Do you know what to do if you are in a minor car accident in New Orleans? Most people assume they must always call 911 to report the accident. However, Louisiana law states that individuals are required to report two types of car accidents:
- Accidents involving injuries or death; and,
- Accidents resulting in $500 or more in property damage.
Unfortunately, you may not know if you are injured immediately after a car crash. Furthermore, unless you are a mechanic, you may not know if the damage to your vehicle totals $500 or more.
Therefore, it is usually best to err on the side of caution and report a car accident to the police. When you file an insurance report, the insurance company will ask for a copy of the police report. It can make filing a claim easier if you have official documentation that the accident occurred. Also, if the other driver is at fault for the crash, it can be helpful to have a police report that states the driver contributed to the cause of the crash.
New Orleans Car Accident Checklist
If you are involved in a car accident in New Orleans, the steps you take after the crash can help or hurt your ability to recover compensation for an accident claim. What you believe to be a minor car accident could result in substantial financial damages if you are injured. Therefore, it is usually a wise idea to treat all car accidents seriously.
Steps that you should take after a car accident include:
- Report the accident to the police. Call 911 to report the crash is usually the quickest way to request assistance. The operator will determine which law enforcement agency is responsible for responding to the crash scene based on your location.
- Do not admit fault. Saying you are sorry could be interpreted as admitting fault. Be courteous but do not discuss how the crash occurred with the other driver or witnesses.
- If anyone witnessed the crash, you should try to obtain the person’s name and contact information. Eyewitness testimony can be very convincing if your case ends up in court.
- Take pictures and make videos of the accident scene. Try to get as many pictures as you can, including the position of the vehicles, the damage to the vehicles, and the surrounding area. Do not place yourself or others in danger to take pictures of an accident scene.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- See your doctor or other medical provider as soon as possible. It is always a wise idea to be checked after a car crash. The aches and pains you assume will go away could be an indication of a more serious injury.
- Don’t provide a statement or sign documents for the other driver’s insurance company without consulting with a New Orleans car accident attorney. You should learn about your rights and your options for recovering compensation for your damages before you discuss the crash with the insurance adjuster.
Contact a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review
Some accident claims can be settled without the assistance of an attorney. However, it is always beneficial to review the case with a lawyer before making any decisions.
Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm by telephone at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free legal consultation with a New Orleans car accident lawyer.