Helping those who have been injured due to the fault of another in a car accident.
When a car accident is serious enough to cause fatal or severe injuries, or if alcohol was involved, the state will probably prosecute the driver who was at fault. For all other car accidents- you, the other driver, and your insurance companies may be left to deal with medical bills and car repair expenses. Often, these issues are resolved in court with the help of experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyers.
The steps you take after an automobile accident can save lives, reduce injuries, and help ensure a quick settlement of your car insurance claim; however, when you are in a panic or stressed, it can be hard to remember exactly what to do after a car accident injury. The following checklist guides you through the steps you should take immediately following and also in the days after a car accident:
What should you do in the event of a car accident?
- If it is possible, move to a safe area before you stop the vehicle.
If moving your car isn’t possible, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers that your vehicle will not be going anywhere. Take a moment to catch your breath and make sure it’s safe to get out of your car before opening the door. Also, take this time to assess yourself and ensure you don’t have any obvious injuries. Even if you don’t notice something right away, be wary of pain that may develop in the coming days. Injuries such as whiplash and seatbelt burns are commonly a part of what to expect physically after a car accident.
- Check on anyone who is involved in the car accident.
Check on all parties involved including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians around to make sure that no one is injured. Call 911 immediately if anyone may be injured at the scene. Even a seemingly minor symptom like dizziness or slight pain should be examined by a healthcare professional to make sure there is no internal injury.
- Call the police to the scene of the accident.
Even in minor accidents, a police accident report can prove invaluable when dealing with your car insurance company and other drivers. Cooperate fully with officers but avoid admitting fault or blaming others while at the scene. Let the police objectively judge the events and determine who, if anyone, is at fault in the crash.
- Gather information.
- Driver and passenger names
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information
- Makes and models of all vehicles involved
- Contact information of any witness to the accident
- The name and badge number of any responding police officers
- File your insurance claim.
Call your insurance provider from the scene of the car accident, or file it through your smartphone. If you are not sure who to call, check your insurance ID card for your insurer’s contact information.
- Get a Property Damage Valuation.
Obtain your insurance company’s damage valuation. If you are not satisfied with how your insurance company has valued your vehicle, don’t give up. Try getting at least two other independent repair estimates or replacement quotes and assertively inform the adjuster of your concerns. If you cannot agree on your car’s value, consider mediation or consult an auto accident attorney.
7. Use Caution in Discussing the Incident.
Don’t talk to anyone about the accident other than your lawyer, your insurance company, and the police. You also shouldn’t talk to a representative of another insurance company without the knowledge of your attorney or insurer. If called by the other insurance company, politely ask them to call your attorney or insurer to arrange an interview. Also, tell your lawyer or insurer about the call.
8. Be Wary of Early Settlement Offers.
Be careful if you’re offered a settlement from an insurance company. Confirm that all of your physical injuries have been treated. Some injuries may not show up or reach their greatest level of discomfort until many days, weeks, or months later. Do not settle a claim until you know you’ll be compensated for all of your injuries, and consult a personal injury attorney before signing any settlement documents.
Why should you hire a car accident lawyer?
Typically, the final question in dealing with an accident is “who will pay for the damages?” You and the other drivers may decide to handle the damages yourselves without the involvement of an insurance company if the accident was minor. However, this may not always be the best idea. While the opposing driver may agree to pay for the damages to your car on the day of the accident, they could potentially see the repair bills and decide it’s too expensive. At this point, time has passed and your insurance company will have more difficulty piecing together the evidence if you file a claim. That is why it is so important to choose the right Louisiana accident attorney as soon as possible.
While the services we provide to our clients are extensive, the types of claims we handle are highly focused on those resulting from Louisiana auto accidents or other personal injuries. Through the years, we have established a high level of credibility handling personal injury claims throughout the Ark-La-Tex.