Driving around New Orleans is always a unique experience. While you can enjoy the architecture and scenery of the Crescent City, you also must watch out for tourists and out-of-town drivers. As you probably know, commercial vehicles are everywhere in the city.
Most commercial drivers have additional training to help keep them safe behind the wheel. Still, commercial vehicle collisions in Louisiana are more common than you may think. If you sustain an injury in an accident with a commercial driver, you must seek medical treatment and protect your legal rights. Here are four steps to take after a commercial vehicle accident.
1. Stay calm
Keeping your cool after an accident can be challenging. After all, motor vehicle accidents are inherently stressful. Nonetheless, by staying calm, you can better manage the situation. Following a commercial vehicle accident, check immediately for injuries. If you have any, seek prompt medical treatment. Remember, though, some symptoms do not appear for days or weeks after an accident. As such, consider visiting the hospital to be certain you do not have hidden injuries.
2. Gather important information
Whether you eventually must file a legal claim or simply want to receive compensation from an insurance company, you must gather important information. At the accident scene, get the name, address and telephone number of both the driver and the company where he or she works. Also, be sure you ask for insurance information for anyone involved in the accident.
3. Contact the police
The commercial vehicle driver who hits your vehicle may prefer to handle the accident without involving law enforcement. Generally, however, this approach is a mistake. Police officers know how to investigate accidents and write formal reports. These reports can help you seek compensation for your injuries or property damage. Therefore, you should always call the police after a commercial vehicle accident. If your injury prevents you from contacting the police, ask a passenger or witness to alert authorities.
4. Document the scene
While the official police report likely contains important details about the collision, it may not have everything you need to assert your legal rights. Accordingly, if you can do so safely, try to document the scene yourself. Take photographs and write down your memory of how the accident unfolded. Also, talk to witnesses in the area and ask them for their personal information. Finally, be sure you keep all medical records, receipts and other accident records.
When you drive in New Orleans and around Louisiana, you do what you can to remain safe. Unfortunately, despite your efforts, you may not be able to avoid an accident with a commercial vehicle. To increase your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries, you must act diligently after the accident.