Sometimes I have clients ask: what’s the first thing that I should do if someone hits me while I’m driving in my car? (Obviously, every accident is different in how a person should respond and the advice below is simply general and nature.)
The first thing that this New Orleans personal injury lawyer may tell people is that they should not try and move around or get out the vehicle if they are hurt, or if they think that they might be hurt. Many times injuries which we may receive can be very much exacerbated or made worse by moving around after the injury takes place. For example, a closed fracture (by “closed” we mean that the bone remains within the skin) can quickly develop into an open fracture (by “open” we mean that the bone has pierced the skin and is exposed to the outside air) if someone decides to try and walk after the fracture takes place. This may be because the bone cannot support the body weight of the person, and by placing one’s body weight on it the bone could give way and slip out of the skin.
So then, making sure you wait in the car and not make your injuries worse is the first thing that an injury lawyer might often advise if you are struck by another person’s vehicle. It is best to wait for the medical personnel and/or paramedics to arrive. That said, after making sure your health is taken care of, I tell people that the best thing to do is call the police.
The reason I tell people to phone the police is twofold. Firstly, car accidents are dangerous situations in the sense that it creates a hazard for other vehicle operators. It is important to have a police officer or officers secure the scene and ensure that other passerby motorists don’t inadvertently get involved in the accident. Also, many times after a car accident, one or more of the parties involved are irate or antagonistic. When tempers are flaring, it is a good idea to have the police present.
One of the other big reasons to call the police is because an officer can document your version of what happened. If the other car was at fault, you want a police officer there as soon as possible, so that you can relay your version of events to him or her. If the other person truly was the cause for the accident, then the officer very well might issue them a ticket or citation for bad driving. This ticket can come in handy later if you have to hire an attorney such as W. Beaumont to fight the insurance company on your behalf. The ticket will help serve as proof that you were not the one who was negligent or the cause of the accident. If the police do not arrive, there may be the possibility that in the future a dispute will arise as to whose fault the accident really was. If this is the case, such a dispute could jeopardize your ability to seek monetary compensation from the other driver’s insurance carrier.
This article is not meant to be anything other than information on the law. For legal advice, please speak with an attorney. Will Beaumont. New Orleans.