It’s an unfortunate truth, but even the most careful and considerate of drivers may eventually suffer a car accident. Accidents happen every day in the state of Louisiana, and even when you’re driving attentively and with care, anything is possible. If you find yourself in a car accident in Louisiana, you may be unsure of what’s to come. Always remember that getting the medical treatment you need is the first and most important steps after any accident. After you get the medical care you need, follow these steps below to ensure the best possible recovery following your accident.
Step 1: Seek Medical Attention
The first and most important step you should take after a car accident is to seek medical help for your injuries. Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s best to have them examined in case they develop into something more serious over time. Your safety and security is of the utmost importance, and you need to make sure you’re in a safe and stable condition.
If necessary, call an ambulance and go to the emergency room. If your injuries aren’t life-threatening, going to the doctor the next day suffices as well. It’s important to have your injuries properly documented by a medical professional for when the time comes to file your personal injury claim. With proper documentation of your injuries following the accident, your lawyer can prove how much damage the accident caused, and there’s no room for discrepancy if medical professionals leave detailed notes of your condition.
Step 2: Call The Police And File A Police Report
Call 911 and file a police report with the details of the accident. One of the main benefits of calling the police is that they will create a detailed accident report that can be used later to provide important information to your insurance company, and will also serve as evidence in your personal injury claim.
Although it may be difficult, never feel pressured to admit fault at the scene of the accident. Even if the other driver is pushing you, or a law enforcement officer suggests that it may have been your fault, be careful not to incriminate yourself in an accident. You don’t have to divulge any information without a lawyer present.
Step 3: Collect As Much Evidence As Possible
One of the most crucial steps after a car accident is often overlooked – that’s collecting evidence. Immediately following the car accident, evidence is created. The more evidence you can collect that demonstrates the negligence of the at-fault party, the stronger your personal injury case will be.
Take photographs of the surrounding area. This includes street signs, speed limit signs, traffic hazards, crosswalks, or any other signage that sets the scene of where the accident occurred. Take photos of the license plates of all vehicles involved, as well as photos of the damage done to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved. If the accident occurred at night, be sure to use flash to ensure the photos are visible and show the damage clearly.
If anyone was in the car with you, or was nearby, get a copy of their witness testimony. A witness is considered any person with first-hand knowledge of an event that testifies to that knowledge during a trial or other legal proceeding. Record their statement of what happened by either writing down the details of what they witnessed, recording it on your phone, or sending it in an email or text message.
In addition to collecting as much evidence as possible, be sure to get the insurance information of the at-fault party. Take down the name of the carrier, the phone number, and the name of their personal insurance agent if possible. Always get the at-fault party’s contact information as well. This includes their first name, last name, phone number and license plate. Your lawyer will need this info to build your personal injury case and to manage communications between your insurance company and theirs.
Step 4: Call A Lawyer As Soon As Possible
Call a personal injury as soon as possible after a car accident. When it comes to negotiating a fair settlement to cover the cost of your damages, the process can be hard. Insurance companies often give victims lowball offers. However, our team of auto accident lawyers can hold those insurance companies accountable and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
Your lawyer will ensure you’re accurately represented, and that the negligence of the at-fault party is clearly and accurately communicated. It can be hard to stand up to the insurance company and the guilty party all on your own and, without the help of a lawyer, you run the risk of not getting the maximum compensation you’re entitled to.