If you were in a car accident in Louisiana, you may be wondering what steps you should take when filing a claim.
Insurance companies are notorious for making the claims process challenging to navigate, especially if you are injured. It is part of their strategy to avoid payout, which is an unfortunate part of their business.
At the Jones Law Firm, located in Alexandria, we’ve seen this strategy from insurance companies again and again. But our job is to help our clients avoid getting tricked and, instead, obtain compensation for their injuries and losses.
From our experienced car accident lawyers, here is the claims process in five simple steps:
1.) Report the accident immediately from the scene.
Once you are in a car accident, it is best to call 9-1-1 at the scene. When the police arrive, they will obtain witness statements and document the accident.
If you are physically able to, take as many photos of your vehicle and the other vehicle as possible. It is also a good idea to take pictures of any street signs and traffic signals.
And, no matter what the circumstances of your accident are, do not accept fault or say you are fine.
2.) Seek medical attention right away, no matter how you feel.
Regardless of how you are feeling, seek medical attention right away.
When you are in an accident, your body pumps itself full of adrenaline, which can mask minor and substantial injuries.
If you do not obtain medical attention within a specified amount of time, the insurance company may disregard your claim.
A trip to the ER, urgent care, your primary care provider, or a chiropractor is necessary for treatment and documentation.
3.) Contact your Louisiana insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company.
The driver who caused the accident is considered “at fault” and therefore responsible for paying claims. This means you should contact your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company and proceed from there. Again, do not insinuate you are at fault and do not state you are feeling fine.
Drivers in Louisiana are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance – with $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident for bodily injury liability.
Drivers are also required to have a minimum of $25,000 for property damage.
If the driver was not adequately insured or insured at all, your uninsured motorist coverage might come into play.
4.) Seek Louisiana legal advice promptly and monitor your recovery.
Trust us when we say that insurance companies will use numerous tactics to avoid paying out what your claim is worth – which is why hiring an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney is key.
Whether you are obtaining treatment for your injuries or on the mend, keep track of all receipts and appointments. It is also vital that you document any loss of income or time that you have taken off from work. Note any changes to your physical and emotional condition, and be sure to keep a log of medications prescribed and tests given.
5.) Accept a settlement from the insurance company, or take the claim to court.
The insurance company will make several offers to settle your injury claim – which are not final, no matter what they say.
Your attorney will negotiate this settlement until the insurance company offers a fair amount based on your injuries.
If they do not, your attorney will recommend taking the insurance company to court to fight there. Your attorney should handle all communication with the insurance company and keep you informed every step of the way.
Contact The Jones Law Firm to represent you after an accident.
If you live in or around Alexandria, Louisiana, and were in a car accident, you need to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side. Here at The Jones Law Firm, we work hard to ensure that you receive all you are entitled to. Contact us today for a consultation. We will go over your accident in detail and provide you with the very best legal representation.