If you suffer injuries and property damages in a Louisiana traffic accident caused by another driver, you will likely be able to file an insurance claim to recover compensation. You can take steps to make it easier to prepare your claim and prove negligence and liability.
These steps can begin as early as the first minutes following a collision and continue until you file your claim. One of the most important things you may want to do is to connect with a lawyer. Having a personal injury lawyer can greatly reduce the stress of the claims process and help you recover a fair and just settlement.
Focus on Your Physical Health First and Foremost
The focus in the first minutes and hours after a car accident should be your health. It is paramount to get a medical evaluation and treatment for any injuries you suffered as quickly as possible. There are several reasons why getting medical care is important to your case. They include:
Beginning the Road to Physical Recovery Faster
You should see a doctor following a collision. If the paramedics on the scene believe you should go to the emergency department via ambulance, follow their advice. Alternatively, have a family member take you. Other options include the following:
- See your doctor as soon as possible.
- Visit a walk-in clinic or urgent care facility.
Getting treatment for injuries allows the healing to begin sooner and may help you recover faster. It can also ensure that serious injuries no immediate symptoms are identified, such as internal bleeding or some types of head injuries.
Linking Your Injuries to the Accident
When you see a doctor quickly following your crash, it links the injuries with the collision. If you wait, it could give the insurance carrier an opportunity to try to question whether your injuries occurred due to the accident or during other activities.
Documenting Your Financial Losses Related to Treatment and Care
Seeing a doctor and undergoing treatment for your injuries also provides key evidence to support your insurance claim and financial recovery. You will need to save your medical bills and other paperwork documenting your expenses.
In addition, if you will likely need additional treatment or support in the future because of your injuries, a medical expert can use your medical records from these appointments to determine the type of care and related costs.
Collecting Evidence to Support Your Forthcoming Car Insurance Claim
You should begin to compile a folder of evidence related to your car accident as soon as possible. Even if you work with a personal injury attorney, it will be easier for them to investigate what happened with these documents. To recover compensation, you must prove:
- The other driver acted negligently.
- They are liable for your collision and injuries.
- You suffered harm, and there is recoverable value to that harm.
In your file, you should keep evidence that includes:
Information You Gathered at the Scene
In some cases, injuries are serious, and there is no opportunity to gather any information from the scene. If this happened to you, that is okay. However, if you were able to take pictures and collect information, this could include:
- Names and contact numbers for witnesses
- Insurance information, tag number, and other details about others involved
- The agency, badge number, and contact information for responding officers
- Pictures of the damage to each vehicle
- Images of the accident scene
Evidence Available After the Collision
There may also be evidence available to you following the collision, such as the traffic report about the accident. Keep this and other documents in your file, as well.
It is also a good idea to sit down as soon as you can and record your version of what happened. This makes it easy for you to reference it later if you need it.
Proof of Costs and Other Related Damages
Documenting your damages is key to a fair and just payout. This includes:
- Medical bills
- Estimates for car repair
- Documentation of time away from work
- Other paperwork related to your losses
You can also keep a journal of your pain, limitations, and other medical details to support your claim for intangible losses.
Connect with an Attorney as Soon as Your Injuries Allow
Once your injuries improve enough to allow you to think about your legal case, you should consider enlisting the help of a personal injury attorney. In Louisiana, CC §3492 generally only gives victims up to one year to begin a lawsuit in these cases. Some victims have even less time.
Most lawyers provide free case evaluations and manage these claims based on contingency. Your family should not need to pay any out-of-pocket fees.
Talk to the Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Team Today for Free
You can get a free assessment of your case from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today. We provide complimentary consultations to Louisiana accident victims.
Call today to learn how we may be able to help with your claim.