Get Answers to Your Legal Questions in Our FAQ

Dealing with a legal issue whether it be applying for and receiving disability benefits, fighting for a personal injury claim, or navigating through a divorce, can be a challenge, and many people are left with questions about what they can do to get the help they need.  At the law offices of Loyd J. Bourgeois, we understand how hard it can be to get the answers you need. That’s why we’ve put together the following list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers dealing with family law, personal injury, disability benefits, claims, and appeals and the related law in Louisiana.

The following are some FAQs that I receive as a Louisiana attorney. They may answer some of the questions you have regarding your Social Security Disability appeal, your long-term disability insurance denial, your personal injury claim, or your Louisiana divorce. If you have a question that is not answered here, please call the legal team of Loyd J Bourgeois, LLC at 985-240-9773.

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  • What Should I Do If My Vehicle’s Airbag Deploys?

    Airbags, used in conjunction with seat belts, have become essential safety tools for motorists.

    Front driver and passenger airbags have been required equipment in U.S. manufactured cars since 1998.

    Today, there are vehicles that feature more than ten different airbags – some, with airbags right in the seat belt itself

    The NHTSA estimated that in 2017 alone over 2,790 lives were saved because of airbags. 

    How Does An Airbag Work?

    Airbags are lightweight, fabric structures designed to protect a driver or passenger by inflating before a person contacts something hard inside the vehicle – such as the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, door panel, etc. 

    When a vehicle is in a collision, a signal is sent from the airbag’s electronic control unit to its inflator. 

    The inflator then triggers a chemical reaction, producing a gas that inflates the airbag.

    On average, it takes only about 20 to 30 milliseconds for a driver’s side airbag to inflate. 

    The gas used to inflate the airbag is like rocket booster fuel.

    What to Do If Your Vehicle’s Airbag Deploys?

    What should you do if your airbag deploys in a crash?If your airbag deploys during a collision, chances are the impact was sufficient to cause a disabling personal injury.

    1. The first thing you should do is call 9-1-1 and stabilize any serious problems.  If necessary, seek medical attention
    2. In some vehicles, when the airbag inflates, the engine automatically shuts off.  This is to prevent any fires from possible fuel leaks.  If your vehicle does not automatically kill, turn off the engine.
    3. If the airbags have deployed, the car should NOT be driven.  You need to obtain an alternative way home or to medical care. 

    After the Collision 

    Do NOT drive the vehicle again until your car is inspected by a mechanic. 

    Your vehicle should be inspected to determine the extent of the damage. 

    You should take pictures of the vehicle’s damage in case it is needed later. 

    I also recommend writing down as much as you remember about the circumstances of the accident as soon as possible after the collision.  This helps you not forget the important aspects of the situation

    You should also follow your doctor’s advice and recommendations regarding treatment for any injuries that you received.

    If you or someone you love was in an accident in Louisiana and suffered a disabling personal injury that required hospitalization and missed work, give us a call at 985-240-9773. 

    We have the experience to guide you through this difficult process and advise you on both the injury aspects of your claim and the disability aspects of your claim.

  • Loyd's Legal Insights: Why does pain sometimes start a few days following a car wreck?

    This is Saint Charles Parish injury attorney Loyd Bourgeois, and I am here to help you get the answer to this question and more today on Loyd’s Legal Insights...

    Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Mitchell Brien, chiropractor, at his office on Highway 90 in Luling, Louisiana.

    We are getting some insight from his perspective on some of the frequently encountered issues he sees with his personal injury patients.

    I hope you join us and learn more about the chiropractic process in personal injury claims.

    Why does pain sometimes start a few days following a car wreck?

    The Insight with Dr. Brien

    One of the major factors that cause this effect is the body releases what we call endorphins.

    Endorphins are the body's natural painkillers. When the body releases them you are not feeling much of anything. You are trying to function throughout -- your brain is trying to function, your body is trying to function, and you really just don't feel pain.

    This natural painkiller is working. A lot of times it takes hours or days for those endorphins to calm down.

    One thing I can kind of relate that to is when people exercise - they'll go exercise and they won't be sore until two or three days later.

    It is the same thing after an accident. So, I utilize that example with my patients in trying to compare those two together to help them understand why they are not in pain right away.

    So there you have it - some simple truth from a proven medical leader right here in St. Charles Parish.

    Remember if you are hurt in a car crash here in St. Charles Parish, or if you are looking for a local St. Charles Parish attorney to represent you in your injury claim give me a call 985-240-9773.

    Injury consultations are free and we will take care of you from right here in our Luling, Louisiana personal injury law office on the River Road.

