Personal Injury

Personal Injury


  • Personal injury lawsuits can recover economic and noneconomic damages, such as medical costs, emotional trauma, and lost wages. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded.

  • Personal injury lawyers perform thorough investigations to collect crucial evidence that demonstrates how someone’s negligence or actions make them liable.

  • Injury victims are frequently taken advantage of, paid far less than they are owed, or miss the deadline to file a claim unless they have a personal injury lawyer protecting their rights and fighting on their behalf.

Why Hire HHK for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

Dealing with the aftermath of a tragic accident can be overwhelming. Many families with seriously injured loved ones must tap into savings and retirement accounts to pay for necessary medical care. A family’s income may be drastically reduced if a father or mother cannot work due to an injury or death. The financial and emotional strain imposed upon a family can be unbearable.

The trusted and talented Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Herman Herman Katz are committed to fighting for families devastated by a personal injury caused by the negligence of others. We protect our client’s rights and ensure they’re fairly compensated through personal injury lawsuits. Our attorneys help alleviate some of the burdens by handling communication and negotiation with insurance companies and the defendant’s lawyers so that you can focus on your recovery.

Our successful track record proves we can handle ourselves and your best interests when the gloves come off. All told, we have recovered over $35 billion for our clients over the years, both in court and at the negotiating table. We are the go-to law firm when looking for skilled and proven Louisiana personal injury attorneys. Judge's gavel on dark blue background.

What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal injury lawsuits are civil claims against an individual, business, or other entity responsible or partly responsible for the harm caused to the injured party. They allow those injured by someone else’s negligence or intentional actions to seek compensation for a range of damages, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

Unlike in criminal cases where you must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, personal injury lawsuits must show that more likely than not, the defendant’s negligence or intentional actions caused the accident or injury. It’s important to note that civil lawsuits of this kind can be filed when a criminal lawsuit is also occurring.

Some personal injury claims are clearly the fault of another, but they’re often quite complex. In a personal injury lawsuit, proving negligence involves four elements:

  1. Duty: The party owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
  2. Breach: They breached that duty.
  3. Causation: The breach caused the injury.
  4. Damages: Damages were suffered because of the breach.

Personal injury lawyers must investigate, collect, and carefully examine the evidence and facts to successfully demonstrate how another party is liable. Our attorneys keep clients updated throughout the legal process and provide the information and advice needed to make a decision about settlement offers during negotiation – but we’re always prepared to take the case to court if a fair offer isn’t made.

Negotiation vs. Litigation

You may have heard that most personal injury claims are resolved out of court. Strictly speaking, this is true. Most defendants will rather avoid the time and expense of a trial if they think there’s a significant chance they might lose. However, don’t let this fact deceive you – it is said (quite wisely) that “all bargaining takes place in the shadow of the law.”

No defendant or insurance company will likely offer you a fair settlement unless you prove that you are substantially likely to win at trial. Of course, that means assembling evidence that is admissible under court rules just as it would if a trial were already underway. In many ways, preparing for negotiations is similar to preparing for a trial. business meeting with ateam of lawyers negotiating terms

Why Do You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

When you’re injured, those liable will rarely, if ever, offer the compensation you’re entitled to unless a strong personal injury lawsuit is presented. There are many strategies the responsible party may use to get out of paying a victim adequately. For example:

  • Insurance companies don’t have your best interests in mind; they’ll pay as little as possible when someone makes a claim, won’t share all the facts, and frequently trick victims into signing something and dragging out negotiations.
  • Employers take advantage of injured employees, try to keep them quiet, place blame on them and others, and lowball compensation offers. Since employment contracts are confusing, many victims may not see a legal avenue to pursue a claim, and their employer may even convince them they can’t be sued.
  • Businesses and large entities have deep pockets for legal situations, a distinct advantage over the average victim who’s injured as a result of their negligence; they often use their power to intimidate the wronged party.

All of these situations make it difficult for personal injury victims to stand up for themselves, especially when hurt and vulnerable or dealing with the loss of a family member. But when you hire a personal attorney, you can focus on recovery and coping with the widespread effects of an accident or illness. They deal with insurance companies on behalf of their clients, review employment contracts, and communicate with the defendant’s lawyers, so you don’t have to.

