Do you know what to do if you’re in an auto accident? Most people think a quick call to the police is all you need, but there is much more to the process. Aside from alerting the law — yes, that’s an excellent first step — you need to think about what happens next. The best resource to help you answer your questions and navigate the process is an auto accident lawyer.
Unfortunately, auto accidents are increasing across Lousiana. From 2007 - 2011, the state saw a significant decline in fatal accidents on the road. But in 2012, and again in 2015, that trend started to reverse.
The frequency of collisions in Louisiana is much higher than the average in the United States. Some contributing factors in our state include:
Auto accidents don’t just cause potential fatalities. Other impacts include injuries, damages to vehicles, and increased insurance rates. These factors are precisely why drivers involved in collisions need to think further than just the police and consider an auto accident attorney.
First, if anyone is injured, then the first step is to call 911 and request an ambulance ASAP. Be sure to check yourself and your passengers to see if anyone is hurt. If there are no injuries, then call the police.
You must contact the authorities because if you’re involved in an auto accident, even just a small fender bender, not reporting it to the law can result in a big headache later on. If there are damages or injuries, you’ll need a police report to pursue any legal action in court, and it will be beneficial to your auto accident attorney. Plus, in some cases and some states, it’s illegal not to call the police.
Let’s say it’s a minor accident with little vehicle damage and no injuries (you bumped into a car in the parking lot of a shopping center, for example). In this case, it’s important to call the police still, but they can advise you to simply exchange insurance information with the other driver and be on your way. If the authorities don’t need to file a report, let them be the ones to make that decision, not you.
Once you have help on the way, it’s essential to take a good look at your vehicle and assess any damages. This evaluation will be helpful when you contact your insurance agent and an auto accident lawyer. If it’s possible to walk around your vehicle (be careful and stay safe if you’re on the side of the road), then go ahead and do so. Exchange insurance information with the other driver(s) and note any potential factors that could have caused the accident.
While assessing, think about the following questions and take notes while the incident is fresh in your mind:
While assessing the situation, take some photos. Having evidence of road or weather conditions may be helpful later on.
Lastly, once you’ve interacted with the authorities and assessed damages, you can consider hiring an auto accident attorney to take your case. If you need an auto accident lawyer in Louisiana, Attorney Elizabeth Hancock is an excellent option. Like Elizabeth, you’ll need someone well-versed in personal injury law and can offer you one-on-one attention.
Once you have your auto accident lawyer, what should you expect? First and foremost, your attorney should work with you to build your case, considering damages, injuries, and liability. Even if there wasn’t any significant damage, injuries, or deaths, your attorney could still work to prove liability.
Again, look for a lawyer experienced in auto accidents, personal injury law, and liability. Attorney Hancock is an experienced personal injury lawyer who will complete professional auto accident investigations on your behalf. She then uses the information to build a strong case to try to prove liability, taking it to trial when necessary.
Elizabeth can also calculate your medical and financial needs and set proper expectations for reimbursement so that you receive the compensation you deserve. She fights for her clients, always. These are essential skills that your attorney should have and fair expectations as you move forward with your case. Contact Attorney Hancock today, at 318-841-1613 for a complimentary case evaluation.