You learned in driver’s ed class that you should always flag down a police officer and file a police report at the scene of a car accident, but in your years of driving, you have witnessed several collisions, and people do not always get the police involved. Is it always necessary to report an accident? What are the legal risks of not reporting an accident, and how can it affect related insurance claims if you do not report it? Louisiana law has outlined instances in which it is not necessary to report a minor collision to the police. If you think that you have been injured, though, you should notify the police promptly of the accident, just to be on the safe side. If you got injured in a car accident that seemed at first like it was not a big deal, contact a Houma car accident lawyer.
What Makes a Car Accident Serious Enough That You Must Report it?
Stopping to file a police report is time-consuming, and time is money. If your car is still drivable and does not urgently need repairs, it makes sense that you would want to get back on the road and get back to work. Therefore, many states have “fender bender laws,” which means that the law indicates criteria by which an accident is serious enough that you must report it. In Louisiana, you must report any accident where physical injuries were involved, as well as any accidents that did not involve injuries but that resulted in $500 or more of property damage, whether the damage affected one or more vehicles or other structures. If one driver leaves the scene of an accident that involves injuries or extensive property damage without offering assistance to the other driver or giving his or her contact information to the other driver, then the driver who left the scene can face criminal charges for hit and run.
Sometimes Car Accidents are More Serious Than They Originally Seem
Cars usually let you know immediately when there is a problem. Even if the car will still move, the dents, funny noises, and check engine lights appear as soon as you try to drive after the accident. Sometimes it takes your body a little bit longer to show signs of injury, though. You should go to a hospital emergency room to be examined after an accident, even if you do not have any visible signs of injury. Whiplash injury and concussion do not begin to show symptoms until several hours after the traumatic injury that caused them, and car accidents are a leading cause of these types of injury. By getting examined immediately after the accident, you can prove to the insurance company and, if necessary, to the court that your injuries are the result of the car accident and not of some other cause.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey About Car Accidents That are Worse Than They Appear
A car accident lawyer can help you recover your accident-related financial losses if the symptoms of your accident-related injury did not appear immediately after the accident. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana, to set up a consultation about your case.