A car accident can leave you feeling disoriented, worried, and upset, but there are some steps you should take to protect your rights after such an incident.
If you have an attorney, you should immediately call them so they can guide you through this complicated process.
You want to minimize your exposure to legal liability, so having the counsel of trusted attorneys like Pierce & Shows can make the difference between just one bad day or several bad years.
At the Scene
Under Louisiana law, you must stop immediately after a car accident involving an injury or death. If there is an injured individual, you must also render reasonable aid if possible.
After stabilizing the situation, you should call 911. You should provide your street location and the condition of involved parties to the dispatcher.
Depending on the jurisdiction, police may or may not be sent. Many jurisdictions will not send police unless there is an injury or a danger to others.
Never admit guilt or apologize to the other driver, as these admissions could be used to prove your negligence, even if that isn’t what actually happened.
You are legally required to provide the following to other parties involved in the accident:
- Your name and address
- Vehicle registration
- Driver’s license
If the accident produces an injury or property damage greater than $100, you must file a written report with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections within 24 hours of the accident.
If you have been injured, seek medical care at the site of the accident or the nearest hospital. Not seeking immediate medical attention may indicate to a jury that your injuries are not serious.
It is critical that you secure any evidence you find at the crash location as soon as possible.
Some examples of collecting evidence include:
- If you can, take pictures of the crash site from various angles.
- Take pictures of other drivers’ licenses and insurance documents.
- If your phone can record video, record the accounts of any witnesses; otherwise, use pen and paper.
- Always obtain the police report of the accident. If you find any inaccuracies in the report, request a correction.
Insurers and courts will rely on police reports for key details, so it is critical that it is as accurate as possible.
After the Accident
The best thing you can do after a car accident to protect your rights is hire an experienced lawyer like our team at Pierce & Shows.
The right attorney can guide you through the complicated legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you if a court case arises.
You or your attorney should contact your insurance company to discuss the details of the accident. You must report the accident within a reasonable time period, or your insurer could deny you coverage.
If injuries appear after the accident, see a doctor as soon as possible. Follow your doctor’s orders, which should include avoiding strenuous activities.
Take your automobile to two or three reputable repair shops and get repair estimates. This can help support your argument if you disagree with the insurance company.
Protect Your Rights
In Baton Rouge, Pierce & Shows has the expertise you can trust to get you through an auto accident case and help you get the compensation you deserve. For more information, contact our offices at Pierce & Shows today.