When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they can determine the level of compensation that could and should be paid. They specialize in specific areas of law (practice areas), and an attorney’s knowledge and experience are crucial to ensure a settlement meets your needs and is what you deserve.

Other reasons why you should hire a personal injury attorney include the statute of limitations and the fact that they only get paid if you do. Lawsuits involving injuries caused by someone else’s negligence must be filed fairly quickly; they’re time sensitive, and victims frequently miss their window of opportunity for justice and to be compensated for damages. And since personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, clients don’t have to pay fees unless they win your case through an agreed settlement or jury award.

What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

The work of a personal injury attorney is extensive. It takes time to build a case that clearly and successfully demonstrates liability and the compensation a victim is entitled to.

Personal injury attorneys not only file lawsuits but run an in-depth investigation to collect vital evidence and identify who’s responsible for an injury. After all, there may be multiple parties that a claim should be made against.

They interview witnesses, take photos and videos of accident scenes (or have a qualified team to do so), collect medical documents and imaging, consult with experts, collect police reports, and review policies, contracts, and damage reports.

Damage calculations are a crucial part of a personal injury lawyer’s work. There are many economic and noneconomic factors when determining a claim amount, including lost wages, emotional stress, pain and suffering, decreased enjoyment of life, lost earning capacity, and future costs and implications of an injury. This is difficult to do without the help of someone with experience handling similar cases and a deep understanding of applicable laws.

Families seek our help because a tragic event has changed their lives. Most families come to us anguished and exhausted. We understand that they depend on us to pursue justice on their behalf, and we consider this to be a sacred trust. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury, learn about your legal rights from an experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyer by calling 504-581-4892 or by filling out our no-obligation online form. We offer free consultations. view of vitals on screens during an operation in a hospital

Types of Personal Injury Cases

Injuries can impact all areas of life and have a devastating effect on the victim and their families. Since accidents can happen anywhere and to anyone, many types of personal injury lawsuits exist. This is why it’s so important to seek legal advice when hurt, even if you’re unsure if someone else is liable.

The Louisiana personal injury lawyers at HHK handle the following types of personal injury cases:

  • Brain Injury: A brain injury can produce extensive long-term disability and some of the highest damage awards available for any type of injury. Our brain injury practice group is led by Dr. Joseph Kott, a retired neurosurgeon.
  • Burn Injury: A serious burn injury can cause immense pain and suffering, and it can leave victims disfigured for life. Even more moderate burn injuries can generate tremendous personal losses.
  • Auto Vehicle Accidents: Car accidents are the most common cause of personal injury. However, to win an adequate recovery against an insurance company, you’ll likely need the services of a skilled personal injury attorney.
  • Contamination: Toxic contamination, produced by a disaster such as an oil spill, can cause economic devastation, serious public health problems, and even wrongful death. At HHK, we have dealt with these issues before (during the BP oil spill litigation, for example).
  • Construction Accidents: Those with construction jobs face serious risks of injuries due to the hazards and dangers on work sites. Safety regulations and standards are in place to help prevent construction accidents, but they’re still very common. These complex lawsuits require the help of an experienced construction accident attorney.
  • Industrial Site Accidents: Industrial accidents are surprisingly common, especially in Louisiana. Compensation may be sought through workers’ compensation, the Jones Act, or ordinary personal injury law – depending on the circumstances.
  • Dangerous Products: Louisiana law grants consumers and other people injured by an unreasonably dangerous product the right to damages. Product liability is distinct from other areas of personal injury law and is, in some ways, more favorable to the victim.
  • Electrocutions: Electrical accidents, some leading to death, are far more common than most people realize. While many of these accidents befall skilled tradespeople such as electricians, whose jobs expose them to an elevated level of risk, members of the general public also suffer this kind of injury.
  • Offshore Maritime: Offshore maritime law is a system all its own. Its rules are in many ways different from those that apply to other personal injuries. Louisiana’s large petroleum industry ensures that maritime law claims will always be common here, especially in coastal areas of the state.
  • Wrongful Death Claim: When the victim of a personal injury dies, a wrongful death claim is a result. Although damages for these claims can be immense, the law works differently than an ordinary personal injury claim. Those who lose a loved one in an accident should consult a wrongful death attorney before agreeing to compensation or signing anything.
  • Truck Accidents: 18-wheeler trucks act like highway missiles when the driver loses control, and the damage they can do is nearly comparable. Truck accident claims can present unique questions of law that do not arise in ordinary car accident claims.

