What to know if you were in a car accident in Monroe, LA
Car accidents are scary at the time, but it is often afterward that they become truly frightening. When you assess the extent of the damage, get your medical bills for any injuries, hospital stays or even just accident-related checkups, it may become clear just how much money you owe, and that can be terrifying.
Before you get too worked up, take a deep breath. Consider the fact that you may have money coming to you if the accident wasn’t your fault. In order to successfully win in a suit against another driver, however, it’s important that you understand the laws associated with car accidents and take the proper steps.
What to Do After a Car Accident
The very first step after getting into an accident is to stay where you are. Most states do not look favorably on drivers who leave the scene without exchanging information with the other driver, and doing so can even be a criminal act. Even if there was no damage to your car and you feel perfectly fine, you should stay in place until all damage has been assessed and you and the other driver have exchanged information. That way, if you discover damage to your vehicle or an injury later, you’ll know whom to call.
As soon as you leave the scene of the crime, contact your insurance agent. It’s good to do so with your insurance policy in hand so you can understand what you’re eligible for. Go to the doctor right away, so you have immediate records of any injury. Also take photos, keep medical records and record details of the accident. If possible, keep in touch with witnesses or get contact info. Be careful what you say on social media, because it could affect your case later.
Louisiana Car Accident Statistics
There were 723 car crash-related fatalities in Louisiana in 2012 and 703 in 2013, an overall 3 percent drop in overall crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to the same source, the majority of car accidents in Louisiana in 2013 were between passenger cars and light trucks (2,829) with accidents between passenger cars and other passenger cars coming in second (1,418). Large trucks, motorcycles and buses were among the other common vehicles to be involved in crashes.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Of the fatal crashes in the United States in 2013, says the NHTSA, 65 percent were caused by alcohol-impaired driving. That’s 2,268 out of a total of 3,515. Thankfully, alcohol impairment causes many crashes that don’t result in fatalities as well. If you were a victim of a crash because someone else was drunk, you most likely have a good case.
The other main cause of traffic accidents is distracted driving. Rather than drugs or alcohol causing the problem, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, problems include
- Visual distraction: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual distraction: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive distraction: not thinking about driving
According to the CDC, the most common car accident-related ER visits in 2010 and 2011 were, in order of decreasing frequency:
- Strains or sprains of neck and back
- Contusion with intact skin surface
- Spinal disorders
- Strains or sprains excluding neck and back
- Observation and evaluation for suspected conditions not found
- Open wound
There are many great hospitals around Monroe, but if you have any of these injuries, you will likely need to retain a lawyer to get the other driver’s insurance to pay for them. Proving fault, proving that injuries stemmed from an accident and winning your case are all considerably more difficult than they may sound. While the case may be clear-cut to you, the other driver and their insurance company most likely won’t see it that way and most likely will try to make it difficult for you. Let’s talk about when you should hire a car accident attorney to help you out.
When to Consider a Monroe Car Accident Attorney
You should consider an accident attorney if the other driver’s insurance company is not willing to pay you for damages to your car or physical person. You should also consider one if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, or if their insurance coverage is not substantial enough to address all of your damages, both of which can complicate matters.
That doesn’t mean the driver is completely uncovered, even if they have chosen to ignore motor vehicle laws and drive without insurance – or if they lack insurance for financial reasons. If that’s the case, a uninsured/underinsured policy can help. These policies will cover some or all of your damages if the other driver was uninsured or didn’t have enough insurance to complete cover damages.
Just because these types of insurance exist, however, doesn’t mean it’s easy to win these cases and get the money you’re owed. It’s crucial that you contact a Monroe car accident attorney, serving northeastern Louisiana, immediately so you can learn more about your legal rights and get the help you deserve right away. We would love to talk to you.
Photo via Flickr by Gabriel Saldana