Perhaps you were navigating your daily, morning commute to work in or around New Orleans when another vehicle slammed into your bumper at a red light. The driver might have been one of hundreds of motorists in the state who take their eyes off the road to read text messages. Maybe your collision occurred because another driver failed to yield the right-of-way when merging on an interstate. Then again, you might be among those in Louisiana who suffered injuries after a collision in an intersection.
Whatever the details happen to be regarding the events that led to the crash, what you do and say, as well as where you seek support in the days and weeks that follow can have significant impact on your ability to recover, especially if your injuries were moderate to severe. The emotional trauma of being involved in a collision can't be overstated either. In fact, you might show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a common after-effect of motor vehicle collisions.
The first hours are critical
If you're able to move and think coherently, your greatest priority is to try to move away from the roadway if the crash occurred in traffic. You might be in state of shock or confusion, however, which often happens to people who are tossed and thrown about their vehicles during the impact. It's a good idea to take a few deep breaths if you're able, and then take one step at a time.
Getting proper medical attention is one of the highest priorities following a Louisiana crash. Even if you think you feel okay, it's best to go to the hospital anyway. Not all injuries are immediately apparent, and examination at a hospital begins a paper trail of documentation that may come in handy later.
People to speak with after a crash
While you'll definitely want to avoid any type of confrontation with another motorist, it's a good idea, if you can, to ask the other driver for his or her contact and insurance information. Beyond that, letting the police do all the talking may help avoid any potential problems.
Notifying family members is often one of the first things accident victims do. If your injuries prevent you from doing so, a police officer or rescue worker can make a call for you. In serious (life-threatening) situations, many people request the presence of a minister as well.
The days and weeks that follow
It's important to closely monitor your condition in the aftermath of an accident. As mentioned earlier, you might feel okay in the first few hours, and then develop symptoms that warrant further medical attention later. It's always best to return to the hospital or make an immediate appointment with your doctor if you feel like something is not right.
Traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage and other adverse health conditions often produce symptoms that may seem totally unrelated, which is why it's best to reach out for medical support.
What about all the legal issues?
All you can do is take things one day (or hour) at a time as you try to achieve as full a recovery as possible after a motor vehicle collision that caused you injury. Taking time off work, medical bills and other monetary losses can lead to financial distress.
If another driver's negligence caused the crash that resulted in your injuries, you should not have to bear the full financial burdens associated with the incident. Many accident victims seek financial recovery for their losses in civil court.