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What are the most important things I should do after a car crash?

If you have a Louisiana car crash, there are several things you should do immediately afterward. Per FindLaw, the most important thing is to remain at the scene. Leaving before law enforcement officers arrive and give you permission to leave could put you at risk for charges of leaving the scene or possibly even hit-and-run.

Assess injuries

The first thing you should do is determine whether you and any of your passengers are injured. If so, immediately call 911 on your cellphone, give the operator your location, and request emergency medical and law enforcement help. Then check the status of drivers and passengers in all other vehicles involved in the crash.

Exchange information

While waiting for law enforcement officers to arrive, exchange the following information with all other drivers:

  • Names, addresses and telephone numbers
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • License plate numbers
  • Insurance company names and contact information

Be friendly with the other drivers, but never admit and/or apologize for causing the accident, even if you think it was your fault. It is too soon to assess blame, and besides, that is not your job. Law enforcement offers and insurance adjusters will do that. In addition, you likely will be upset and possibly not thinking clearly immediately after a crash. Your reasoning could be faulty. Even your memory of exactly what happened could be less than accurate.

Gather evidence

Talk to anyone who witnessed the accident, such as pedestrians or people in cars that stopped to help. Get their names and contact information and write down what they say happened.

Next, walk around each car involved in the accident, taking cellphone photos of the license plate number and any damage you see, whether it is old or new. Then take photos of the accident scene itself, including nearby traffic signals or signs, barricades, road conditions, skid marks, lighting and overall weather conditions.

Make a police report

Get the name and badge number of each law enforcement officer who arrives on the scene. Answer their questions to the best of your ability, but again, do not indicate that you may have been at fault. Make a police report and be sure to get its number and information on when, where and how you can get a copy.

This is general information only and not intended as legal advice.

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