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I Have Been in a New Orleans Car Accident, What Now?

Posted in Car Accidents on August 2, 2020

The time to think about what you should do following a car accident in New Orleans is not immediately following an accident. You should be prepared to deal with lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and mounting medical bills so having a plan in place to know what to do following a New Orleans car accident can be helpful.

At the Scene: What to Do Immediately Following a Car Accident

One of the most important things which must be done following a car accident is protecting yourself. Naturally safety is your first concern but there are other things you must do to preserve evidence at the scene of an accident. Evidence includes:

  • Information for involved parties — you should not leave the scene of an accident without securing the name, license number, plate number, and insurance contact information for any driver involved in the accident. While this information will be in the police report, it may take you a few days to obtain a copy.
  • Photographs — never underestimate the value of a photograph and do not believe the police will take the relevant photos. While police at the scene will take some photos, there are others which could be helpful they may not take. You should photograph all auto damage to involved vehicles, however minor the damage may be. Photographs of the roadway including skid marks, hazardous conditions (like a pothole), and road signs can also be helpful. Make sure you capture a photo which indicates what weather conditions are like.
  • Eyewitness information — because you are directly involved in the accident and things move so quickly, you may not fully comprehend what occurred just prior to the accident. Seek names, addresses, and telephone numbers of witnesses in the immediate area and ask if they would be willing to provide a statement as to what they saw.
  • Police report — generally it is a good idea to ask the police officer to allow you to snap a photo of the police report. This will provide you with helpful information including the report number, the officer’s name, and badge number, and their overall observations. The police report will usually indicate whether there are traffic cameras in the area as well.
  • Surrounding area — while it may not seem relevant at the time, if there are banks or other businesses in the immediate vicinity of the accident, take a minute to snap a photo. This may help you determine who may have video tape of the accident which can be helpful for the insurance company, police, and your car accident lawyer.

Remember, the more evidence you can preserve the better it will be. A New Orleans car accident attorney can easily review the evidence and help you understand how to interpret the information. Some evidence may give your attorney additional insight as to the cause of the accident as well.

In the Aftermath of a Car Accident: Steps to Take in New Orleans

Once you have spoken with police and obtained as much information as possible, you need to seek medical attention. Too often, victims of car accidents think they are only slightly injured and forego this important step. Victims should remember the body has a way of ignoring pain, particularly when you are under a great deal of stress.

Make sure when you speak with the doctor, whether it is your own physician or an emergency room doctor to exercise the same caution you did at the scene. Do not give any indication the accident may have been your fault — this could cause a problem when you wish to hold the parties responsible for your added costs. The doctor should be told you were in a car accident as there may be specific symptoms they will look for such as those displayed when someone has internal injuries from seatbelts or airbag deployment. Should you notice any bruising on any parts of your body during your medical exam, ask the nurse or doctor to take photos of them as well.

Once you have had medical treatment, you should contact a New Orleans car accident attorney. This is important — there is a statute of limitations of only one year to file a lawsuit for an accident but more importantly, there may be evidence available such as surveillance tapes from various facilities around the scene of the accident which could be overwritten if they are not requested as soon as possible. Many businesses who have cameras run them in a loop and the “old” information is often taped over within a week. These tapes could be helpful when attempting to prove the cause of the accident.

Hire a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer: Why You Need One

When you consider the fact New Orleans has some of the worst roadways in the United States and the fact there are more than 3,000,000 registered motor vehicles in Louisiana, it should come as no surprise there are so many accidents on the roadways. This is particularly true in New Orleans because of the number of tourists would come to the area to enjoy the many festivals offered in the area.

As a car accident victim however, you have rights. You should not have to bear the financial burden of your injuries, lost time from work, replacement or repair of your car, or the other expenses associated with suffering an injury because of someone else’s negligence.

As you can see, preserving evidence following a New Orleans car accident is important to help you build a case to show how you were injured. The more information you can record at the scene, the better. Evidence does not stop at the scene of the accident, however. Your medical records, an accurate accounting of the costs you are incurring while recovering from your injuries, and a record of your recovery also go a long way towards helping your attorney determine what should be included in a car accident lawsuit.

Contact Us Today

If you suffered an injury in a New Orleans car accident, you need to take immediate action to hold the responsible parties accountable. A knowledgeable, experienced New Orleans car accident lawyer at the  Law Office of John W. Redmann, LLC can help you understand your rights and help you determine the best way to proceed.  Contact us online or call (504) 500-5000 for a free consultation today.