If you recently engaged in a rear-end accident in New Orleans, LA and you hit another driver from behind, you should know that although you may have made a mistake, it is a mistake thousands of drivers make on a daily basis. In fact, the National Safety Commission highlighted that of the estimated six million car crashes that transpire on U.S. roadways each year, 40% are rear-end collisions. While you might be feeling upset and angry because you know you shouldn’t have been texting or should have been paying closer attention to the road, it is important that you remain calm and handle the incident like you would had you not been the at-fault driver.
Below are the steps you should consider following after the collision to ensure the matter is handled responsibly and you are able to get your insurance claim paid when the time comes for you to file it.
- The first and most important thing for you to do is remain at the scene until the police arrive. You will want the incident documented and you will want to retain a copy of the report so that there is no discrepancy as to what happened. The truth is, there are times when drivers attempt to take advantage of an at-fault motorist who caused an accident. They do this by having their insurer pay for injuries they didn’t actually sustain or for damage done to their vehicle that was there prior to the collision.
- Exchange information with the driver including your name, phone number, vehicle information, insurance company, etc. If the driver of the vehicle is not the owner, be sure to write down the owner’s information as well.
- Take photos of the accident scene. It is important that you capture the accident from all angles and take photos of all the damage that was done. If the other driver is claiming they suffered an injury and it is visible, see if you are able to take photos of that as well. There are times when injury symptoms don’t show up until hours or days later so if the other motorist claims that they suffered whiplash or minor neck or back pain after the incident transpired, they may have a case of delayed injury symptoms which is common.
- Contact your insurance company. Just because you were at fault for causing the rear-end accident doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to be reimbursed for vehicle repairs and/or medical bills. After all, that is why we have auto insurance, isn’t it? Now, because Louisiana does require its drivers to carry the following insurance coverage, you should expect that they will step in and pay the other party’s claim up to your limits once it is filed.
- $15,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person in a single accident
- $25,000 coverage for damage to someone else’s vehicle or other property.
Now, in order for your insurer to compensate you, you must have purchased collision coverage. However, you do need to be aware that you will be required to satisfy your deductible before your insurer will pay for your claim.
[Source: Louisiana Department of Insurance].
If you find that the other driver is making accusations against you claiming you caused more damage than you actually did or they were partially at fault for causing the wreck, you may need to speak with a New Orleans, LA accident lawyer.
How can I prevent a rear-end accident from happening in the future?
Driver error is the leading cause of auto accidents which means in order to prevent a crash in the future, you need to put forth the effort to be a cautious and careful driver. Never allow anything to interfere with your driving and refrain from getting behind the wheel fatigued, impaired, or under the influence of any type of drug or medication that could impact your ability to drive.
In the event you find that your insurer isn’t willing to pay your claim or the other driver is attempting to recover more money from you than what their true damages are worth, don’t hesitate to contact New Orleans, LA accident lawyer Michael Hingle. Attorney Michael Hingle will help get your matter resolved and you the compensation you deserve, despite your role in the collision.
You can reach Michael Hingle & Associates, LLC at:
201 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 2521
New Orleans, LA 70170