What happens after a car accident that is not your fault?

One minute, you’re driving home from work and the very next, your neck snaps forward and back as the sound of crunching metal fills your ears. Without warning, your car has been damaged, and your life as you know it is over. If you’re lucky, your injuries are minor. But that doesn’t change that the crash was not your fault. Another motorist wasn’t paying attention, blew through a stoplight, or was intoxicated and now you, and possibly your occupants, are paying the price.

If you know you’re not at fault, you are probably wondering what happens next. How do you pursue a claim for damages? What if the other person denies liability? These questions are best answered by an experienced Lafayette personal injury lawyer.

Why getting legal counsel is a smart move

A lot of people are hesitant to involve a lawyer, particularly if the vehicle damage is minor and injuries are minimal. The truth is that having a skilled car accident lawyer in your corner will only benefit your chances of making a successful claim for damages. After all, if another person’s reckless actions caused the crash, why should you (or your insurance) be on the hook for repairs and medical bills?

A competent attorney who concentrates a large part of their practice handling motor vehicle accident claims will have the means to conduct in-depth investigations that not only establish liability, but document the extent and severity of your resulting injuries. By compiling your medical and hospital bills, as well as your employment records that speak to lost income, your lawyer puts you in a better position to demand a fair settlement.

Those who decide to forego legal representation may think they are saving money, but in the long run, they will probably get a smaller settlement offer. Insurance companies use your lack of expertise in negligence laws to their advantage. Without adequate evidence of your financial losses, emotional suffering and physical suffering, you may not recoup the money damages you truly deserve.

At Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, our legal team has helped countless accident victims move forward with their lives after being in a wreck. With powerful advocacy from a Lafayette personal injury attorney, you stand a solid chance of recovering fair damages for your vehicle, lost income, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. What’s more, there are no upfront costs to retain award-winning legal counsel. Attorney Bart Bernard takes on all cases on a contingency basis, so you only pay if a settlement or verdict is recovered.

Protect your rights by following these steps

The stress and confusion of a car accident can cloud your thinking. Try and remain calm in the immediate aftermath and follow these steps. Remember that you can never leave the scene of the accident, even if you’re not to blame. Stay put, take a deep breath and follow these tips:

  • Report the accident to the police
  • Give a detailed account to the officer of what happened
  • Look for any witnesses who can corroborate  
  • Get the contact information of witnesses
  • Gather necessary information from other drivers, including their name, address, contact info and insurance policy information
  • Photograph the accident scene
  • Report the accident to your own insurance company
  • Jot down how the accident happened while it’s still fresh in your mind
  • Get evaluated by a medical professional, even if it seems like you are uninjured
  • Contact a personal injury lawyer to review your situation

Having a qualified attorney ensures that your rights are protected. Bart Bernard has practiced personal injury law in Louisiana since 1997, and has successfully litigated hundreds of complex injury claims, recovering millions of dollars on behalf of his clients.

In addition to fighting for maximum compensation, he will handle all negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company, letting you focus on recuperating.

If you need straightforward guidance about your legal rights after an accident that isn’t your fault, you’ve come to the right place. Lafayette car accident lawyer Bart Bernard will outline the best strategies for achieving a favorable outcome.