,000, you are able to make a claim against your own uninsured motorist policy.

Many people are hesitant to make a claim against their own policy for fear of increasing their premium. Insurers are not supposed to charge you for an accident that was not your fault. Think of uninsured motorist coverage in the same way as you would your fire insurance/dwelling policy on your residence. If your house burns down, you will make a claim against your homeowner’s insurance policy. Your insurance company collected an insurance premium from you and contractually agreed to replace your home (or the value of it) in the event of a fire. The same rationale applies to uninsured motorist coverage; you pay a premium to your insurance company to protect you in the event you are in an accident, and the person that was at fault does not have sufficient insurance coverage.

We recommend that all motorists carry uninsured motorist coverage. The level of coverage depends on your individual economic situation. Our attorneys are experienced with all aspects of insurance coverage and can further explain how the insurance coverage applies in your particular case.

You don’t have time to waste. Determine if you have a case by calling us at