If you’ve been injured in a car accident in New Orleans that was the fault of another driver, Louisiana state law gives you the right to seek compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering to name a few.
To fully protect those rights, there are several things you need to do immediately following an automobile accident:
Steps to Take Immediately Following a Car Accident in New Orleans
Check the conditions of everyone involved. Call the police and medical assistance, if necessary.
Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. This includes name, contact info, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, etc.
Gather whatever accident scene evidence you can — take pictures, get the name of any eyewitnesses, etc.
Seek medical attention, even if you seem to feel OK after a car accident.
Contact a New Orleans car accident attorney to protect your rights. Do this before you speak to a representative from the other driver’s insurance company, and especially before you agree to any settlement with the insurance company.
Why Do I Need to See A Doctor After a Car Accident If I Feel OK?
Why is it so important to seek medical treatment, even if you feel OK after a car accident? Do you feel 100% normal or generally OK? If you feel 100% normal, whether you want to get checked out by a doctor for peace of mind is totally up to you. Most people act brave and think they will get over the anxiety, stiffness, heaviness, and/or weird feeling they have after an accident within a few days. Remember, now is not the time to be brave. Insurance companies will question any injury claim when a person waits too long after an accident to seek medical treatment. If you feel bad AT ALL after an accident, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and go get checked out by a doctor. Urgent Care clinics are perfect for this sort of thing or go see your primary care doctor if you can get in with the doc quickly.
If you hit your head in an accident, go to an emergency room. This is a hard and fast rule for head injuries. The ER will check to see if you have a concussion and put you through a series of scans to make sure you do not have a more serious health issue.
Getting checked out gives you time to consider your next move. This is the time to call a New Orleans car accident attorney for advice if you have not done so already. Going to the doctor does not mean you have to make a claim, it just gives you more options if your issues do not go away within a few days.
To claim damages for your injuries after a Louisiana auto accident, you’ll first have to be able to demonstrate that the accident was responsible for your injuries.
Just because you don’t immediately notice any injuries doesn’t necessarily mean you haven’t been hurt. Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries, spinal and nerve damage, as well injuries involving the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the back and neck, may not manifest themselves until hours or days after the accident. X-rays and other diagnostic procedures could reveal injuries you may not be aware of.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, the examining physician could recommend surgery, ongoing physical therapy, medications, or consulting from a specialist. You could be on the hook for these expenses if you’re unable to prove that your injuries stemmed from your car accident.
The insurance company will seize upon the fact that you failed to see a doctor immediately following the accident in any personal injury claim you make. They’ll argue that since you didn’t see a doctor, there’s no way to verify that your injuries resulted from the accident. Proving your claim and getting the full compensation you deserve for your injuries will be more difficult.
If you’ve recently been in a car accident and haven’t seen a doctor yet, do so immediately. Failing to see a doctor could cost you big time if you develop complications due to injuries suffered in a car accident.
Get Help Protecting Your Rights after a New Orleans Auto Accident
Once you’ve done the smart thing and received medical treatment, your next move will be to contact a New Orleans personal injury lawyer.
Auto accidents can result in serious injuries, including bone fractures, burns, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, internal injuries, amputations, and disfigurement.
These injuries have the potential to ruin you financially, sticking you with ongoing medical expenses and making it impossible to return to work and enjoy the activities you used to enjoy. A personal injury claim can help restore your life to the way it was before your accident, or at least as close as possible.