Importance of Personal Injury Lawsuits

Personal injury lawyers anticipate and plan for any and all possible legal barriers and provide options that are specific to each case. At the end of the day, the impact of an injury or loss of a loved one can cause more than just immediate challenges; it can lead to long-term physical and emotional trauma and require medical care that can not only be financially debilitating but affect all areas of the victim’s life. With a personal injury lawsuit, victims can receive much-needed compensation that provides financial stability and adequately represents the damages suffered.

When someone else’s negligence or actions leads to an injury, illness, or death, holding them responsible is essential. Since many accidents don’t involve a criminal element, often, the only way to get justice is through filing a personal injury lawsuit. And if the negligent party faces criminal charges, the burden of proof is difficult to achieve, whereas a personal injury claim offers an alternate route in the pursuit of justice.

Historically, personal injury lawsuits have pressured liable parties to have higher standards that protect the public and prevent similar situations from occurring again. For example, there have been positive changes following defective product claims and toxic contamination lawsuits through the removal of dangerous products from store shelves and safer standards for the disposal of toxic substances.

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Personal Injury FAQs

Will My Personal Injury Compensation Be Taxed by the IRS?2023-02-26T19:13:39+00:00

In all likelihood, little or none of it will be subject to tax. Personal injury compensation is generally not taxed by the IRS, because it is not considered earned income. Interest on your compensation (between the time of the accident and the time you are paid) is taxable as capital gains, and punitive damages are taxable as ordinary income. Few personal injury victims receive punitive damages.

Can I Sue a Division of the State Government for Personal Injury or Wrongful Death?2023-02-26T19:12:01+00:00

Government agencies are entitled to sovereign immunity (they cannot be sued unless they allow themselves to be sued). The reason for this is that any compensation must be taken from taxpayer-provided funds. Louisiana allows itself (and its local governments) to be sued for personal injury under certain circumstances, but it places a  500,000 limit on non-economic damages (compensation for pain and suffering, for example).

Do I Have To Give a Statement?2023-02-26T18:27:57+00:00

It is common for insurance companies and corporations investigating an accident to ask witnesses and the injured party for a written and/or recorded statement. However, you are not obligated to give such a statement. When trying to determine whether to give a statement, you must bear in my mind that you may be in shock immediately after an accident and it is often wise to wait. You should also be aware that it can be very difficult to change your statement once it is taken.

Learn about your legal rights from an experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyer by calling 504-581-4892 or by filling out our free, no-obligation case review form.

Do I Have To Go To the Doctor My Employer Sends Me To?2023-02-26T18:25:54+00:00

No. You have the right to choose the doctor that you’d like to see after an accident. Do not settle for your employer’s doctor. Often, your employer’s doctor has an incentive to minimize your injuries so that you can be declared eligible to go back to work.

What Should I Do If the Insurance Company Wants Me To Sign Something?2023-02-26T18:24:27+00:00

Don’t do it without first consulting an attorney. By signing these documents, you could be jeopardizing your ability to file a case in the future.

What Should I Do About the Medical Bills Piling Up?2023-02-26T18:21:28+00:00

The medical bills associated with an injury can be daunting. Personal injury victims are often unable to pay these bills timely. As such, the bills can be sent to collections. If we agree to take your case, we’ll contact your medical providers and/or the bill collectors to let them know that a claim has been filed. Often, medical providers will defer payment of these bills until after a case is resolved.

What If No One Is At Fault For the Accident that Caused My Injury?2023-02-26T18:12:43+00:00

You may not have a viable claim. Not every accident and personal injury leads to a claim. But if you are seriously injured in an accident, you owe it to yourself and your family to investigate the issue thoroughly. We use a variety of experts to help us analyze our potential cases. Oftentimes, these experts uncover facts that may have been hidden from you. If you have been injured in an accident, fill out our free, no-obligation case review form located on this website, and let us start investigating your potential case. If it turns out you don’t have a viable case, it will cost you nothing.

