Few experiences can match the shock of an unexpected car accident. In less than a second, a serious collision can cause devastating injuries, property damage, and fatalities. It may seem impossible to remain calm at the crash scene, but it is important to remember that drivers have certain legal responsibilities in the aftermath of a wreck.

According to the Louisiana State Legislature, if you were involved in an accident that caused an injury, death, or at least $500 in property damage, you must contact the police immediately. You will have to provide your name, the registration number of your vehicle, and your address upon request. You must also show your permit or driver’s license to any person who was injured in the crash and to any drivers whose property was damaged.

Further, if an accident causes an injury, death, or at least $100 in property damage, you must provide a written report to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections within 24 hours of the collision. If you violate this provision, you could face up to 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $100 dollars, or both.

There are other steps you should take to put yourself in a favorable position to make a personal injury claim. For example, it is important that you report the accident to the insurance company within a specific timeframe, and you must undergo a medical evaluation as soon as possible.

One small mistake during the claims process could reduce the amount of compensation you recover or lead to the denial of your claim. This is where a car wreck attorney can help.

If you were hurt by a drunk, distracted, or negligent driver in Louisiana, turn to Laborde Earles Law Firm. A Baton Rouge personal injury lawyer will help you fight for the maximum settlement, and if your case goes to trial, our attorneys have the litigation experience to represent your interests in court. Call 800-522-6733 today to schedule a free consultation.

Important Steps to Take at the Scene of a Car Accident

After any collision, the first step is to check yourself and other people for injuries. If anyone is hurt, contact law enforcement and request emergency medical assistance. When the police arrive, make sure an officer creates an accident report. This will contain important details about your collision such as the cause, time and date, and whether there were injuries or significant property damage.

If you decide to file a personal injury claim, the success of your claim will depend on the strength of your evidence. It is likely that the at-fault driver will deny liability or the insurance company will dispute your claim, so it is essential that you gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident.

Record the contact and insurance information of all drivers involved in the crash. You should also write down the full names, phone numbers, and email addresses of any eyewitnesses. Your attorney may use their testimonies to prove liability and negligence.

Take photos of the scene that show the positions of vehicles, traffic signs, skid marks, injuries, and property damage. Be sure to activate the timestamp function on your phone or camera to record the time and date of each photo.

Even if you have sufficient evidence to prove liability and negligence, you could still face an uphill legal battle if you file a personal injury claim. The insurance company will look for any possible excuse to reduce your payout. The insurance adjuster may try to coerce you into admitting fault during a recorded phone call. Your claim may also be disputed if you miss doctor’s appointments or post sensitive information about your accident on social media.

A Louisiana car accident attorney from Laborde Earles Law Firm will help you avoid these mistakes. Our lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience representing the injured. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Baton Rouge.