    Get Help Now

     

  • Loyd's Legal Insights: Is it possible for an injury to initially go undiagnosed after a wreck?

    This is Saint Charles Parish personal injury attorney Loyd Bourgeois and I am here to help you get the answer to this question and more today on Loyd’s Legal Insights...

    Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Mitchell Brien, chiropractor, at his office on Highway 90 in Luling, Louisiana.

    We are getting some insight from his perspective on some of the frequently encountered issues he sees with his personal injury patients.

    I hope you join us and learn more about the chiropractic process in personal injury claims.

    Is it possible for my injury to go undiagnosed immediately after a car accident?

    The Insight from Dr. Brien

    We are going to take them through a series of examinations to get our examination findings, but it is not uncommon for some injuries not to show up initially.

    You know, sometimes even a fracture initially will not show up a lot of times.

    So what you will see a lot of times where the patient has to go back in to get an x-ray in an area.

    This also happens with soft tissue injuries. They will take some time to show up.

    In each case, there are certain red flags we look for and there are certain things that show up right away. But, there are certain things that don't.

    In a general soft tissue, sprain/strain type case, a lot of times you won't see radicular or radiating symptoms down the arms or legs.

    So, you treat those symptoms as soft tissue sprains/strains.

    Then, as the weeks go by, sometimes those symptoms will start to show up.

    The patient will come in and say “I'm starting to really feel some numbness or tingling in my arms or legs.”

    We will then start evaluating and finding out - is there an underlying cause of this.

    That's when we will send them out for an MRI (which is a radiograph) and it shows the soft tissue.

    With the MRI, you will find those disc herniation disc problems. Then, you have to kind of change your course care there.

    So there you have it - some simple truth from a proven medical leader right here in St. Charles Parish.

    Remember if you are hurt in a car crash here in St. Charles Parish, or if you are looking for a local St. Charles Parish car accident attorney to represent you in your injury claim give me a call 985-240-9773.

    Injury consultations are free and we will take care of you from right here in our Luling, Louisiana office on the River Road.

    Get Help Now

     

  • Loyd's Legal Insights: What is the relationship between pain and inflammation?

    This is Saint Charles Parish personal injury attorney Loyd Bourgeois and I am here to help you get the answer to this question and more today on Loyd’s Legal Insights...

    Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Mitchell Brien, chiropractor, at his office on Highway 90 in Luling, Louisiana.

    We are getting some insight from his perspective on some of the frequently encountered issues he sees with his personal injury patients. I hope you join us and learn more about the chiropractic process in personal injury claims.

    What is the relationship between pain and inflammation?

    The Insight with Dr. Brien

    As we age we are all going to have that degenerative effect in our soft tissues-- the discs and whatnot that start to dehydrate.

    This is not a pain-producing event a lot of times.

    You know there are a lot of people walking around with degenerative disc but don't have pain and never realize it.  They never get treated for it because they never have pain.  

    Then you introduce a trauma into that area and what happens is the inflammatory response occurs.

    That is when the pain comes on - the inflammation creates pain, not the degeneration.

    So when these tissues are disrupted or are brought into a hyperflexion/hyperextension zone, there are what we call micro-tears, or little tears in those soft tissues.  

    This causes an inflammatory response where there is swelling and redness. Fluid develops in those in those soft tissues. This creates pain.

    So there you have it - some simple truth from a proven medical leader right here in St. Charles Parish.

    Remember if you are hurt in a car crash here in St. Charles Parish, or if you are looking for a local St. Charles Parish attorney to represent you in your injury claim give me a call 985-240-9773.

    Injury consultations are free and we will take care of you from right here in our Luling, Louisiana office on the River Road.

    Get Help Now

     

  • Loyd's Legal Insights: Should I go to the emergency room after a car accident?

    I am St. Charles Parish injury attorney Loyd Bourgeois. 

    I am here to help you get the answer to this question and more today on this installment of Loyd’s Legal Insights. 

    Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with local chiropractor Dr. Mitchell Brien at his office on Highway 90 in Luling, Louisiana. 

    We wanted to get some insight from his perspective on some of the frequently encountered issues he sees in his personal injury patients. 

    I hope you will join us as we sit down with Dr. Mitchell Brien and learn more about the chiropractic process in personal injury claims.

    Should I go to the emergency room after a wreck?

    The Insight from Dr. Brien:

    Every case is different.  If someone has severe abrasions or something, they're going to go to the ER. 

    For those who are not really feeling a lot of pain, in my opinion, it's always a good idea to go ahead and get it evaluated by someone who specializes in those types of injuries because some of those things don't show up for days or even a week sometimes.

