You are on your way to work on a Friday morning, listening to the radio and sipping a coffee as you happily brace for your final work day before the weekend. However, your happy morning quickly takes a turn for the worst when another motorist on the road turns into your lane and strikes your car. Your head shifts back and forth, and you begin to feel pain as a result of the accident.
People report millions of traffic accidents involving cars every year throughout the United States, including in Louisiana. Getting into a motor vehicle crash is never a pleasant experience. Understanding what to do at the crash scene is critical for protecting your legal rights following the accident.
What to do first
Directly after the accident, seeking medical help is the most important step to take if you have suffered an injury in the crash. Then, calling the police is necessary so that they can file a report on the accident for you.
While at the scene, exchanging information with the at-fault motorist is also important. The information you will likely need from the driver includes his or her name and address, driver’s license number, license plate number and insurance information. You may also want to obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of any passengers who were in the other driver’s car.
When communicating with the other driver and his or her passengers, being cordial is of the utmost importance in order for you to obtain their cooperation. However, not apologizing for anything that took place at the accident scene is critical. For instance, you may be tempted to apologize for not staying in your lane. The reality is that, by doing this, you might be admitting legal liability for the accident, which will harm your case if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit down the road.
What to do next
When you see medical professionals, such as doctors, after the motor vehicle crash, keeping track of all of your medical visits is also necessary. You may want to keep a journal of how your injuries have affected your daily life, in addition to keeping all of your medical bills and records. This information may be helpful if you decide to file a personal injury claim against the other driver, seeking damages in Louisiana. Liability has to be established based upon competent proof of negligence, before the court will adjudicate damage claims.