How Much Will It Cost Me If You Take My Case?2023-02-26T18:09:05+00:00

As personal injury attorneys, we work on a contingency fee basis. Our fee is contingent on recovering compensation for you. In other words, you don’t pay us anything until we recover something for you. Our firm advances all of the expenses associated with your personal injury case including court filing fees, expert witness fees, deposition expenses, etc. If we recover funds on your behalf, our fee is a percentage of the total amount recovered. If we are unsuccessful, you pay nothing. We are willing to spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars preparing our injury clients’ cases because we are confident in our ability to succeed at trial. In the end, we are committed to helping you regain your life after a tragic event such as a personal injury or wrongful death. You literally have nothing to lose.

Can I Still Win If the Accident Was Partly My Fault?2023-02-26T17:47:10+00:00

It depends on what you mean by “win.” Under Louisiana’s pure comparative negligence system, you can always recover something unless the accident was 100 percent your fault. Your percentage of fault, however, will be subtracted from your recovery. For example, you will lose 35 percent of your damages if you were 35 percent at fault. In this case, the other party can also claim against you for 35 percent of his damages.


Can I File a Personal Injury Claim If I Am Intentionally Assaulted?2023-02-26T17:58:47+00:00

Yes, you can. In addition to winning compensatory damages, you may even win punitive damages. Unfortunately, however, very few insurance policies cover intentional assaults. Even most auto insurance policies won’t cover “road rage” damages. However, you might be able to pursue a claim against a third party. For example, you might sue a bar for a beating inflicted by a bouncer.

Can My Claim Be Resolved Through an Out-of-Court Settlement?2023-02-26T17:58:40+00:00

Yes, it can be if the defendant is willing to settle (most of them do eventually). Nevertheless, at some point, a lawsuit may have to be filed simply to motivate the defendant to settle. Another situation in which a lawsuit would have to be filed would be if the statute of limitations deadline were looming. Even then, the defendant might settle before trial.

Why Shouldn’t I Accept a Quick Settlement from the Insurance Company?2023-02-26T17:58:34+00:00

If the insurance company is offering you a quick settlement, it is likely that either:

  • You have an open-and-shut case;
  • They are offering you much less than the amount your claim is worth; or
  • Both.

Insurance companies are profit-seeking businesses, and it is highly unlikely that an early settlement offer will reflect the true value of your claim.

How Long Will My Case Take to Be Resolved?2023-02-26T17:58:26+00:00

It depends. Many cases are resolved fairly quickly. Some cases with minimal injuries are resolved within 3-4 months of an accident. However, cases that proceed to trial and are appealed to higher courts can take as long as 3-4 years. Ultimately, our goal is to resolve your case as quickly as possible so you can get back to your life.

Can I Still File a Claim If I Don’t Discover the True Cause of My Injury Until a Long Time After My Accident?2023-02-26T17:58:17+00:00

Different types of cases have different rules about the time limits in which a case must be filed. Normally, you have only one year after an accident to file a lawsuit in Louisiana (minors have until their 19th birthday). If your claim is based on product liability or exposure to toxic substances, however, the one-year period doesn’t begin to run until you discover or should have discovered the true cause of your injuries.

What Kinds of Damages Am I Eligible For?2023-02-26T17:58:08+00:00

Depending on the nature of your losses and the defendant’s conduct, you might be eligible for the following:

  • Economic damages – easily quantifiable expenses such as medical bills and lost wages (both current and anticipated future losses)
  • Non-economic damages – emotional trauma such as pain and suffering, mental anguish and disfigurement
  • Punitive damages – an extra amount awarded very occasionally if the defendant’s conduct was outrageous (against a surgeon who operated on you while intoxicated, for example)
Do I Have to Pay My Personal Injury Attorney If I Lose My Case?2023-02-26T17:57:38+00:00

At HHK, we understand that you aren’t going to hand over your hard-earned money in exchange for smooth talk and promises – you pay for victory and nothing less. We won’t charge you any fees in a contingency case unless you receive a recovery, and nothing will come due until you receive your negotiated settlement or jury award.

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