What Are My Rights If I Was In A Car Accident?
Attorney John S. Williams explains what you need to know
If you get into a car accident that’s not your fault or you suffer injuries as a passenger, having a clear understanding of what your rights are can put you in a position to get the compensation you’re entitled to. It’s normal to feel confused after getting into an accident caused by another driver, and if you or one of your passengers has been injured as a result, it can add a whole new layer of complexity to your case.
While there are steps to take after a car accident that can help protect your rights in the immediate aftermath of a crash, knowing your rights is one of the best ways to safeguard them. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you is one of those rights, and at The Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC, we believe in fighting for what’s right, what’s fair and what’s just.
Attorney John Williams has the knowledge and experience to handle every aspect of your case and will aggressively advocate for your best interests. Whether it’s through settlement negotiations or in court in front of a judge and jury, he will fight to get you the highest amount of compensation possible for your specific case.
After a car accident, you have the right to:
- Protect yourself from adverse legal consequences. That means you are not required to admit fault at the crash scene. It also means you should be cautious about what you say to others after the accident. Even saying something that may seem harmless like “I’m sorry” can be used as an admission of fault. When you talk to the police, be truthful and stick to the facts of what happened. For example, “I stopped at the intersection and was struck by a car from behind.”
- Receive prompt and appropriate medical care. Louisiana is a fault car insurance state, which means the party that caused your accident and injuries should be legally responsible for paying your accident-related expenses, known as damages. Drivers in Louisiana are required to have minimum amounts of liability coverage, including $15,000 for the injury or death of one person in any one accident and $30,000 for the injury or death of two or more people in any one accident. If your medical expenses exceed policy limits, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover compensation for those and other damages.
What are my responsibilities after a car accident?
In Louisiana, you are required to provide your information and report an accident to police if it results in the injury or death of any person. You must also report the crash to police if there is more than $500 worth of property damage. For crashes with total property damage to an apparent extent of $100 or more, a written report should be forwarded to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Failure to report a crash in a timely manner can result in fines and possible jail time, so never just ignore an accident.
You will also need to notify your own insurance company that you were involved in an accident. Dealing with the insurance company and insurance adjusters can be tricky. That’s why it’s best to keep your comments to a minimum and stay with the strict facts of what happened in your crash. You are under no obligation to provide a recorded statement to the insurance company or sign a medical release form without first consulting with an attorney.
It should also be noted that you only have a limited amount of time to act after a car accident in Louisiana. Under state law, civil cases involving personal injury have a statute of limitations of just one year from the date of your crash. If you miss this deadline, you may not be able to recover compensation for your damages, though there are some exceptions.
Protect your rights with a New Orleans car accident lawyer
One of the best ways to ensure you’re not missing important deadlines, your rights are being protected, and you’re not getting taken advantage of by the insurance company is to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you. It’s been shown that those who hire a lawyer to handle their claim receive more on average in compensation compared to those who don’t. Since most personal injury law firms offer a free consultation, it may be in your best interests to make a call and learn your legal options.
Attorney John S. Williams is a caring and compassionate lawyer who goes out of his way to treat clients like family. He prides himself on being open, honest, and accessible to all his clients and will do everything in his power to get a positive outcome in your case.
The Law Offices of John S. Williams serves clients in New Orleans and offers legal representation on a contingency fee basis. That means you owe us nothing unless we win your case. It’s that easy. Contact us today to learn more.