Being involved in an accident can be a frightening and confusing experience. Whether it’s a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, a construction accident, or any other type of accident, there’s no doubt that you’ll be emotionally devastated from the sheer shock of the ordeal. Unfortunately, your actions following an accident can make or break your personal injury lawsuit in New Orleans. It’s therefore important to be ready so that in case of an injury, you know what to do.
The New Orleans personal injury attorneys at Dudley DeBosier, can help you take the appropriate steps following an accident.
What to Do After a Personal Injury Accident in New Orleans
To be better prepared in case of an accident, here is an outline of the actions potential plaintiffs should take immediately after an accident:
1. Seek Medical Attention
The very first thing you should do following an accident is to seek medical help. Even if your injuries aren’t readily apparent, you should see a doctor, given that some injuries aren’t immediately obvious.
Any delay in seeking medical attention could have repercussions on your health and your lawsuit. Most insurers consider getting medical help within 72 hours following an injury to be a reasonable time frame.
As you speak to your doctor, ensure that you disclose all issues, even those you may deem minor. Also, you shouldn’t exaggerate your condition – be honest with your doctor and heed their instructions.
2. Don’t Discuss Your Case (Except With Your Doctor and Your Attorney)
Avoid sharing the details of your case with just anyone, especially the defendant’s insurer. Also, remember to avoid posting details of your case online because the insurance company can use them against you if you pursue compensation.
The only people you should discuss your case with are your doctor and your attorney. Whenever you discuss your case–whether with the defendant’s attorney or with an insurance company–ensure your attorney is present.
3. Write Down What Happened as Soon as Possible
Write down the exact series of events that occurred in the accident –your notes should include what happened before, during, and after your accident in your own words. Besides these notes helping you recall information pertaining to the accident, they can come in handy in the discovery phase of your personal injury case.
4. Gather Evidence (Photos, Names, and Contact Information of Witnesses)
In a personal injury lawsuit, you and your attorney have the burden of proving that you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence. To achieve this, you need to provide evidence and documentation.
Gather documents and records of everything that pertains to the case: police reports, medical records, and witness contact information. You should also take several pictures of the accident scene and your injuries.
Ensure that your evidence and documentation are safely kept until your case is completely closed.
5. Be Prepared to Take Action
If someone else’s negligence caused your injury or that of your loved one, you can file a lawsuit to recover the damages. However, you should note that you and your lawyer don’t have an indefinite time frame to initiate a lawsuit.
The statute of limitation for most personal injury accidents in Louisiana is one year from the date of the accident or injury –this is shorter than the 2-year time frame that most US states provide.
It is important that New Orleans injury victims move fast to gather evidence and file their personal injury claims before this time elapses.
6. Get the Help of a Personal Injury Attorney in New Orleans
Upon receiving medical attention, you need to find and retain a skillful and experienced personal injury attorney. You need someone who has your best interests in mind and can help you build a strong case.
You’ve probably heard myths about personal injury attorneys, such as you not needing one or the idea that hiring an attorney is expensive. You shouldn’t believe such myths.
Think of it this way. The insurance company or any other defendant will seek the best legal representation to try and win the case. Therefore, it is important that you also seek the services of an experienced personal injury attorney to increase your chances of getting compensation for your damages.
A Personal Injury in New Orleans Could Cost You Big Time in the Future
The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate the victim following an accident caused by another person’s negligence. It aims to ensure that the victim gets sufficient compensation to help them get as close as possible to how their life was before it was disrupted by the accident.
That said, while it’s easy to determine how much a victim is owed in lost wages and medical expenses just by looking at their missed paychecks and total medical bills, the same can’t be said for other consequences of an accident such as physical pain, stress, or emotional damage.
While no amount of money can take away this sort of damage, experienced attorneys can get close to assigning a befitting monetary value by examining what impact your injury has had on your life.
It is important to be as honest and open with your attorney as you can about all the ways the injury has disrupted your life. This will come in handy in helping us determine how much compensation you are owed.
Types of Compensation You May Receive
There are numerous things for which you may be compensated, depending on the nature of your injuries. Here are some common examples:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- At-home care expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
How Can Dudley DeBosier Help With My Personal Injury Case in New Orleans?
After suffering an injury in a New Orleans accident, don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve. Get the legal representation from Dudley DeBosie. Contact us today for a free case assessment.
This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman at the Dudley DeBosier New Orleans office.
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