The best way to increase your chances of a fair settlement after a collision in Baton Rouge is to understand the value of your claim. At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we recommend discussing your case with a car accident lawyer in Baton Rouge before accepting a settlement offer.
Navigating Baton Rouge’s streets, whether on the busy lanes of I-10 or taking a leisurely drive by the Mississippi River, presents its share of hazards. Car accidents can happen to anyone, and when they do, getting adequate compensation is crucial for addressing medical expenses, car damages, and missed wages.
Knowing the steps to take at the accident scene and immediately after can help you get the compensation you deserve.
- Stay Calm and Prioritize Safety
Emotions can run high after a car accident, so staying calm and prioritizing your safety is crucial. Check for injuries among crash victims and call 911 immediately if anyone is injured.
To prevent further accidents and ensure the safety of those at the scene, turn on your hazard lights. Move your car from the path of oncoming traffic or use cones or warning triangles to establish a safe zone around the accident scene.
- Notify Law Enforcement
Notify the Baton Rouge police department of the collision. Legally, you must report a car collision if it results in more than $500 in property damage, an injury, or a fatality.
Reporting the incident also ensures the police create an official accident report. This document may contain vital evidence for your claim, such as witness information and statements, weather conditions that may have contributed to the crash, and the time and date of the accident.
You or your attorney can request an official traffic crash report from the Baton Rouge Police Department 10 business days after the collision and use it to support your case.
- Document Everything Thoroughly
Photos and videos show the factual circumstances of the accident scene, damages, and injuries. Document the following to help your attorney file a well-supported claim on your behalf:
- Accident scene. Take clear photos of the accident scene from various angles. Ensure that these images capture the position of the vehicles, traffic conditions, and any relevant road signs or signals.
- Injuries. If you have visible injuries, take photographs. Your attorney can use these images to demonstrate the extent of physical harm caused by the accident.
- Witness information. Collect names, phone numbers, and statements of witnesses at the scene. Their testimonies can provide valuable corroborating evidence in your case.
- Driver and insurance information. Exchange details with all involved drivers. This should include their names, addresses, insurance information, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers.
- Get Medical Attention
Injuries like traumatic brain injuries or whiplash may not be immediately apparent but can lead to serious consequences if left untreated. If you don’t receive medical care at the scene or immediately after the accident at an emergency room or hospital, visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Follow all medical advice, which includes adhering to prescribed treatments, attending follow-up appointments, and taking prescribed medications. Your compliance with medical recommendations shows your commitment to recovery and strengthens your case by illustrating the severity of your injuries.
- Keep Detailed Records of Expenses
Car accidents often have substantial financial repercussions, including medical expenses and vehicle repairs. To ensure you receive adequate compensation, maintain meticulous records of the following:
- Medical costs. Keep copies of all medical bills, prescription receipts, physical rehabilitation sessions, and required medical devices. These can show the financial cost of your injuries.
- Lost wages. Maintain records of days missed from work, reduced working hours, or any job opportunities you had to forgo due to the accident. Pay stubs can support your claim, demonstrating the economic impact of your injuries on your earning capacity.
- Vehicle repair bills. Document all expenses related to repairing your vehicle, including invoices from the auto repair shop, receipts for replacement parts, and any other costs associated with restoring your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
- Avoid Early Settlement Offers
Avoid accepting early settlement offers from insurance companies. They may propose a quick settlement that doesn’t cover all your losses. Wait until you fully understand the extent of your injuries and the total damages from the accident.
It’s crucial to wait until you reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI): the point at which your medical condition has stabilized and the full extent of your injuries is known. Once you reach MMI, your attorney can estimate a settlement that covers your current and future medical expenses and losses.
- Speak With an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Having skilled legal representation can give you the best chance of increasing your payout after a collision in Baton Rouge. At Dudley DeBosier, our experienced attorneys offer the following legal services to help maximize your settlement:
- Claims analysis. We carefully evaluate every detail of your case, ensuring no aspect of compensation is overlooked. We can help you seek a settlement for your medical bills, potential future costs, lost wages, and the emotional impact of your injuries.
- Legal strategy. Every case is unique. Our attorneys can develop a specific strategy for your claim, maximizing chances for a favorable outcome based on the circumstances of your accident and injuries.
- Insurance negotiations. Our firm can handle all discussions with insurance companies and their adjusters. Our experience means we can counter aggressive or bad-faith tactics that aim to reduce your compensation.
- Expert collaboration. We work with specialists, from medical experts to crash scene investigators, to analyze the crash scene and medical records to reinforce your case’s validity.
- Litigation. If needed, we can represent you during litigation in civil court. Our experience ensures a thorough investigation and presentation of your evidence, giving you the best chance of a full damage award.
At Dudley DeBosier, our car accident attorneys in Baton Rouge know how insurance companies work and the most effective negotiation tactics to increase your car accident settlement. Our law firm has years of experience helping car accident victims negotiate insurance claim settlement agreements or fight for the compensation they deserve in court.
Contact us today for a free case review. Let us stand by your side, fight for your rights, and help you secure the best possible outcome for your car accident claim.
Disclaimer: This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.
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