Car accidents are a common occurrence on Louisiana’s roads and highways. Even if you’re a careful driver, you could still be involved in a crash due to the actions of another motorist. If you’re ever in a car accident in Louisiana, it’s important to know what steps to take in order to protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive the medical attention you need. In this blog post, Banck Law will provide a comprehensive guide to what to do after a car accident in Louisiana.
Step 1: Check for Injuries and Call for Help
The first thing you should do after a auto accident is to check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone is seriously hurt, call 911 right away. Even if no one appears to be injured, it’s still a good idea to call the police so that an official report can be filed. This will be important later on if you need to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Step 2: Exchange Information with the Other Driver
After checking for injuries and calling for help, the next step is to exchange information with the other driver. Be sure to obtain their name, address, phone number, and insurance information. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information as well. Don’t discuss who was at fault for the accident, and don’t admit fault yourself.
Step 3: Document the Accident
If you have a smartphone with a camera, use it to take photos of the accident scene, including damage to the vehicles, skid marks, and any other relevant details. This documentation can be useful later on when you file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. It’s also a good idea to make notes about what happened leading up to the accident, including the date and time, weather conditions, and any other factors that may have contributed to the crash.
Step 4: Contact Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. They will likely ask for details about the accident, including the other driver’s information and a description of the damage to your vehicle. Be honest and accurate when providing this information, but avoid admitting fault or accepting blame for the accident. Under no circumstances should you give a recorded statement about the accident or your injuries until you have consulted with a personal injury lawyer.
Step 5: Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel fine after the accident, it’s still a good idea to seek medical attention. Often times, personal injury victims will not experience symptoms until days or weeks after an accident or traumatic injury. Some injuries, such as whiplash or traumatic brain injuries, may not show symptoms right away. Your doctor can assess your condition and provide you with a treatment plan if necessary. Be sure to keep all medical records related to the accident, as these can be important evidence if you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Louisiana Car Insurance Requirements
In Louisiana, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance coverage. This coverage pays for damages and injuries you cause to others in an accident. The minimum required coverage is $15,000 for bodily injury per person, $30,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident. However, many drivers opt for higher coverage amounts in order to protect themselves in case of a serious accident.
Determining Fault in Louisiana Car Accident Cases
Louisiana is a “fault” state when it comes to car accident cases. This means that the driver who is found to be at fault for the accident is responsible for paying damages to the other driver. If both drivers share some degree of fault for the accident, the damages may be divided proportionally based on each driver’s percentage of fault.
In order to determine fault in a car accident case, the court will consider a variety of factors, including:
• Each driver’s actions leading up to the accident
• The police report
• Eyewitness testimony
• Any available video or photographic evidence
• The applicable traffic laws
It’s important to note that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover damages from the other driver. Louisiana follows a pure comparative fault system.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a car wreck in Louisiana, you may be wondering whether you need a personal injury attorney. While it’s possible to handle your claim on your own, there are several reasons why it’s beneficial to have an experienced lawyer on your side.
First, an attorney, such as Christian Banck, can help you navigate the complicated claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. This can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Second, an injury attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies are notorious for offering lowball settlements to accident victims in order to save money. Banck Law can help you negotiate a fair settlement that takes into account all of your damages.
Finally, if your case goes to trial, an attorney can represent you in court and argue your case before a judge and jury. This can be especially important if the other driver’s insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement.
Contact Banck Law for Help with Your Car Accident Claim
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Louisiana, don’t hesitate to contact Banck Law for help. Our experienced personal injury attorney, Christian Banck, can guide you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations, so there’s no risk in reaching out to us for help. Contact us today at (985) 900-2440 to schedule your free consultation.