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4 Steps to Protecting Your Rights after a Car Accident in Louisiana

Posted in Car Accidents on December 10, 2019

A flipped car in the middle of the road

According to data provided by the Louisiana Department of Transportation (LDOT) and Louisiana State University (LSU), in 2018 alone, there were 718 fatal car crashes and 1,074 severe crashes. Even though these accidents seem to be on the rise, no one is ever truly prepared for being in a car accident. By their very nature, they take you by surprise, and you may be left wondering what to do from the very moment of impact. 

Your actions, no matter how minor or innocent they might seem, the day of the accident and for potentially the next year or two could have a significant impact on the outcome of your car accident case. By hiring an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney, you could ensure that your rights are protected and have the best outcome possible for your accident claim. Consider these steps to help make sure that you get any compensation to which you are legally entitled.

Seek Medical Attention As Soon As Possible

For your health and well-being as well as the success of your case, get medical care as soon as you are able. If paramedics at the scene recommend that they take you to the emergency room, let them. If they suggest that you follow up with your own doctor, do so. Don’t ignore any pain or symptoms you are having. 

Even if you do not feel like you are hurt or injured after a car accident, you still could be. Some injuries may take days or weeks to show up and begin to have symptoms. It’s imperative that you are followed by a doctor, no matter how minor your injuries appear. Your medical records and willingness to see a doctor for your injuries will help protect your rights and could increase the value of your car accident claim

In addition to seeking medical care, be sure to follow the advice of your healthcare providers. Whether it be taking pain medication, getting physical therapy, having surgery, or something else, your health and your claim will benefit. If you ignore the advice of your healthcare providers, the auto insurance company could argue that you are not really that injured or that you are causing your injuries to possibly worsen. 

Collect Evidence

If you or someone in your vehicle is able to after the accident, it is the best time to collect and preserve evidence that could be beneficial to your case. Of course, the medical attention required by anyone takes precedence, but evidence in car accidents can be quickly lost if specific actions are not taken. If possible, at the scene:

  • Take pictures of all vehicles involved at different angles and any skid marks or debris on the road
  • Take photos of the road conditions, signs, or traffic lights
  • Speak to any witnesses and bystanders; ask for their statements and contact information so that your attorney can contact them at a later date

Take a Social Media Break

It seems that these days, everyone has at least one social media account, and nearly anything goes when it comes to posting to it. If you have social media accounts, you are likely tempted to post about your car accident and your injuries. It’s only natural to want your friends, family, and other followers to know what is going on in your life and to have their sympathy and support after a car accident.

However, it is best for your case to stay away from all social media until your case is settled. Even if you do not post about the accident or your injuries, posting pictures of you at your child’s ballgame or out at the company holiday party could give the impression that you are not truly injured and are functioning just fine. 

You may know that the opposite is true, but the insurance company and their attorneys hire people to monitor social media accounts. Anything they find, they can twist and attempt to use to their benefit. Privacy settings can help, but you could be lulled into a false sense of security, and your pictures and other information could fall into the wrong hands and be detrimental to your car accident case. If you have questions about this, speak to your car accident attorney in New Orleans.

Keep Records and Document Your Life

Another step in protecting your rights after a car accident is to document your life and keep track of your records and bills. You may soon begin receiving a lot of medical bills and other documentation from insurance companies or other entities. Keep a file or multiple files with all of the paperwork you receive and share it with your New Orleans car accident lawyer

Keep a journal and write down how your injuries are impacting your day to day life. If you are unable to go on a pre-planned vacation, attend a family wedding, take your children to school, or participate in other important activities due to your injuries or pain, keep track of this. You should document:

  • Your level of pain
  • What makes your pain worse
  • What activities you are missing out on
  • What things you are no longer able to do around the house such as grocery shopping, cleaning, or cooking

Hire a Skilled New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

Finally, the most critical action you can take to help protect your rights after a car accident is to hire a skilled car accident lawyer in New Orleans. Your attorney can advise you about what you should or shouldn’t do or say after your accident up until your case is settled. By working with a lawyer, you could receive more compensation for your damages and have your case resolved sooner. Your legal team can help ensure that you are taking any steps you need to take and guide you through this process. 

Schedule your consultation today and begin protecting your rights. Call (504) 500-5000 or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney.