What you do at the scene of a car accident might be important later when you seek compensation from the at-fault driver. Insurance Information Institute (III) guidelines recommend doing these things in the immediate aftermath of a collision:
- If possible, move your car to a place of safety.
- Call local police or ask a witness to do so for you.
- Call emergency medical technicians, if needed.
- Take photos of vehicle damage and the accident scene.
- Exchange information with the at-fault driver.
- Get the contact details of any available witnesses.
You may also want to consider seeking legal representation as soon as possible after your collision. The sooner you get help from a car accident lawyer from our firm, the more time we may have to investigate and build your case. Our team can also make sure you comply with your state’s filing deadline.
Collect Information from the Other Drivers and Witnesses
When an accident occurs, it’s important to record as much as you can about the events leading up to it and the other parties who played a role. To begin with, you will want to collect the other driver’s contact and insurance information.
If anyone witnessed the collision, it can be helpful to get their contact information as well. While you don’t want to make any statements about what may have happened to cause the collision, getting the names and phone numbers of bystanders can help you in the long run. We may be able to contact these individuals and have them testify on your behalf.
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File and Obtain a Copy of the Car Accident Report
Even after you and the at-fault driver exchange contact and insurance information, you should still insist on filing a car accident report. Doing so captures additional details that might bolster and support your car accident lawsuit. Our team could obtain the following information from this document and use it to build your case:
- Primary and secondary contributing factors for the collision
- Each driver’s movements prior to the crash
- The investigating officer’s observations from the scene
- The identity of the other parties involved
As soon as your car accident report is ready, obtain a copy for your personal records and take one to your lawyer. If your injuries prevent you from getting the report or any of the other documents we might request, a member of our legal team could do so for you.
Take Pictures at the Scene of Your Collision
Along with the notes you take at the accident scene and the information found in your car accident report, photos and videos from the scene may further support your case for compensation. If possible, take photos of the following at the scene:
- Your surroundings
- Your injuries
- Vehicle and property damage
- The positioning of the vehicles involved
If you lose consciousness at the scene or if the severity of your injuries prevents you from taking photos, do not worry. In some cases, the investigating officer may photograph the scene. If so, we can request these photos, as well as footage from any nearby surveillance or traffic cameras.
Get Medical Attention for Your Injuries
One of the most important things you should do at the scene of an accident is assess your injuries. If you know you are injured, you could seek medical attention from emergency responders and allow them to transport you to the hospital.
Even if you’re not sure if you suffered injuries, visiting a hospital or your doctor as soon as possible can help you confirm this. Certain injuries may not be apparent right away because of the adrenaline our bodies release in high-stress situations. Internal injuries can also be difficult to detect without a medical exam.
If you don’t receive medical attention right away, your injuries may go undiagnosed and cause you further harm. Waiting to see a doctor after a collision can also bring the severity of your injuries into question when you pursue a personal injury case.
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Why Hire a Lawyer?
Our team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you take any evidence you are able to collect at the scene and use it to support your right to damages. If your injuries prevent you from getting any photographs or information, we can conduct our own investigation and obtain evidence for you. The sooner you reach out, the easier it may be for us to collect time-sensitive evidence. We can:
- Locate and interview witnesses while their memories are fresh
- Locate and obtain copies of nearby video footage while it is available
- Build a solid and effective case file that supports your right to recovery
- Review the coverage limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy
Contacting us early will also help us keep your case ahead of Louisiana’s filing deadline. Under Civil Code (CC) §3492, this deadline is generally only one year.
Reach Out to Our Attorneys Today
Do not hesitate to seek advice and guidance from our team. Speak with a Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers representative about your case for free today. Call (337) 777-7777.