New Orleans is a city that is no stranger to crime and assault. Criminals shoot other people for a variety of reasons, but no matter those reasons, you have a right to seek justice and financial restitution for your injuries if you’ve been a shooting victim.
Both the mental and physical healing processes can be lengthy. And while the criminal system will prosecute the at-fault party, shooting victims can also seek compensation through a civil suit.
In many cases, justice after a shooting isn’t just about putting the offender behind bars. The victim faces the challenge of paying medical bills to heal and dealing with the mental trauma of the experience.
Knowing that the person who hurt you is behind bars can offer peace of mind, but filing a civil suit with the help of a dedicated attorney team can ensure you don’t suffer financial penalties of being a shooting victim.
The difference between criminal and civil suits
After a shooting, the local authorities will pursue a criminal case against the at-fault party. That individual will likely face several years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
But the bad news as a victim is that the fines these individuals pay go toward administrative expenses for the criminal justice system. As a victim, you do not get any of this money from fines to cover your medical bills or pain and suffering.
To seek compensation for your medical bills and your pain and suffering, you must file something called a civil suit. A civil suit is a personal injury lawsuit against the person who injured you.
Some civil suits must wait for the courts to decide the fate of the criminal case against the accused shooter. Once this process is out of the way, you’ll be able to pursue a civil lawsuit and use the evidence from the criminal case as evidence in your New Orleans personal injury lawsuit.
You should seek an attorney as soon as possible though because you’ll want to file your civil claim immediately after the court’s rule in the criminal case.
Hiring an attorney now means that your attorney can monitor what’s happening in the criminal case while building your civil lawsuit at the same time, so you’re prepared to file it quickly. Criminal cases can take as long as two years to resolve, so you’ll have already waited a great deal of time after sustaining injuries to file your case.
What to expect from a New Orleans shooting victim personal injury lawsuit
When you meet with a New Orleans personal injury shooting victim attorney, your attorney will take some time to get to know the circumstances surrounding your case. You’ll discuss details and provide medical documentation for your injuries.
The next part of building your case will be evaluating how much compensation to seek.
Gunshot injuries are very traumatic and often take a great deal of time to heal. A bullet can shatter a bone that will never be the same again. Or you could have to undergo surgery to remove the bullet. Medical treatment is long and involved and often means lots of back and forth between doctors’ offices.
All that being said, your attorney will work with your specific injury, treatment and circumstances to come up with a compensation amount that makes sense for what you suffered.
Here are some of the financial impacts your attorney will use to create the amount of compensation to seek:
- Medical bills, including future bills for ongoing injury treatment
- Lost wages from missed work or inability to continue working permanently
- Emotional trauma from the incident
- Pain and suffering due to your injuries
- Household services and care while you recover
When to hire a personal injury attorney
As you rest and heal from your gunshot injury, your attorney will work to build your civil suit. A successful personal injury lawsuit can give you peace of mind that your injuries won’t impact your long-term financial health.
Immediately after suffering gunshot injuries, you should contact a personal injury attorney. The sooner you hire an attorney, the fresher the details from the incident will be. And, personal injury attorneys don’t charge you anything until they earn you a settlement. That means that there are no risks with hiring an attorney immediately after sustaining an injury.
Contact a New Orleans shooting victim lawyer today. The team at Wright & Gray offers a free consultation to guide you in deciding the best next steps for your case. Contact us now to schedule your consultation.