Do I have to report the accident to anyone else? This report must be filed within 24 hours of the accident. Where can I obtain the form I need to file an accident report? You have the option of filling the form out online and submitting it via email, or printing the form out and mailing it in.
How can I obtain a copy of a car accident report? To get a copy of a car accident report already filed, you can visit the Louisiana State Police website and search for the incident. Car accidents often result in property damage and injuries to those involved. In the aftermath of a Louisiana car crash, the evidence you gather will provide the foundation for your property damage and personal injury claim. The time immediately following a car accident can be crucial.
Before long, the cars involved will be driven or towed away, and the people involved will be back on their way.
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Important evidence will likely disappear with them. In property damage and personal injury claims, damages can include the following:. Where do I begin gathering evidence? Start by exchanging the following information with the other people involved:.
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What other information is important? Some additional information that will help your claim includes:. Are photographs and video important? Photographs and video are excellent ways to capture the position of the cars , weather conditions, as well as the type and severity of damage.
Photographs and videos can also record the demeanor of the other drivers. This is especially important to insurance companies when they are investigating fault. Can I ask witnesses for their written statements?
Witness statements can be very helpful in supporting your property damage and personal injury claims. If you can find a witness who is willing to give you a written statement, grab a piece of paper and a pen. Ask the witnesses to write down what they saw and heard, including anything they remember about the vehicles immediately before the crash. Witness statements do not need to be notarized, just be sure that they sign and date each page of their statement.
Also, be sure to get their full name and contact information so you can reach them later if necessary. When you purchase a car insurance policy, you enter into a binding contract with the insurance company.
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The contract requires the company to protect you in case of an accident. Protection can include investigating the accident, paying a claim, as well as providing legal representation at no additional cost when necessary. Pursuant to the Notice of Occurrence and Cooperation Clause in your auto policy, you are required to work with your insurance company in the investigation of the accident, including appearing in court if required. How does a Notice of Occurrence and Cooperation Clause affect me?
Regardless of who was at fault in the accident, this clause requires you to immediately report the accident to your insurance company.
By promptly informing them, you are giving them plenty of time to investigate the accident. This is good for several reasons:. What does the Notice of Occurrence and Cooperation Clause look like? While each insurance provider has their own terms and practices, this specific notice should look something like the following:. The insured shall also attend all hearings, trials, and depositions, assist in securing and giving evidence, and with obtaining the attendance of witnesses.
Are there mobile apps available to report accidents to insurance companies? Today there are a good number of mobile applications available that can be used in conjunction with your own gathering of evidence. The apps help your insurance company quickly evaluate the accident in an effort to defend you against any unwarranted claims of negligence , and to assist you in a claim against the negligent driver.
This is especially true when both drivers leave the scene feeling uninjured, each agreeing no damage was done to either vehicle. When that happens, there is no telling what might happen next.
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The other driver may pursue a claim against you, and if you never notified your insurance company, this puts you at a major disadvantage. At that point, your insurance company may decide you violated the cooperation clause of your policy and decide not to represent you in the claim. If they do agree to defend you, they may later cancel your policy, fail to renew it, or increase your premiums. Cynthia was on her way to work one morning, heading north on the Pontchartrain Expressway. She intended to turn left onto Palmetto Drive, so she pulled into the left hand turn lane.
She waited patiently for eastbound traffic to clear so she could turn safely. As Cynthia began to turn, she hesitated briefly as another driver was speeding down Palmetto in the path of her turn. Harry had entered the left turn lane right behind Cynthia. He was somewhat distracted since he was also texting his boss to let him know that he was running late. Thinking Cynthia was going to complete her turn he moved ahead, colliding with the rear of her car. Cynthia and Harry pulled over to the side of the road and got out to examine the damage.
Harry asked Cynthia if she was hurt and she said she was fine. Harry said he was a little shaky, but otherwise he was feeling fine. A police officer arrived on the scene and ticketed Harry for texting while driving under Louisiana Code, which reads in part:. It is a moving violation and a primary offense. Cynthia and Harry exchanged insurance and contact information. Because the accident appeared to be minor with no damage to either car and no apparent injuries to either driver, they left and continued on their way.
Each was relieved not to be hurt and that their cars were intact. Unfortunately, Harry chose to ignore the cooperation clause in his insurance policy, which required him to promptly report an accident. Moreover, because he received a traffic citation for texting while driving , he was afraid if he reported the accident his insurance premiums would rise. The next morning Cynthia could barely get out of bed. Her husband Joe drove her to the local emergency room, where the doctor scheduled her for an MRI.
Cynthia was diagnosed as having sustained a whiplash injury and disk herniation to the C5 level of her spine. She was prescribed Vicodin for the pain and Flexeril for the muscle strain. Harry was understandably shaken. He wondered if his insurance company would defend him in the claim, or if he was going to be on his own. If Harry had simply complied with the terms of his automobile insurance policy, he might not be in this position. They would have already opened an investigation into the claim two months ago.
Now he had to wait to see if his insurance company would defend him, raise his premiums, or even cancel his policy altogether.
Under 3rd party liability, when one driver is determined to be at-fault , and that negligence resulted in property damage or personal injuries to others, the victim is entitled to damages. What does 3rd Party Liability mean? The negligent driver then turns the claim over to their insurance company.
As a third-party claimant, you can recover medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, and additional monies for your pain and suffering. What are my options in a 3rd party claim against the negligent driver?
Louisiana follows a pure comparative negligence system. With this system, a judge or jury assigns a percentage of fault to each responsible party and then distributes the award accordingly. Once the percentage of fault is determined, the amount of compensation they should get can also be calculated. Eli and Samantha were in a car accident. This amount represented her medical and chiropractic bills, out-of-pocket expenses , her lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Eli argued that while he may have been going slightly over the speed limit, Samantha had been texting at the time of the collision. Should I tell the other driver if I think the accident was my fault? While you may truly believe you are to blame, you have no legal or contractual reason to clear your conscience. There are too many variables in a car accident.
Car accidents are rarely cut and dry, and the issue of fault is often subjective. While you may think the accident was clearly your fault, you may not realize the other driver also played some part. As a result, your degree of fault may be considerably less than you initially thought.
Tell the insurance company about any property damage or injuries you sustained as a result of the accident. You will be assigned a claim number. Do not pay the driver any amount of money at the scene of the accident or make an agreement to pay them at a later date. Furthermore, you should also not write anything down for the driver other than your name, contact information, car registration, and insurance information. This is true whether you believe you caused the accident or not. This is exactly why you have car insurance. Let your insurance company investigate the circumstances of the accident.
After doing so, they can properly assign fault in the incident. Louisiana law requires every driver to have automobile liability insurance while driving on Louisiana public roads and highways. What are the minimum amounts of auto insurance in Louisiana?