    Some people's pain tolerance is much different so you want to make sure you get it evaluated and get those injuries at least looked at initially. 

    There may not be any injury in there.

    You know some accidents don't have an injury, but it's a good idea to get a professional to look at that.

    So there you have it – some simple truth from a proven medical leader right here in Luling.

    Remember if you are hurt in car crash here in St. Charles Parish or if you are looking for a local St. Charles Parish personal injury attorney to represent you in your injury claim –

    Give me a call at 985-240-9773.

    Injury consultations are free.  And, we will take care of you from our Luling office – right here on the River Road.

    Get Help Now

     

  • Who is at fault in a rear end collision in Louisiana?

    While the question of who is at fault when you are rear-ended appears to be a very simple, straightforward question, it often is not.Who is at fault in a rear-end collision in Louisiana?

    Let’s address the simple answer first: If you are hit from behind while driving down the road, it is usually the other driver who is at fault. But the real issue here is who was negligent in their driving. Negligence is the basis for most car accident claims, and the negligent person is responsible to compensate for any damage or injury caused by their failure to drive responsibly.

    Rear-end accidents are almost always due to the rear driver tailgating, driving too fast, or driving while distracted – all cases of negligence. However, in a few circumstances, the front driver may be at fault. 

    If you were involved in a rear-end accident in Louisiana, and there is a question as to who was at fault, you may need to consult with an attorney.  Give us a call at 985-240-9773 for a free analysis of your case.

    Quick Guide to Louisiana Accident and Injury ClaimsI've written a book Quick Guide to Louisiana Accident and Injury Claims. This is a helpful and informative guide that will lead you through some of the common mistakes that can wreck your personal injury claim.  Discover why you may not even need an attorney! Get answers to your questions about recorded statements, paying medical bills, getting your vehicle repaired, negotiating a settlement, and much more! Don't make a costly mistake that could cause you to accept a settlement that is too small to cover your medical bills and lost wages! You need to read this before you talk to an attorney or insurance adjuster.  I'd love to send you a copy. Just click here to receive your free copy of my book Quick Guide to Louisiana Accident and Injury Claims.

  • Loyd's Legal Insights: What is Conservative Care?

    I am St. Charles Parish injury attorney Loyd Bourgeois.  I am here to help you get the answer to this question and more today on this installment of Loyd’s Legal Insights.

    Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with local chiropractor Dr. Mitchell Brien at his office on Highway 90 in Luling, Louisiana. 

    We wanted to get some insight from his perspective on some of the frequently encountered issues he sees in his personal injury patients. 

    I hope you will join us as we sit down with Dr. Mitchell Brien and learn more about the chiropractic process in personal injury claims.

    What is Conservative Care?

    The Insight from Dr. Brien:

    Conservative Care can have many different aspects. Basically, conservative care is a nonsurgical form of treatment. 

    It can range from chiropractic care to physical therapy to medical treatment where the medical doctor prescribes medications. 

    You get out of that conservative care when you get to a surgical intervention. 

    That's what we're trying to prevent - a surgical intervention.

    So there you have it – some simple truth from a proven medical leader right here in Luling.

    Remember if you are hurt in a car crash here in St. Charles Parish or if you are looking for a local St. Charles Parish attorney to represent you in your injury claim –

    Give me a call at 985-240-9773.

    Injury consultations are free.  And, we will take care of you from our Luling office – right here on the River Road.

    Get Help Now

     

  • Do I Have to Submit an Administrative Appeal of My LTD Denial? Can I just sue now?

    Our office received a call recently from Janice – a very nice, 56-year-old accountant who was dealing with coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes, and chronic degenerative disc disease.  Janice worked as an accountant at a large, chemical manufacturing facility for almost 25 years.  She had to stop working due to her medical conditions and filed a claim for long-term disability benefits through her employer’s benefit plan.  Unfortunately, she was denied because the insurer claimed she could continue doing her sedentary occupation.  She was really angry and did not want to deal with the insurance company any longer because she knew she would not get a fair shake.  Janice just wanted to sue them.  After a few minutes, Janice asked – Do I Have to Submit an Administrative Appeal of My LTD Denial?

    Do I have to submit an administrative appeal of my LTD Denial?The answer is yes if you received your LTD plan through a private sector employer.  LTD coverage provided this way likely falls under ERISA and according to ERISA, you must “exhaust” your administrative remedies before you can file a lawsuit. This means you must follow the terms of the insurance policy and go through each step of the appeals process directly with the insurance company. If the insurance policy states that you must file one appeal, then you may only need to file one mandatory appeal. If the insurance policy requires you to file two appeals, then you must go through two appeals before filing a lawsuit. Other insurance policies have one mandatory appeal and one “optional” appeal. The key is that you must review your policy to see what it requires.

