I’ve been injured in a car accident. What should I do?
- Should I stay at the scene of my accident? Yes. Driving away from the scene of an accident is very serious, even if you weren’t at fault. If you do not stay at the scene, you run the risk of being ineligible for any insurance payments you may be owed.
- Should I call the police after my accident? Absolutely, and, if necessary, request medical assistance. You should report the accident as soon as possible, and you will need the police report for insurance purposes later on.
- Should I remove my vehicle from the road after an accident? Yes—you should reduce hazards to yourself and other drivers on the roadway by moving your vehicle if possible at a safe spot close to the accident scene. As well, you need to be able to safely conduct your assessment of the accident, which you can’t do from the middle of a busy highway. If you can, snap photos of the vehicles and accident scene before moving your car for insurance documentation.
- Should I take photos of my injuries and damages after an accident? Yes—as long as it’s physically safe to do so, get photo documentation of any injuries you received in the accident, as well as any damage done to your property. These photos will be helpful for both your insurance claim and any doctors treating your injuries. If you’re unable to take the photos yourself, consider asking someone on the scene to take them for you. Also, during your recovery, continue to take pictures of your injuries and the healing process.
- Should I get the information of other people involved in my accident? Absolutely. Specifically, get the name, address and contact information of the other driver(s) and any people that may have witnessed the accident. Hopefully the other party will be cooperative, but if not, try to get as much information as you can, like license plate number, and the make and model of the other vehicle. Bonus points if you’re able to get a driver’s license number, insurance information, vehicle identification number (VIN) and other details.
- Should I document my accident scene? Yes, and as thoroughly as you can. Take pictures and make notes of the number of vehicles and people involved. Plus, take photos of your environment, like broken guard rails, potholes, tire marks—because all of these can be important references when making your case.
- Should I call a car accident and personal injury lawyer like Brandt & Sherman? Yes. Our team will give you an impartial opinion on your case, and provide guidance on next steps.
When should I call a car accident lawyer?
- You are injured. If your car accident left you with injuries, you need to call an accident and injury lawyer. Keep in mind that many common car-crash injuries don’t develop until after the adrenaline of the accident has worn off. That could be hours or even days after the fact! If you are hurt, then you may need:
- medical care,
- time off work,
- accessibility accommodations (short-term or permanently)All of these cost money and should be paid out either by your insurance or by the person at fault. A personal injury lawyer like Brandt & Sherman can help you navigate the complicated claims process and fight for your rights.
- Someone has died. An accident this severe will almost certainly require an attorney. A police investigation will absolutely be launched, and you want to make sure the legal process is followed to a T.
- The insurance company offers to settle right away. Generally, if an insurance company offers you a check to settle out of court, they’re probably low-balling you. An experienced car wreck lawyer can make sure you’re getting the money you deserve.
How do I get a police report for a car accident in Louisiana?
After a car accident, it’s a smart choice to obtain your police report. The report will include important information about the crash like:
- date and time,
- roadway conditions,
- who was involved (and their details),
- the severity of the accident,
- the sequence of events
Your crash report keeps you from being trapped in a “your word against theirs” situation. Rather than having to rely on telling your side of the story in court or for a settlement, you have concrete evidence of what occurred.
To get a crash report after a car accident in Louisiana, visit https://crashreports.dps.la.gov/ and pay $11.50 to the Louisiana State Police for a digital, printable copy. If your car accident was handled by a local police department or sheriff’s office, you’ll need to identify the parish where the crash occurred and contact the local law enforcement agency (usually also available online).
It is important to obtain your report as soon as possible (usually 15 business days after the accident) to avoid forfeiting your right to seek compensation. The personal injury statute of limitations is one year from the date of the accident.
Who should I call for car accident representation?
If you’ve been in a car crash in Lafayette or any surrounding parishes in Louisiana, we’re here for you at Brandt & Sherman Injury Lawyers. With over 30 years of experience, we’ll take on the insurance Goliaths for you and make sure you get the help you need and deserve. Contact us today, and see how we become your lawyer, your voice.