What Are Some Common Causes Of Auto Accidents In Louisiana?
The most common cause of auto accidents that we see in Louisiana is from distraction. These can be the result of drinking coffee, putting on makeup, texting, talking on the phone, reading documents, changing the channel on the radio, or anything that takes your eye off the road for any amount of time.
In Louisiana, How Does Fault Impact My Auto Injury Claim?
This can impact your injury claim in Louisiana where fault is critical in the evaluation and resolution of a claim. In Louisiana we have comparative fault, which is the comparative fault each party involved in the accident. For example, when a victim is rear ended by another vehicle while sitting at a red light waiting for it to change green, the rear-ending vehicle would be considered 100 percent at fault. If the facts are changed, for example, to where both vehicles are arriving at the intersection and are heading toward each other, both come to a stop, then both make a left turn and run into each other; in this instance the jury or judge would have to determine what the relative fault was between the parties. Perhaps they were both 50% at fault.
Sometimes one driver is more at fault than the other. For example, if one driver enters the intersection, and makes a wrong turn; then we enter a process where the judge or jury decides who’s at fault and in what percentages. The reason that’s important is, if one vehicle has $10,000 worth of damage, and the other driver is 100 percent at fault, then they have to pay 100 percent of the damages or the full $10,000. If they’re only 50 percent at fault then they only have to pay $5,000 towards the full repair bill.
Fault is an extremely important issue in evaluating a case. The statute of limitations on an auto injury claim in Louisiana is one year from an automobile accident. That means, if you do not have your case resolved and settled before the one year period ends and you did not file a lawsuit before then, all your rights are lost. Your recovery is barred under the statute of limitations, you lose your cause of action, and cannot pursue any damages from the person who’s responsible.
If there’s an uninsured motorist claim where the person who is responsible did not have insurance or did not have adequate insurance to compensate you fully, then there is a cause of action against your own insurance company. That’s if you purchased uninsured motorist coverage and then you have two years from the date of the accident to sue your uninsured motorist carrier.
What Steps Should I Take If I Have Been Injured In An Auto Wreck?
If you’re injured in an auto wreck there are several steps you should follow. First, you want to secure the area in such a manner that you’re not imperiling yourself or others due to where you’re standing or where your car is situated. If it’s safe, then you want to remove yourself and your vehicle from the roadway in order to avoid another accident. Having said that, if there is no urgency to your physical situation, then it is very important to take as many photographs as you can. You’ll need to depict the impact and position of the vehicles immediately after the collision and before you move the vehicles. No matter how long it takes it’s important to insist the police come and make an official report of the accident.
Some people who are involved in a rear-end collision will apologize at the scene, offer to exchange driver’s licenses and insurance information, and then ask you not to call the police. It’s not wise to do this because it’s not uncommon after you exchange information and leave, for them to tell their insurance company that they were at a standstill and you reversed your car into theirs. It’s always wise to have a police officer come and document all the information in connection with the accident. It’s not a bad idea to take photographs of the person, their driver’s license, their insurance information, their license plate, and the damages to both cars. But still insist on a police report.
Am I Required To Notify Law Enforcement If I Am Involved In An Auto Wreck In Louisiana?
You’re not required to notify law enforcement if you’re involved in an auto accident but, it’s highly advisable to do so. If the other party involved in the accident wants a report do not leave or you could be charged with fleeing the scene. Frequently, law enforcement have body cams and when they’re investigating the accident or asking the parties what happened their words are being recorded. If the other party tries to change their statement later on then there’s a recording of it. Often they forthrightly admit that they were at fault and take responsibility for the accident and then change their mind later when they realize that their insurance rates may go up. If a police officer was called to the scene and was operating a body cam, then that information is going to be accurately recorded and preserved.
For more information on Auto Accident Claims In Louisiana, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (504) 332-8188 today.