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Essential Facts for Louisiana Car Accident Incidents

3 Essential Facts for Louisiana Car Accident Incidents

3 Essential Facts for Louisiana Car Accident Incidents

 

If you are in a car accident in Louisiana, your main concern will likely be the safety of yourself and others. Your priority should be ensuring that everyone is okay and seeking medical attention if needed. It is important to stay calm and assess the situation before taking any further action. Emotions will likely be high which can cause people to remember different versions of events.

 

While safety and health should be the top concern after a car accident, after calling the police and making sure the scene is safe, it is critical that you take the following 3 actions to protect yourself and those injured because of the fault of others. In this blog, we will discuss the three most important things to know if you are in an accident in Louisiana. This will help you feel more confident and prepared to handle the situation.

 

1. Videos, Photographs and Witnesses

 

In today’s world, it seems that video and photographs are more readily available than ever. In New Orleans, there are videos are various telephone poles throughout the city that record certain intersections. While the purpose may be to deter or catch crime, individuals can also obtain and use them if they witness the car accident.

 

In addition, many businesses now have cameras on the exterior of their buildings. For example, a drive thru window at a fast-food restaurant may capture street views or other views of the exterior.

 

These videos can play a critical role in supporting your claim, especially if the other driver disputes it. Videos are not kept for long, so proving fault in your claim is crucial. The video may be your strongest evidence to show who is responsible.

 

After a car accident, it’s important to take photos of the cars at the scene if you can. This is in addition to any videos you may have taken. While doing so, you should take photographs of the damage to the vehicles, and photographs both close and from a distance.

If there is a disagreement about who caused the accident, a specialist will use the photos to determine what happened. The specialist will analyze the photos to understand the sequence of events. This will help them identify the responsible party. The photos will provide valuable evidence in resolving the dispute.

 

Also, equally important to obtaining video and photographs are obtaining names and contact information of eye witnesses. Eye witnesses can provide significant details to the accident. While some witnesses might not witness the accident, they may witness the interactions and injuries of the victims after the accident. Thus, anyone that stops and discusses the accident after the accident, it is critical to get their information.

 

For example, there could be a person filling gas at the gas station on the corner who just so happened to witness the accident. This person could see who had the green light and other critical details. If there is no video, the best evidence would be a witness. The witness can explain how the accident happened and who is responsible.

 

Don’t depend on the police to document the scene or get witness information. They should do this, but it’s best to do it yourself. Thus, in addition to the information you obtain, the police will also be able to provide information as well.

 

2. Applicable Insurances

 

After your accident, should you be transported to the hospital or visit a medical provider thereafter, you will incur medical charges related to your accident.

 

Health Insurance

If you have a car accident, your health insurance may pay for any medical costs from your injuries. Your health insurance can assist with paying for medical bills resulting from the accident. Here’s how your health insurance coverage may apply:

  1. Medical Expenses: Health insurance typically covers medical expenses related to injuries sustained in a car accident. This can include hospitalization, surgery, doctor visits, medications, diagnostic tests (such as X-rays and MRIs), physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
  2. Emergency Room Visits: If you require emergency medical treatment immediately following the accident, your health insurance should cover expenses related to emergency room visits, including emergency medical care, diagnostic tests, and hospitalization.
  3. Specialist Care: Your insurance may cover visits to specialists such as orthopedic doctors, neurologists, or physical therapists for accident-related injuries.
  4. Medical Procedures: Health insurance covers medical treatments for accident injuries, such as surgeries, fixing broken bones, and treating soft tissue injuries.
  5. Pre-existing Conditions: If you have pre-existing conditions that are exacerbated or worsened by the accident, your health insurance may cover treatments related to those conditions, provided they are deemed medically necessary.
  6. Out-of-Pocket Costs: Health insurance covers a majority of medical expenses. However, there are still some costs that you may need to pay out of pocket. These costs include deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. These costs will depend on your health insurance plan’s specific terms and coverage limits.

 

Health insurance can pay for medical costs after a car accident. Your insurance company may request repayment if the other driver’s insurance pays you for your injuries. This means you may have to give back some of the money your health insurance paid for your medical treatment. This process, called subrogation, lets the health insurance company get back the money it spent on your medical care.