    In other situations, you may not have to file an appeal at all before filing a lawsuit. This may be the case if you have an individual policy purchased directly from an insurance agent or broker, or if your policy is sponsored by a government or church employer directly.  Again, you should read your policy.

    Luckily for Janice, she made a smart choice and called Louisiana Disability Law so that we could evaluate her situation and guide her correctly (since she received her policy through a large, private sector employer her claim was guided by ERISA and she had to do the administrative appeal).  Your situation may be different and will be dependent on the specific facts and policy provisions of your policy. If in doubt, you should contact an experienced disability attorney to help guide you through the process.  Give our office a call at 985-240-9773

  • Loyd's Legal Insights: What is Chiropractic Care?

    I am St. Charles Parish injury attorney Loyd Bourgeois. 

    I am here to help you get the answer to this question and more today on our first installment of Loyd’s Legal Insights. 

    Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with local chiropractor Dr. Mitchell Brien at his office on Highway 90 in Luling, Louisiana. 

    We wanted to get some insight from his perspective on some of the frequently encountered issues he sees in his personal injury patients. 

    I hope you will join us as we sit down with Dr. Mitchell Brien and learn more about the chiropractic process in personal injury claims.

    What is Chiropractic Care?

    The Insight from Dr. Brien:

    We work closely with the joints, mainly neck and back, but also shoulder, hips, and knees and every other joint in the body to try and restore proper biomechanics to the body.

    After these injuries, a lot of the mechanics are disrupted, and we want to make sure that those mechanics are reestablished into the body. After a car accident type injury, the muscles will a lot of times tighten. 

    We want to make sure that we relax those tightened muscles. 

    When muscles tighten, it has a domino effect, so the joint gets involved and it gets restricted. So we want to increase that range of motion back to that joint. 

    And that's the focus of those types of treatments is to restore that mobility back to the body that is taken away due to those types of injuries.

    So there you have it – some simple truth from a proven medical leader right here in Luling.

    Remember if you are hurt in a car accident here in St. Charles Parish or if you are looking for a local Luling Personal Injury attorney to represent you in your injury claim –

    Give me a call at 985-240-9773.

    Injury consultations are free.  And, we will take care of you from our Luling office – right here on the River Road.

    Get Help Now

     

  • What is a Long-Term Disability Buyout? Should I Accept A Disability Lump Sum Payment?

    A long-term disability insurance buyout is when the insurance company offers you a lump sum of money now in exchange for never having to pay you again on the policy. Should I accept a long-term disability buyout?

    If you are offered a long-term disability buyout, there are a number of things to consider.  Let’s look at an example:

    Hank is a 45-year-old surgeon who developed cancer and as a result of his treatment is left with hand tremors and other neuropsychological symptoms.  Hank purchased a long-term disability policy that paid him $20,000 per month (or $240,000 per year) until age 70 provided he remained disabled under the terms of the policy.  Since Hank is 45, the policy can remain in effect for 25 more years with a lifetime payout of $6,000,000. 

    Hank’s long-term disability insurance company has offered him a buyout. What should he consider when deciding whether to accept or reject the settlement offer?

    Pros vs. Cons of Accepting a Long-Term Disability Buyout

    There is never an easy answer to whether to accept the buyout or not.  But, in considering the offer, you should look at the pros and cons of the situation:

    PROS

    CONS

    Finished dealing with LTD Insurer if buyout accepted

    Value received is less than the full value of the policy if you were to stay on the policy for the full term

    Do not have to look over your shoulder for LTD investigators anymore

    Lose monthly payment after acceptance of buyout

    Never worry about going to an IME or completing a new form for the LTD claim

    May have negative tax implications

    Can invest money for benefit of yourself and your family

    Don’t get to talk to your LTD case manager anymore

    If something happens to you after buyout completed (like death), LTD insurer cannot get money back

    You like dealing with the stress of a policy review and will not be able to sleep at night if this does not happen anymore

     

    Obviously, each situation is different and you should seek out the information necessary to help you make the best decision in your specific circumstances.

    Our team at Louisiana Disability Law is skilled at guiding hard-working, disabled people like you through the long-term disability process.  We can help you effectively evaluate any long-term disability buyout offer and negotiate on your behalf. 

    Give us a call today at 985-240-9773 if you received a buyout offer and don’t know where to begin!