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 an auto accident. Our goal is to provide the best information for drivers so when an accident occurs, you know just what to do. The following steps should be taken after an auto accident in the New Orleans area. Learning these steps will ensure that you are on the right track when it comes to your personal rights.
Step 1: Call Your Insurance Company After an Auto Accident
The first step you need to take is to contact your insurance company right away. Make the call and inform your auto insurance provider that you were in an accident. Do this quickly. Some insurance companies will void the right to insurance benefits if a collision is not reported.
Step 2: Organize Detailed Documentation of the Auto Accident
The next step is to create a folder detailing information regarding the incident. This can be a simple file folder that includes the name of your insurance adjuster as well as your claim number. The folder will be where you will place information as you receive it. This can include receipts for medical expenses, medical documents, witness information from the accident, etc.
Step 3: Visit Your Doctor
Emergency care is the attention you will receive from an on-site paramedic after the accident. Once the accident is over, you should go see your primary care doctor. A car accident can lead to a number of issues within the body including bruising, whiplash, hearing damage, etc. You may not be aware of such injuries until days later once the adrenaline from the accident is over. Treatment needs to be provided by a professional. Each time you visit, ask for a copy of your records to place in your accident folder.
Step 4: Consider Contacting an Auto Accident Attorney
When you are involved in a car accident, having a personal injury attorney by your side can be beneficial. The earlier you contact an attorney, the better off you will be. At Cueria Law Firm, we have handled many car accident cases and know how to build a case. Let our very talented attorneys help you to ensure that the compensation you deserve is provided.
Proving Negligence in a Car Accident Without a Police Report
“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 didn’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 auto accident attorney like those 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 in your claim. Even so, the Louisiana DMV recommends that the police are 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 that 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 in order 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 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. Often times, 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 during any case.
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 in the event that 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.
Protect yourself after a car accident by contacting one of our Louisiana automobile accident attorneys at Cueria Law Firm. Even if you do not have a police report, call our office today to consult with our expert auto accident attorneys who will help you understand your rights after your car accident.