When you’ve been in a car accident, you likely aren’t thinking clearly. You may be injured or overwhelmed with emotions. Sometimes, this causes us to forget what we should do, or we forget to take certain steps to handle the situation. It’s a huge shock that can be a lot for a person to handle.
However, if you’ve been involved in a personal injury accident in New Orleans, there are steps that you should take right away. What you do immediately following an accident could impact your compensation after the fact.
One of the first things to do is hire a New Orleans personal injury lawyer to help you work through the claim and get you the compensation that you deserve.
6 Vital Steps to Take Following a Personal Injury Accident
We’ve put together 6 steps you can follow when an accident occurs. Take a look.
- Avoid Discussing the Case
It’s all too easy to jump out of a car and start talking about an auto accident. But this is the wrong thing to do. You can get statements from witnesses, but you should never discuss faults or opinions. You also have to be really careful that what someone else says doesn’t taint your opinion of what happened.
In actuality, you should only discuss the case with the authorities and your accident attorney. Avoid any other discussions without your attorney and don’t admit fault openly, even if you know you were at fault.
- Accept Medical Attention
When medical attention is needed, you should accept it. Seeking medical attention is very important, particularly if you experience an injury. In some cases, your injuries may not bother you right away, but it’s a good idea to still be seen and assessed to be sure.
If you do experience symptoms after the fact, seek medical attention immediately and ensure the provider knows the circumstances of the accident as well.
- Write Things Down
It’s easy to forget little details or even think of different things later on. As soon as you can, you should write down everything you remember about the accident, including all of the minor details that document the scene and your experience.
This is a good way to get your immediate memory down on paper so something isn’t forgotten later on.
- Gather Evidence
Evidence could come from witnesses, photos, and you or others involved in the accident. It may be necessary to gather evidence for the accident in order to provide the burden of proof regarding your case. You should document the scene of the accident before anything is moved, which includes taking pictures.
For witnesses at the scene, be sure to get their contact information so attorneys or authorities can follow up with them at a later date. Plan to gather appropriate documents, such as:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Witness information
- Your own statement
- Photos of the scene, damages, etc.
Again, don’t discuss these things with anyone but your attorney and the authorities.
- Don’t Wait Around
If you have experienced an injury, you need to take action quickly. Even if the injury does not show up right away, you still need to take steps as soon as you suspect you may be injured. The statute of limitations in Louisiana is two years, which is pretty common in most states.
Filing a claim right away is in your best interests to ensure you don’t miss the timeframe for your case.
- Hire a New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer
When you realize there is any type of damage, including economic and non-economic damages, you need to contact a New Orleans personal injury lawyer. Make sure you select a lawyer with experience handling this type of claim that can help you through the process.
Using an attorney is the best way to get suitable compensation for damages, rather than just accepting a minimal payout settlement from the insurance company. You have rights, and the attorney will help you get the best settlement.
Consider the Future of a Personal Injury
Many times, injury accidents leave behind long-lasting injuries that cause pain and suffering well into the future. It’s likely that many factors in your life will be disrupted by this accident.
Consider things like lost wages, medical bills, extended treatments and pain, mental suffering, trauma, property and vehicular damages, and even emotional damage. These could impact your life well into the future, costing you far more than just the immediate damages.
Winning money from a settlement isn’t going to magically take away your pain. However, it will certainly help with the financial strain that you may experience, and can positively impact your life after such an ordeal.
The compensation considered in an accident could cover a variety of needs. These are some examples of what might be considered in a case:
- Punitive damages
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Extended or at-home care
- Pain and suffering
Find a New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer You Can Trust
Hiring an attorney isn’t just about choosing the bigwigs you see on TV. You want to choose a New Orleans personal injury lawyer who has your best interests at heart. Try to look for a firm that has experience handling your type of case and has a proven track record of success.
Suffering through an accident is hard enough. There is no reason for you to continue to suffer from financial strain, emotional trauma, and piles of medical bills that could come in for quite some time.
An experienced attorney can look at your case and determine the compensation you might be eligible for. Contact them before you work with insurance or discuss the case with any other parties.