Frequently Asked Questions
Answers from Our Knowledgeable Shreveport Trial Attorney
Whether you've just been arrested for a crime or hurt in an unexpected accident, you likely have serious questions about your future and your legal options. At the Law Office of Verity Gentry Bell, LLC, our experienced Shreveport strives to keep each of our clients informed about their case, their prospects, and the legal process. See answers to some of the most common inquiries we get from our prospective clients below.
Have more questions about your arrest or injury claim? Call our office at (318) 225-7140 to discuss the specifics of your case.
Why Hire an Injury or Criminal Defense Attorney?In some cases, it may seem as if your legal matter is minor or obvious enough to forgo legal representation. This is always ill-advised. Most citizens are not aware of the subtleties of our criminal and civil systems, and simple missed dates and paperwork can mean disaster for your case. At our firm, we are dedicated to providing vigilant, attentive counsel that handles every facet of your case for you. That means you can rest assured that your legal matter is being handled in the most efficient way possible while you can continue to focus on other responsibilities in your day-to-day life.
What Are the Next Steps After Getting Representation?Once you've decided on representation, it's time to start developing your criminal defense or injury suit. In both cases, your attorney should work with you to collect and review any documentation or testimony they can in order to substantiate your case. Additionally, your lawyer should be looking to other sources for evidence, as well—looking at police reports, the scene of an accident, etc. During this time, your attorney should let you know how your case is progressing and when you need to be in court (if necessary). It's important during this period that you decline to speak with other parties, including police and insurance providers, without first consulting with your attorney (or having them present).
What Tactics Will the Insurance Companies Try to Use to Deny My Claim?Most injury cases will involve insurance providers and these companies are often the first line of resistance accident victims face when trying to recover compensation. In order to avoid paying victims what they are owed, insurance companies will try to minimize or even challenge the claims of the injured. They may claim that the accident isn't covered under the involved policy or that the victim was at fault for their own injury. They may also try to change the details of the policy before the claim is processed—or just simply low-ball claimants. Often, these actions qualify as "bad faith" and it takes an experienced attorney to negotiate with the company or, if necessary, take them to court.
What Types of Personal Injury Recovery Damages Are Attainable?Louisiana law allows victims of negligence to collect numerous damages from the accountable parties in the wake of an accident. It is up to your Shreveport personal injury attorney to develop a comprehensive claim that seeks maximum compensation on your behalf. In Louisiana, accident victims can seek damages for: • Medical bills • Lost wages • Property damage • Loss of consortium (for spouses of the injured) • Pain, suffering, and emotional distress • Punitive damages
How Can I Achieve the Most Favorable Outcome for My Criminal Defense Case?Every criminal case is different, but there are a number of things each defendant can do to eliminate the possibility of further complications. As soon as you can, it is critical that you consult with a Shreveport criminal defense lawyer to most effectively navigate this process. When you are arrested by law enforcement: • Cooperate: There's no talking your way out of an arrest. Resistance will only lead to further complications or charges. • Remain silent: Exercise your Miranda rights and ask for an attorney. You should not be questioned by police without an attorney present. • Hire proven counsel: Choose counsel with experience with your kind of case. Share details about the incident in question with your lawyers while they are still fresh in your mind. • Heed legal advice: A skilled attorney can counsel what you should do going forward, including when should cooperate with law enforcement, attend court, etc.
Why Should I Speak with an Attorney Before Speaking with the Police?When a citizen of the United States is arrested, they should be "Mirandized"—that is, receive the Miranda Warning. This informs the accused that they have the right to remain silent while under future police questioning and that, if they choose, they can ask to have an attorney present. It is always advised that the accused ask for an attorney before speaking to the police under these circumstances. Citizens may not realize how their statements to the police can incriminate them and an attorney can advise them which questions to answer and which to decline. Remember: the sooner a proven Criminal defense counselor becomes involved in your case, the better.