What To Do After A Louisiana Vehicle Crash
The hours and days after a Louisiana vehicle crash can feel somewhat unreal, even if you were not badly injured. That said, as one tries to navigate the legal process for recovering damages and getting back on one’s feet, it is crucial to keep state law in mind, and be aware of what to do. While taking the time to recover physically should obviously be priority number one, sometimes a failure to act in the time immediately after a collision can harm your case.
If you have been injured in a car or truck crash, enlisting a Shreveport personal injury lawyer can be the difference between recovering money damages and being unsuccessful in court. An attorney can handle the paperwork and the heavy lifting while you focus on medical care.
Immediately Following A Collision
If the crash has led to injury or death, you are required by Louisiana state law to stay on the scene and render aid. If you leave the scene of an accident after playing a role in causing someone else’s injuries, you may be subject to criminal penalties, but if you are the injured one, you are still required to stay and give all the relevant information to law enforcement and any other drivers, as well as removing your vehicle from the roadway if at all possible.
Once you are free to leave the scene, it is imperative to seek medical treatment immediately. If you do not, you may unknowingly imply that your injuries were not sufficient enough to need medical treatment, thus giving your insurance company a possible avenue to deny any claim you make. Once you seek treatment, it is also a good idea to document your symptoms and any kind of evolution or change in your condition, as it can be helpful in an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
In the months after the wreck, you may decide to file a lawsuit against the person you believe to have caused your injuries, or their insurer. Be advised that the statute of limitations in these types of cases is very brief: you have only one year from the date of the accident in which to file suit.
Recovering For Your Injuries
If you decide to file suit, be aware that Louisiana is a comparative fault state, which means that any jury award a plaintiff receives will be reduced by their percentage of fault. This does not bar recovery; it merely lowers the amount available – after all, it would be unfair if a plaintiff could recover for the percentage of their injuries that they caused.
A Louisiana vehicle crash can be a frightening experience. If you have experienced one, and have been injured, it is crucial to follow the right procedures, lest you accidentally damage your case before you have a chance to bring it. The Shreveport auto accident attorneys from Rice & Kendig can help answer your questions and do the hard work while you work at getting your life back to normal. Call our office today at 318-222-2772 for a free consultation.