Vacations are times when most people unwind, enjoy visiting new places, or embark on new adventures. As travel begins to resume in a post-pandemic world, and vacations are once again being planned, it is good to know what to do if you are on vacation and have a car accident in New Orleans.  

Vacationers in New Orleans may have questions about hiring an attorney. Since vacations involve many variables such as rental cars, unfamiliar surroundings, and traffic laws specific to the area where the accident takes place, it can be confusing and somewhat chaotic. That’s why, if you have been injured in a New Orleans auto accident, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer who specializes in Louisiana car accidents. Our team at Dudley DeBosier offers the following checklist of steps to consider if you have been injured in an accident while on vacation in New Orleans.  

1.  Stay Calm

Though it may sound difficult, remaining calm is essential after any automobile accident. Vacation accidents may involve additional family members or friends and may involve a rental car and unfamiliar surroundings. Having the ability to stay as calm as possible will allow the accident victims  to assess the New Orleans auto accident, the injuries involved, and the accident scene. Increased stress can worsen injuries or even contribute to other health-related issues.

2.  Contact the Police after a New Orleans Auto Accident

Dial 9-1-1 for emergency services while in New Orleans. The dispatcher will immediately send police to the accident location. Even if no injuries are involved, a police report will be needed for insurance claims and for car rental agencies and their reports.  

3.  Seek Immediate Medical Attention

If the injuries are severe, advise the dispatcher on the 9-1-1 call, and they will send emergency medical personnel to the accident location. Even if injuries do not appear serious or life-threatening, medical attention is needed to check for any unseen or internal injuries. Symptoms of some injuries do not appear for a few days, so it is always better to be examined sooner than later.  

4.  Contact a New Orleans Auto Accident Attorney

If the accident occurred in New Orleans, a New Orleans auto accident attorney who is familiar with personal injury cases in this specific area should be contacted. At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, our team of experts will immediately get to work gathering evidence, sourcing reports, and putting together the information to make your case. 

5.  Collect Evidence

If injuries are not too severe and you are able to do so, it is a good idea to begin gathering as much evidence as possible.  This includes photos of damage and injuries, witness statements, and any cell phone or dash cam video that is available. This information is essential in establishing liability and obtaining a fair compensation package for you and your family.  Use your phone to snap pictures or make notes, such as the make and model of the other car, anything noticeable about the other driver, and any unsafe conditions on the road. Though most  of the information will be included in the police report, it is always a good idea to collect the information, even if it duplicates information contained in the report.

6.  Call the Car Rental Agency, if Applicable, after a New Orleans Auto Accident

If a rental car was involved in the New Orleans auto accident, contact the agency to advise them of the accident and let them know the extent of the damages. The rental company will ask questions, so have the rental contract ready. The agency will walk through the next steps and issue a replacement, if needed.

7.  Contact the Provider of Travel Insurance

Many vacationers purchase travel insurance when traveling out of their home state. If this applies, contact them for information on how to handle a claim. If additional travel insurance was not purchased, disregard this step.

8.  Update Travel Itineraries

If injuries make it difficult to follow the original travel itineraries, let the people know who are following the travel plan. This would include family and friends, hotels and airlines, and ground transportation other than a rental car. Once a medical evaluation has been made and a personal injury attorney has been contacted, they will be better able to help establish a timeline to be shared with others.  

9.  Decide How You Are Getting Home

If injuries prevent you from making a lengthy car trip, or flying home does not look likely, decide what alternative manner is the best. Hold off reserving transportation until the medical professionals offer a prognosis. If a wheelchair or other medical assistance device is needed, an airline company can arrange it.  

10.  Call Employers

If an employer doesn’t hear differently, they will expect once the scheduled vacation is over, that your work will resume. Let them know about the accident and the injuries involved, to keep them updated. They should also be informed if special accommodations will be needed once you return to work, such as wheelchair access or other mobility solutions.

How Can Dudley DeBosier Help With My New Orleans Auto Accident Case? 

Even if you are a safe and cautious driver, you become injured through no fault of your own. Accidents caused by drivers who are distracted, reckless, or under the influence can upend your life, even while you are on vacation. At Dudley DeBosier, we believe that you should be fairly compensated for your injuries. Our New Orleans car accident lawyers have years of experience handling vehicle accident and personal injury claims, and we will use that experience and knowledge to investigate and build your case. If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault,  you need legal help from a team of lawyers that are familiar with New Orleans auto injury law. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and case assessment.  

This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman at the Dudley DeBosier New Orleans office.

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