On a seemingly normal drive to work, you may be sipping some hot coffee from behind the wheel as you approach an intersection. However, while you may be slowing down, the motorist behind you may not be exercising the same level of caution near the red stoplight. All of a sudden, you hear a large crash, and your neck jerks back and forth. The motorist has collided with you.

No motor vehicle accident in Louisiana is pleasant, with a serious crash having the potential to leave both physical and emotional scars. It can also be financially painful if you end up with massive medical bills. If you have been in a car accident resulting from another driver’s negligence, taking a few steps at the crash scene and thereafter may help you to protect your best interests from a legal standpoint.

As soon as the accident has occurred

Following the accident, seeking medical attention is critical if you and others have suffered injuries in the collision. Moving your vehicle out of traffic is also important if you are able to do so, as this will help you to avoid causing a traffic jam or even another car accident. In addition, contacting police is important so that the police can file a report that allows you to explain your version of the events that led to the crash.

Next, gathering information about the person who reportedly caused the accident is essential. This information includes the name of the motorist’s insurance provider, his or her policy number and the motorist’s name, phone number and address. You can also talk to witnesses at the accident scene and collect their contact information. If you are able, taking pictures of the property damage stemming from the accident, as well as of the other driver’s license plate number may be helpful.

When you leave the scene

Once you have left the accident scene, it can be helpful to keep detailed notes about the injuries you have suffered and the treatments needed for them. This includes keeping track of your medical bills and how your injuries have impacted your daily life. For instance, perhaps they have prevented you from being able to work normally for an extended period of time.

Finally, a qualified attorney in Louisiana can help you to file a personal injury claim, seeking the reimbursement of the damages sustained in the motor vehicle accident. Competent proof of negligence, such as driving while distracted or driving too quickly for road conditions, is necessary to establish liability before the civil court that is hearing your case. In a successfully litigated case, you might receive monetary compensation, which may help you to cover your medical expenses, the loss of wages and other accident-related losses.