In general, you will need to contact the local police following all but the most minor traffic incidents. If anyone suffered injuries or has more than $500 in damage to their vehicle, you must file a police report. Vehicles are expensive to repair, and most minor accidents cause at least $500 in property damages.
Even if you do not legally have to file a police report, the involved insurance companies will most likely want one before they cover any of your damages. Our team can help you use the police report from the collision to build a case for your financial recovery.
When does Louisiana Require You to Call the Police?
According to state law RS 32:398, you must contact the police immediately if your accident led to:
- At least $500 in property damage
When the police officer responds, you will need to provide your name, vehicle registration number, and address. You must also show your permit or driver’s license. Then, you must give your information to any person injured in the crash or any drivers who suffered property damage.
Other Ways to File a Car Accident Report
If a police officer does not file a report, you must provide a written report to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections within 24 hours of the collision. This is true when an accident causes:
- $100 or more in property damage
Drivers who violate this provision could face up to 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $100, or both.
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Protect Your Rights Following a Louisiana Auto Accident
Auto liability insurance providers look for reasons to reduce your compensation. With your police report in hand, there are other steps you can take to put yourself in a favorable position to win your personal injury claim.
For example, you can enlist the help of an attorney from our firm. We can handle all aspects of your insurance claim and help you seek compensation from the at-fault driver. The following are other crucial steps you can take:
- Report the accident to the insurance company quickly.
- Undergo a medical evaluation as soon as possible.
- Do not admit fault to anyone.
- Do not give a recorded phone statement without an attorney.
The insurance adjuster may dispute your claim if you miss doctor’s appointments or post sensitive information about your accident on social media. One small mistake during the claims process could reduce the amount of compensation you recover or lead to the denial of your claim. A car wreck attorney from our Louisiana law firm can offer advice and navigate this process for you.
Essential Steps to Fake at the Scene of a Car Accident
After any collision, the first step is to check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911. This will allow you to ask law enforcement to respond and request emergency medical assistance.
When the police arrive, make sure an officer creates an accident report. This document will contain important details about your collision, such as the cause, time and date, and whether there were injuries or significant property damage.
Gather Evidence on the Scene, Unless Your Injuries Prevent it
If you decide to file a personal injury claim, the success of your case will depend on the strength of the available evidence. The at-fault driver’s insurer will likely deny liability or dispute your claim, so it is essential to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident.
Find a Way to Record Information
Use paper and pencil, your phone’s voice memos, or some other app to record the contact and insurance information of each driver involved in the crash. Also, write down the full names, phone numbers, and email addresses of any eyewitnesses. Your attorney may contact them and use their testimonies to prove liability and negligence.
Take Photos and Videos of the Scene
Take photos of the scene showing the positions of vehicles, traffic signs, skid marks, and any hazards. Document injuries and property damage. Be sure to activate the timestamp function on your phone or camera to record the time and date of each photo if possible. Take overviews of the entire scene and close-ups.
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Benefits of Hiring an Attorney for Your Louisiana Car Accident Case
Working with a car accident attorney can make it much easier to navigate the claims process. Our law firm may be able to help you recover an appropriate payout that allows you to afford car repairs, pay your medical bills, and recover financially despite the income you lost when you missed work.
Under CC Art. 3492, there is only a short time to take the steps necessary to build a case and determine if you need to go to trial. The earlier our team learns about your accident, the more time we will be able to spend building a solid case.
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Speak with Our Team Today About Your Louisiana Car Accident Claim
A car accident attorney from Laborde Earles Law Firm can help you avoid mistakes and build a strong case for compensation. Our lawyers have more than 250 years of combined experience representing the injured.
Contact our personal injury law firm for a free consultation as soon as possible and learn about hiring legal representation based on a contingency fee. Call (337) 777-7777 to get started today.
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