Each year, an average of 6 million car accidents occur within the United States. Roughly 3 million of those accidents involve injuries. Out of those 6 million accidents, 72% result in some form of property damage. That’s almost 12,000 car accidents each day involving property damage. With numbers that high, it can be surprising to find out that the process for handling a non-injury car accident is unclear.
What to do after a non-injury car accident
With this guide, you’ll have the ability to make sound decisions and take constructive courses of action should you ever find yourself in a non-injury car accident.
What is a non-injury car accident?
A non-injury car accident is an accident in which there are no physical injuries to either party involved. There can still be property damage during an accident and still be considered “non-injury.”
What is the first thing I should do after a non-injury car accident?
After a car accident, there are steps you can take to ensure you’re putting yourself in an advantageous position. The first thing you should do whenever involved in a car accident is check yourself and passengers for their condition. Once you’ve assessed that, your next immediate goal should be to get to a safe area. If the vehicle isn’t damaged and can operate safely, it should be moved to the side of the road.
Should I call the police if my accident was minor?
Even with no damage or injury involved, attorneys recommend that you report an accident to the police. This serves as an official report. It also bolsters the record of events in the likelihood the incident makes its way to courtroom proceedings.
Under Louisiana law, if the accident results in any injury or damage to property in excess of $500, local law enforcement must be identified by the “quickest means of communication.” Louisiana State Police must also be notified if the accident occurred on a state highway.
If the accident results in injury or damage to property in excess of $100, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections requires you to file a written report within 24 hours.
Where can I get a copy of the accident report?
You can search the Louisiana State Police website for a copy of the accident report. In order to search for the crash report you must have the name of the driver involved in the crash (first and last name), parish that the crash occurred in, and crash date.
Are negligence and liability the same thing in car accidents?
Negligence is a legal theory used to define behavior considered careless or thoughtless in nature. Injury or harm to another person may have occurred as a result of the negligent behavior. An individual can be considered negligent because they failed to do something, such as yielding for a pedestrian, or because they did something that they should not, i.e. speeding or rolling past a stop sign. Drivers are under the responsibility to exercise care and caution to prevent injury to others that they may encounter while driving.
Liability is the determination of what the responsible party “at fault” must owe in order to compensate the other party for their negligence.
Common causes of car accidents
Countless factors cause car accidents. Some of the most common causes include:
According to the American Automobile Association, upwards of 50% of motor vehicle crashes can be related to distracted driving. Texting and cell phone usage is the primary concern in these instances. In a recent study of 100 million cell phone users, up to 85% admitted to using their cell phone while driving. Studies have also shown that using a cell phone while driving increases the risk of an accident by 400%.
Driving under the influence
Roughly one-third of all fatal car accidents in the United States happen as a result of someone driving while under the influence. Even if someone isn’t considered over the legal limit, crashes are still frequent. 1,878 people were killed in 2018 in alcohol-related crashes where the drivers had lower alcohol levels (BACs .01-.07).
Speeding, regardless of the reason, is a huge contributor to the total number of car accidents in the country. This is not limited to driving faster than the posted speed limit, but also includes driving too fast for the weather or road conditions.
Bad Weather Conditions
Inclement Weather has a major effect on traffic patterns and the ability for many people to effectively operate their vehicle.
Whenever a driver is tired, their ability to remain alert and practice safe driving techniques is hindered.
Aggressive driving plays a contributing factor in over half of all car accidents throughout the country. The following items fall into the category considered “aggressive driving”:
- Following improperly
- Improper or erratic lane changing
- Illegal driving on road shoulder, in ditch, or on sidewalk or median
- Passing where prohibited
- Failing to yield right of way
- Failure to obey traffic signs, traffic control devices, or traffic officers, failure to observe safety zone traffic laws
- Failure to observe warnings or instructions on vehicle displaying them
- Failing to signal
- Making an improper turn
Can I sue after a non-injury car accident?
Even if do not find yourself injured, you can still pursue compensation for damages and expenses related to a car accident.
What non-injury damages can I recover?
You can recover damages for car repairs or other expenses related to the car accident.
How much is a car accident settlement?
The typical settlement depends on the facts of the case and the degree to which the insurance companies and other negligent parties are willing to reach a settlement. The proper representation determines the size and scope of any settlement you reach.
Is it worth getting a lawyer for a car accident?
In order to fully protect yourself and ensure you receive the amount of compensation, hiring a lawyer to assist you in your car accident case remains almost always worth it in the long run. Attempting to navigate the legal process alone can add stress and confusion to what is by its very nature a disruptive and taxing experience. A proven attorney can help ease that burden.
When should I call an attorney after an accident?
Once the necessary reporting to the insurance companies and authorities has taken place, contacting an attorney as soon as possible is a good idea. Having a professional involved that is experienced in handling accident claims can prevent any unforeseen complications.
Benefits of hiring an non-injury car accident attorney
Hiring a trusted attorney can help you with your accident case in many ways. Whether it is dealing with the insurance companies, proving the other parties’ liability, building a strong, evidence-based case, or appropriately valuing your claim, a lawyer can take a lot of the guesswork out of the experience for you and help you protect your rights.
Call Gordon and Gordon today
While a non-injury accident may seem like a minor disruption, there are possibile potholes that a qualified, experienced attorney can help you avoid. Contact the offices of Gordon and Gordon today for a consultation and see how they can help you on the road to recovery. Call 318-617-HELP for a free consultation.