 

If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s advisable to inform your health insurance company promptly and provide them with any necessary information about the accident and your injuries.

 

Liability Insurance of at-fault driver

 

 

  1. Liability Insurance: In Louisiana, most drivers must have liability insurance. This insurance pays for damages caused by the driver to others. This coverage typically includes two main components:
    • Bodily Injury Liability: Bodily injury coverage pays for medical bills, lost wages, and pain for people hurt in an accident. The coverage applies when the driver is responsible for causing the accident. It also covers other damages that result from the accident. Insurance policies typically state the coverage limit as a per-person limit and a per-accident limit.
    • Property Damage Liability: Property damage liability coverage pays for fixing or replacing another person’s car and other damaged property in an accident. This coverage also has a specified limit.
  2. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage: In some cases, the at-fault driver may not have sufficient liability insurance coverage to fully compensate you for your damages. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of your own auto insurance policy, it may provide additional coverage to make up for the shortfall in the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
  3. Collision Coverage: If the at-fault driver has collision coverage as part of their auto insurance policy, it may cover the cost of repairing or replacing their vehicle, regardless of fault.

 

It’s important to note that insurance coverage limits vary from policy to policy, and the at-fault driver’s insurance may not fully cover all of your damages. If your damages exceed the at-fault driver’s coverage limits, you may need to explore other avenues for compensation, such as your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

 

 

3. Notice of Preservation of Evidence

 

If you are involved in an accident caused by an 18-wheeler or commercial motor carrier or a slip and fall at a business, you will need to issue notices of preservation almost immediately.

 

For a commercial vehicle accident, the federal motor carrier laws will be applicable. You will need to collect, at a minimum, the following information:

 

 

  1. Driver Logs: Request access to the driver logs or electronic logging device (ELD) records of the 18-wheeler driver. These records document the driver’s hours of service, rest breaks, and compliance with federal regulations governing commercial vehicle operation.
  2. Maintenance Records: If mechanical failure or poor vehicle maintenance contributed to the accident, request copies of the 18-wheeler’s maintenance records. These records may reveal any history of mechanical problems or failure to address maintenance issues.
  3. Employment Records: Obtain employment records of the 18-wheeler driver, including their driving history, training certifications, and any disciplinary actions taken by their employer.
  4. Dashcam Footage: If available, obtain dashcam footage from your vehicle or other vehicles that may have captured the accident. Dashcam footage can provide additional visual evidence of the accident and help corroborate your account of what happened.

 

For a slip and fall at a grocery store or similar injury at a commercial business, you will need to gather several pieces of information thus requiring a notice of preservation to be sent immediately.

 

 

  1. Clothing and Footwear: Preserve the clothing and footwear you were wearing at the time of the accident. Storing them in their original condition can serve as physical evidence to support your claim, particularly if they show signs of damage or contamination from the hazardous condition.
  2. Receipts and Documentation: Keep records of any expenses incurred as a result of the slip and fall accident, such as medical bills, transportation costs, prescription medications, and lost wages or income. These documents help demonstrate the financial impact of your injuries.
  3. Store Policies and Procedures: Obtain copies of the store’s policies and procedures related to safety and maintenance. This may include protocols for cleaning spills, inspecting premises for hazards, and responding to customer accidents. Discrepancies between store policies and actual practices can strengthen your case.
  4. Previous Incident Reports: Request copies of any previous incident reports filed by customers who experienced similar accidents at the store. This information can establish a pattern of negligence or recurring hazards that the store failed to address.
  5. Incident Report: Request a copy of the incident report filed by the store’s management or staff. The incident report should document details of the accident, including the date, time, and location of the incident, a description of what happened, and any actions taken by store employees.
  6. Employee Logs: Obtain a copy of the employee logs to determine who was doing what at what time and what occurred. You may be required to prove that the substance causing your injury was there was a certain period of time.

 

It is important to know what to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident. Your health comes first, but protecting your right to recover medical expenses and pain and suffering should be preserved.

 

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