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Personal Injury Lawsuits

Meeting with Your Personal Injury Lawyer: What You Should Bring

March 23, 2017 Personal Injury Lawsuits 0 Comments

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

If you’re planning on taking legal action against a third party after suffering a personal injury, most reputable law firms offer initial consultations free of charge. Whether your injuries were caused by a reckless motorist or a hazardous work environment, you may be eligible for significant monetary awards if negligence was to blame. Since many victims are unsure about what to expect during this first consultation, we’ve put together a checklist of documents and information to bring.

This first meeting also provides an opportunity to ask questions about your lawyer’s previous experience handling claims similar to your own, prior case results (both court room victories and settlements), as well as projected timelines for the litigation process.

In order to arrive prepared and get answers to all of your legal questions, you’ll need to create a folder containing the following data, which will give your lawyer detailed background on the circumstances of your case.

Personal injury information checklist

In order for your personal injury attorney to begin investigations, you’ll need to have the following data ready:

  • Name and address of ambulance service
  • Name and address of ER
  • Admission and discharge dates for emergency room and hospital treatments
  • Names and addresses of health care professionals who examined you following the injury incident
  • Names and business addresses of doctors, specialists and surgeons who provided any type of medical care or treatment
  • Names and addresses of everyone who was involved in the injury accident
  • Names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident
  • Name and contact information of police/law enforcement who arrived on the scene
  • Name and business address of insurance representative assigned to your accident
  • Names and addresses of individuals who you have spoken to about your injuries
  • Total number of days of missed work (and corresponding dates) due to the accident

Documents needed by your attorney

Include the following documents in your envelope:

  • Copy of police accident report
  • Statements given to law enforcement/insurance regarding the accident
  • Health insurance card, showing medical coverage (includes Medicare/Medicaid and Veteran’s insurance)
  • Copies of emails or letters with your insurance carrier concerning the accident
  • Receipts and bills for all medical care & treatment related to the accident
  • Receipts for all medications prescribed to treat your injuries
  • Proof of lost earnings or wages, i.e. past pay stubs
  • Proof of current car insurance, indicating policy limits and type of coverage purchased
  • Proof of homeowner’s insurance if the incident occurred at home
  • Receipts for any items you’ve had to purchase because of your injuries, including medical devices such as neck braces, crutches, a wheelchair or cane, braces or bandages.
  • Receipts for things you had repaired because of the accident, such as necessary car repairs to have a safe, operating vehicle

Free case review in Lafayette, LA

If you or someone you care about suffered injuries in an auto collision, truck accident or workplace incident, a capable personal injury lawyer will outline the strengths of your case, and fight for fair and full compensation. Lafayette personal injury attorney Bart Bernard is renowned for his talent and expertise in negotiating claims and winning complex trial cases, securing notable multi-million dollar payouts for injured Louisiana residents.

Bart Bernard operates on a contingency fee basis, and offers free case evaluations for prospective clients. Schedule yours by calling our Lafayette and Baton Rouge offices toll-free today.

Additional “personal injury checklist” resources

  1. Louisiana State Police Statewide Crash Reports,
  2., Accident Guide in Louisiana,

DOT Targets Railroad Crossing Safety with New Campaign

February 1, 2017 Personal Injury Lawsuits 0 Comments

Railroad Crossing 2 tracks warning sign.Federal statistics on railroad crossing incidents paint a bleak picture – at least one pedestrian or vehicle is hit by a train every three hours in the U.S., reports the Federal Railroad Administration. Even worse is the fact that nearly all of these injuries and deaths are entirely preventable. In an effort to curb railroad crossing accidents, the Department of Transportation (DOT) kicked off a new safety ad campaign earlier this month with a startling video that depicts a freight train slamming into the side of a sports utility vehicle that is on the tracks. The train’s engineer applies the brakes to no avail, as the locomotive drags the SUV along the tracks.

The message, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx: “Too many people are still taking unnecessary risks and needlessly paying with their lives.” The video is a stark reminder of the deadly ramifications for those who ignore warning signs at railroad crossings or try and beat a train.

Railroad crossing ad safety campaign

The ad campaign is aptly titled, “Stop. Trains Can’t.” A collaboration between the Federal Railroad Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the campaign’s main focus is educating drivers about railroad crossing dangers and keeping families safe. A train always has the right of way, and while it may seem harmless to ignore crossing signs, the consequences are not. FRA authorities say that it takes a train traveling 55 mph a full mile to come to stop after applying the emergency brake. In 2016 alone, some 232 people died in railroad crossing accidents. With hope, this new safety campaign — which is set to run in Louisiana and other states with high accident and fatality rates – will help improve awareness and prevent needless deaths.

The government has invested $7 million in media ads, as part of a two-year effort to reduce accidents at train crossing around the nation. The ads will target men between the ages of 18 and 49 in states with the most hazardous crossings and highest accident rates.  Authorities caution that young male drivers are involved in a staggering 75 percent of all rail crossing accidents.

NHTSA authorities remind motorists that trying to outrun a freight train isn’t worth the risk, and a mistake that may cost your life.

The following railroad crossing statistics are another eye opener:

  • More than 90 percent of railroad crossing fatalities involve drivers trying to beat a train, or pedestrians trespassing on railroad tracks
  • More than half of all railroad crossing accident victims were impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident
  • Louisiana, according to the FRA, is fourth in the country for the number of railroad crossing deaths

Legal assistance in Louisiana

As part of the program, public service announcements and ads have been running on TV and radio stations across Louisiana, and railroad intersections will be monitored by law enforcement for additional safety.

As a Louisiana resident and veteran personal injury lawyer, Bart Bernard supports any initiative aimed at reducing accidents and preventable loss of life.  If you or someone you care about was involved in a railroad crossing accident, whether as a train passenger, pedestrian or vehicle driver, it’s important to protect your legal rights.

Call 1-888-GET-BART to arrange a free and confidential consultation today.

Additional Railroad Crossing Ad Safety Campaign Resources:

  1. NHTSA, DOT Launches New Railroad Crossing Safety Ad Campaign
  2. Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. DOT Launches New Railroad Crossing Safety Ad