March 25, 2024

Steps To Take After A Car Crash


4 Steps to Take After a Car Crash in New Orleans

When a car accident occurs, it can be scary and emotional. The victims can feel disoriented or in pain due to injury. During a car accident, the individuals involved are not thinking clearly. At the Cueria Law Firm, it is our job to protect the rights of car accident victims. It can be difficult to recover from the initial shock you feel after being involved in a car crash.

Our goal is to provide the best possible information for drivers so that when an accident occurs, they know just what to do. The following steps should be taken after a car crash in the New Orleans area. Learning and understanding these steps can help you protect your best interests and keep you informed about your options for action.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Louisiana, don’t navigate the aftermath alone. At Cueria Law Firm, our team of New Orleans car accident lawyers may be able to provide guidance and help keep your rights fully protected. Take the first step towards your recovery by securing a dedicated advocate on your side. Call us today at (504) 525-5211 to schedule a consultation.

What are the Steps to Take After a Car Crash in Louisiana?

Experiencing a car crash can be overwhelming and disorienting. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation in Louisiana, it’s important to stay calm and follow these essential steps to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved, as well as to protect your legal rights.

Step 1: Check for Injuries and Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Immediately after the crash, assess yourself and others for any injuries. Prioritize safety by checking if everyone involved is okay. If there are any signs of injury, no matter how minor they may seem, call 911 right away to get emergency medical care. It’s crucial not to move anyone who is injured unless there is an immediate danger, as this could potentially worsen their condition.

Step 2: Move to Safety and Prevent Further Accidents

If the vehicles are operable and there is a risk of causing additional accidents, move them to the side of the road or a safe area, provided that those injured are safe to be moved as well. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers. If the cars cannot be moved, ensure everyone stays in a safe location away from traffic until help arrives.

Step 3: Notify the Police and File a Report

In Louisiana, you’re required to report any car accident that results in injury, death, or significant property damage. Contact the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene. The police will fill out an accident report, which will be a vital document when filing an insurance claim or if legal action is taken.

Step 4: Document the Accident and Exchange Information

While you wait for the police, document the scene by taking photos of the vehicles, any damages, and the surrounding area. Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved, including names, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle registration numbers. Do not discuss fault or make any statements that could be used against you later.

Remember, these steps are not only important for safety but also for the legal process that may follow. If necessary, consult with a car accident attorney to guide you through the aftermath of a car crash in Louisiana.

Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Without a Police Report

Establishing negligence following a car accident can be complex when concrete evidence like a police report is lacking. Let’s explore various effective strategies and important factors to consider when determining fault and seeking justice after an accident, even without an official police record.

Do I Need to File a Police Report?

A car accident is a harrowing experience that can leave those involved shaken up, injured, or even worse, dead. With all of the emotion and activity in the aftermath of a car accident, even a minor fender bender, it can be easy to forget the crucial steps that you should take to protect yourself after a crash. From a legal standpoint, this is a critical time to maintain a level head and collect the necessary documentation for use in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

What happens if you don’t obtain a police report right after your car accident? How do you prove negligence without a police report? If you have been involved in a car accident, seek the guidance of an experienced car accident attorney. At Cueria Law Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana our team of skilled attorneys has had success helping other car accident victims prove negligence, even when they did not have a written police report to back them up.

When you need a trusted attorney to help you through the complicated legal process after a motor vehicle accident, contact Cueria Law Firm right away for a free consultation.

Benefits of a Police Report

There are several reasons why it is important to obtain a police report after your car accident. A police report is a written record of the events based on the information gathered by the police officer on the scene. It may include the officer’s thoughts on the accident and interviews with the parties involved and any witnesses. The report often indicates if the other driver received any citations, which will be helpful information if you file a claim with the other party’s insurance company.

While a police report is not mandatory in minor motor vehicle accidents, it does hold weight in the insurance claims process.  When you do not have a police report, insurance companies may be less likely to pay you the damages you deserve. The absence of a police report could mean the difference between the insurance company denying your claim and a sizable settlement to cover the costs of your medical care or property damage.

There are other important factors to keep in mind when it comes to police reports. The police report contains the facts of the incident, but it also includes the opinions of the officer, drivers, and witnesses. Therefore, a police report does not provide cut-and-dry evidence for your claim. Even so, the Louisiana DMV recommends that the police be called to any motor vehicle accident so that a formal police report can be submitted.

  • Information Included Within a Police Report: As the local police create a report after an accident, important information found in this report can be helpful to your case, if you have a claim to file in New Orleans. Below are a few categories of important information found within a police report:
  • Statements in a New Orleans Police Report: The police officer on the scene will record what each driver has to say about how the car accident took place. Any witnesses will also make a statement as to what they saw occur.
  • Diagram of the Accident Scene: A rough sketch will also be included in the police report which will be a drawing of the accident scene. When a serious collision occurs, the officer may take photos and call in assistance from the accident reconstruction team of the police department to have the crash site analyzed.
  • The Conclusion of Fault: Within the police report, the officer on the scene will write a narrative of their opinion of what happened during the accident. This can involve who or what they feel caused the accident to occur. Information will be provided as to any citations that were issued due to the accident along with which driver was cited.
  • Property Damage: Officers will include the location of the accident within the report including any damage that exists on the vehicles involved, if any had to be towed, etc.
  • Injuries: Also noted within the report are injuries. Anyone who was injured in the crash along with the severity of the injury will be noted by the police. If an ambulance transports anyone from the scene, this will be noted as well, including the company name of the ambulance and the hospital where the patient was taken.

Typically, a police officer is seen as an independent party as they are not connected to anyone involved in the car accident. Oftentimes, a judge in a New Orleans car accident case and the jury will defer to what the police officer says in their investigation of the wreck to conclude what happened. Despite this conclusion, no one is right 100% of the time.

If you find that you have been involved in a car accident and the police report is contradictory to your case, a Louisiana car accident attorney can help. If the report puts you at fault incorrectly, you have a reason to be concerned and should seek legal counsel. The police report may also indicate that you are not injured, when in fact, you are. This is when medical professionals are used. You may not have left the scene in an ambulance but saw a medical professional afterward for injury needs.

Overall, the police report is not the last word when it comes to a New Orleans car accident case. It is an important piece of evidence and will be considered in any case.

Information Included Within a Police Report Description
Statements in a New Orleans Police Report Records statements made by drivers and witnesses regarding the accident.
Diagram of the Accident Scene Includes a sketch or drawing of the accident scene, sometimes with photos or reconstruction data.
The Conclusion of Fault Officer’s opinion on what caused the accident and any citations issued to drivers involved.
Property Damage Details the location of the accident and damage to vehicles, including towing information.
Injuries Notes injuries sustained in the accident, including ambulance transport and hospital information.

What if the police did not come to the scene of the accident?

If you were in an automobile accident and the police did not come to the scene, you can still collect valuable information on your own that can be useful if you or the other party decide to file an insurance claim.

Interview witnesses who saw the accident and collect their contact information so they can be reached at a later date. Take photos of the accident scene, including the location of the incident, damages, and injuries. As soon as possible after the accident, go to the police station and file a police report. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to prove negligence in your claim.

Any time you are involved in an automobile accident, it is recommended that you call the police immediately so that there is a written report of the car crash. If the police do not come to the scene, it is your responsibility to collect the information that you will need to establish liability in an insurance or personal injury claim.

Contact a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer

Protect yourself after a car accident by contacting one of our New Orleans car accident attorneys at Cueria Law Firm. Even if you do not have a police report, contact us today at (504) 525-5211 to consult with our experienced car accident lawyers who can help you understand your rights after your car accident.

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