Car accidents are stressful — and often expensive. While it might seem counterintuitive that hiring a personal injury attorney will save you money, an experienced attorney can help ensure that you receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other accident-related expenses. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes you can make after being injured in a car accident is not hiring an experienced personal injury attorney.
Here are seven other common mistakes committed by people involved in car accidents:
- Leaving the scene of the accident. Louisiana law prohibits drivers involved in accidents — that result in property damage or bodily injury — from leaving the scene without law enforcement permission. Hit-and-run driving is a serious crime and may prevent you from recovering damages for your injuries.
- Failure to obtain a police report. A police report can be a vital piece of information in a personal injury lawsuit and during the insurance claims process. Without a report it’s easy for the other driver to change his or her story after the fact and claim that you were at fault. Always call the police if you are involved in an accident, even if it seems minor. Let the police tell you whether a report is necessary — don’t let the responsible party talk you out of contacting the police.
- Failure to document the scene of the accident and any bodily injuries. Like a police report, photographic evidence of the scene — including the vehicles, the surrounding area and your bodily injuries — can be used to establish your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. If you don’t have a camera phone, look for a witness who can document the evidence for you.
- Failure to exchange insurance and contact information. It is very important that you and the other driver(s) involved exchange insurance and contact information. At the very least, you need to know their name, phone number and driver’s license number so that you can track them down later.
- Not seeking medical attention. If you have been injured, go see a doctor as soon as possible. It might be difficult to prove that the accident caused your injury if you don’t seek medical help within a reasonable time after the incident. Furthermore, your medical records will help establish your injury claims.
- Admitting fault. Don’t apologize to the other driver(s) or admit to their insurance company that you were at fault for all or even part of the accident. Such statements can and will be used against you. Talk to your attorney and your insurance company first.
- Waiting too long to file your personal injury lawsuit. Louisiana law imposes a one-year statute of limitations (time period) for filing a personal injury lawsuit. The clock starts running on the day of the accident.
Car Accident Attorney in Houma, LA
Contact the Patrick Yancey Law Firm today for a free consultation if you have been injured in a car accident. We will help you receive the compensation that you deserve, including damages for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.