A car crash can range from inconvenient to devastating.
If you are in a car crash in Louisiana, the following checklist can help make sure everyone is safe, that you follow the law, and you get on the road to recovery:
Check yourself for injuries after a car crash
If you are hurt, call 911. If you are hurt badly, try not to move, and wait for emergency workers to help you.
Typical injuries from a car crash include:
- Back and neck injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Head and brain injuries,
- Spinal injuries,
- Internal injuries,
- Wrongful death,
- Knee injuries,
- Foot and ankle injuries,
- Shoulder injuries,
- Sprains, strains, bruising and other damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments (soft tissue injuries)
Check on your passengers after a car crash
If you can, check on the other people in your car, and the people in the other car. If anyone is hurt, call emergency workers, or ask someone nearby to call for help.
Get to safety after a car crash
If you can move safely, go to the side of the road or the sidewalk. If your car is causing a danger to other people, and it is safe to drive, pull to the side of the road. If it is safe where it is, leave it there and get yourself to safety.
It does not matter how serious you think the accident is at the time. Calling the police is important. The police will fill out an accident report and document the crash. If you file a claim with your insurance company, they may ask for a copy of the police report.
Wait for help
Turn your car off. Turn on the hazard lights. Use road flairs (if you have them) to warn other cars about the accident so they can slow down. Wait for responders to come help you.
After you make sure everyone is safe, trade contact and insurance information with the other driver. Use the following checklist to make sure you both have everything you need:
___ Full name,
___ Phone number,
___ Name of insurance company,
___ Insurance policy number,
___ Picture of driver’s license,
___ License plate number,
___ Type, color, and model of vehicle,
___ Location of accident
Be pleasant with the other driver. Do not talk about who caused the accident.
Document the accident
Documents are evidence and they will help other people understand what happened. The following checklist will help you make sure you have all the documents you need.
___ Get the name of all responding officers,
___ Get the badge number of all responding officers,
___ Ask the officers where you can get a copy of the accident report,
___ Take pictures of your vehicle from different angles showing the damage to both cars,
___ Take a picture of the other car’s license plate,
___ Get names and addresses of everyone involved, including passengers in the other vehicle,
___ Talk to anyone who saw the accident, get their names and contact information.
Notify your insurance company of the car crash
Tell your insurance company about the accident. If your insurance company is giving you problems, think about contacting a lawyer to help you.
Follow up with your health care providers
Health and safety are the most important things. Due to the nature of a personal physical injury, sometimes you do not know you are hurt until a few days or weeks after the accident. If you are not feeling well, you should always check with your doctor.
The same goes for when you are not feeling well after a car accident. Make sure you tell them about your accident and give them a full medical history so they can give you the best possible treatment.
Make sure you follow up with your medical appointments and listen to your doctors. Even if you are frustrated with your progress. If you stop treating, the insurance company may claim you are not really hurt and try to use it against you later.
According to the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, American drivers spend an average of more than 17,600 minutes behind the wheel each year. Or said otherwise, they spend seven 40-hour work weeks a year driving.
Car accidents are serious and unfortunately, they are common. If you are hurt in a car accident, personal injury lawyers at Stag Liuzza can help, and if we cannot help – we will point you to someone who can. Call for a free consolation.