The personal injury attorneys of The Olinde firm work with individuals and families who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents in New Orleans and the surrounding communities. We fight diligently on behalf of our clients to ensure the best possible outcome under the law. However, we routinely see clients who fail to take five important steps following a car crash. Many times this is due to the trauma of the car crash. The steps you take following an accident can significantly affect your personal injury case.
What Should I do After a New Orleans Car Accident?
As injury lawyers, we hear this question quite often. Regardless of whether you are involved in a motorcycle accident, commercial truck accident, or passenger vehicle accident, the steps you need to take immediately or as soon as possible after the car crash remain the same.
ONE: Call 911 for Emergency Medical Services and the Police
The most important thing following a car accident is to ensure everyone receives emergency medical relief. Your health and the health of your passengers should be your top priority. As you wait for the police and EMS, avoid discussing the accident with anyone at the scene. Never admit fault or discuss fault with the other driver — discussions of fault can quickly become heated.
TWO: Exchange Insurance Information
All drivers in Louisiana are required to carry minimum automobile insurance coverage. Exchange insurance information with the other driver. You can write the information down or you can take a picture of the insurance card with your smartphone. If you do take a picture, make sure you can read the information in the picture and email the picture to yourself just to make sure it is not lost or deleted by accident.
THREE: Document the Accident
If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to each vehicle. Make a special note of any traffic signs or traffic signals. It is important to note the weather conditions and road conditions at the time of the accident. Ask for the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the accident. As soon as you can, write down everything you can remember about the accident while the details are still fresh in your mind.
FOUR: Go See Your Doctor
If your injuries are not severe enough for emergency medical treatment, see your family doctor to be thoroughly checked out a few days after the accident. You could have injuries that you may not be aware of at the time of the accident due to the shock and trauma of the accident. The pain you feel in the next few days could be an indication of a more serious injury. In addition to protecting your health, you need to document your injuries if you are to recover damages from the at-fault driver.
FIVE: Call The Olinde Firm
If you are injured in a car crash, call The Olinde Law Firm as soon as possible. You have the right to be compensated for your damages and injuries caused by a careless or negligent driver. Contact our office to schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other damages.