The First Steps After an Auto Accident
There is plenty that you likely dealt with at the scene of the accident. If you were not seriously injured, you likely traded contact and insurance information, and you may or may not have filed a police report.
As soon after the accident as possible, write down any and all information you can recall about the accident. List any witnesses who may have seen what happened, as well as anything unusual that occurred. Note what the weather was like, what the speed limit was, how fast you were traveling if you were in a vehicle, and estimate how fast you believe the person at fault was likely traveling.
Be sure to keep records of the names of police officers who responded to the scene, as well as the incident number. You’ll use the incident number to obtain a copy of the police report, once it is written.
Do not admit fault to the police, to the other driver, or to an insurance company at any point in the process.
Visit a doctor (or an emergency room, if necessary) to fully assess your injuries, and save any reports or documentation provided. When an accident happens, your body becomes filled with adrenaline, which can keep you from feeling or realizing that you’ve sustained an injury. Early treatment can prevent injuries from getting worse. In addition, an insurance company could argue that your failure to seek medical treatment aggravated your injury, or even that your injury did not arise from the accident at all.
Dealing With Insurance Companies
Unless you or the other party are not insured, you will be contacted by both your insurance company and the insurance company of the other driver. Chances are good that you will receive a settlement offer from an insurance company.
Insurance companies can be tricky. Their representatives often sound kind and caring on the phone—but do not be deceived. They do not represent you. They represent the insurance company, and their primary goal is to settle with you for as little money as possible.
Insurance companies count on the fact that you probably don’t know how much you can actually recover in damages. They can sound very convincing, and will attempt to coerce you into signing a waiver that absolves them from responsibility, or to settle for a relatively small amount.
Your insurance company is legally obligated to follow through on the terms of its contract with you. Do not accept an offer, sign any waiver, or cash any checks from an insurance company without first consulting Bohrer and Brady car accident attorneys.
About No Pay, No Play
Many states, including Louisiana, have a “No Pay, No Play” law. This means that, if you are in an auto accident and you do not have car insurance, you lose your right to recover a certain amount of damages.
In Louisiana, the No Pay, No Play law says that, if you are in an accident while driving an uninsured car, you lose your right to recover the first $15,000 in damages. This law does not apply to passengers in a vehicle.
An experienced personal injury attorney at Bohrer Brady in Baton Rouge, Louisiana can help you sort out all the losses related to your accident.
Car Accidents | Compensation for Your Losses
The injured party in an auto accident may be able to recover damages from the party or parties who caused the accident, and our car accident attorneys can help.
Damages for injuries or losses are awarded through monetary compensation. They can include:
Broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and head injuries suffered in an auto accident can be compensated.
You may be entitled to damages sought to pay medical bills—both those that arose directly after the accident, as well as reasonable future medical bills. This includes rehabilitative therapy or services.
Accommodations for Disabilities
If you need accommodations, such as a ramp leading to your home, due to injuries suffered in a car crash, you may be qualified for compensation.
Lost Past and Future Wages
If you are or were unable to work due to an auto accident, you may be eligible for compensation.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to compensation for your physical injuries and related bills, pain and suffering resulting from the accident may also be compensable. You may be able to recover damages for loss of enjoyment of life in certain situations, as well.
Personal Property Damage
Compensation for damage to personal property may also be recoverable, including vehicle damage or other property losses.
Spouse’s Damages: Loss of Consortium
Even if the husband or wife of the victim was not in the car at the time of the crash, he or she may also be experiencing a loss. Almost every state recognizes the claim of loss of consortium, which refers to the negative effect the accident has had on the marital relationship. This can include loss of companionship, comfort, assistance, or sexual relations and affection. Loss of consortium can be temporary or permanent.
How Much Can I Recover?
The level of damages to which the auto accident victim may be entitled depends on numerous factors. State law, the victim’s injuries, proving the facts of the case, and even the victim’s own actions can come into play. So can the type and length of medical treatment, the insurance coverage of each party, the effect of the accident on the victim’s income and the permanence of the injuries. This is why our experienced auto accident attorneys can be such a strong ally in planning the case and assessing damages. View more frequently asked questions about car accident cases.
Take Action with a Car Accident Attorney Today
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects accident victims when they are most vulnerable. Not every policy has such coverage, however, and how you respond to the police, the insurance company, and the person who caused the accident can affect how much compensation you receive.
Indeed, some rules do not require the victim’s insurance company to pay the victim if the victim settles prematurely with the at-fault motorist’s insurance company. This is why it is so important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer from Bohrer Brady in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, contact the car accident attorneys in Baton Rouge at Bohrer Brady today for a free consultation. We are here to listen to your case, evaluate your options, and fight for the compensation you deserve. We want to represent your best interests and fight for justice on your behalf. Call us today for a free, confidential initial consultation. Contact Bohrer Brady Baton Rouge Attorneys Today