With collision rates well above the nationwide average, car accidents are a sad fact of life on Louisiana roads. But when car wrecks do occur, are you sure you know the right questions to ask the other driver? Many people don’t, and the trauma and chaos that immediately follow most car accidents can make it even more difficult to keep a clear head and remember what information you’re supposed to gather.
That’s why our auto accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux have broken down the questions you can and should consider asking anyone involved in your car accident.
What Information Should You Ask for and When Should You Ask for It?
After any car accident, it’s important to gather and document as much information about the other driver and the details surrounding your accident as possible.
After you’ve moved to safety, ensured everyone is okay, and called emergency services, it’s a good idea to begin collecting the following information:
- The other drivers’ names, license numbers, license plate numbers, addresses, and phone numbers
- The insurance provider of all drivers involved
- Statements, names, and contact information of any witnesses
- Photos of the accident scene, any damage to the vehicles, and any injuries you sustained during the crash
While most of this information will likely be included in the police report, it’s always beneficial to record as many details as possible on your own, as well. All of this information will be crucial to pursuing your claim and any compensation you may be owed for your losses later on.
Questions to Ask Witnesses of Your Car Accident
In addition to the other driver involved, it can also be helpful to speak with anyone else who saw the accident happen. At the scene of the accident, you may not be able to gather much information beyond the names and contact information of any witnesses, especially if you were seriously injured. This is perfectly alright as your health and safety should always be the first priority.
However, if you are able to talk to any witnesses of your accident, here are some basic questions to keep in mind:
- Can you tell me what you saw happen?
- Where were you in relation to the accident?
- Did you notice any important details right before the accident happened? For instance, did a traffic light turn red? Was an illegal U-turn made? Did you see or hear either driver attempt to brake?
- What were you doing before the accident?
- What’s your best contact information in case I need to get in touch with you later on?
What Not to Say After Being Injured in a Car Accident
Just as it’s important to know what questions to ask, it’s also important to know what not to say after being injured in a car accident, especially one that wasn’t your fault.
In the first moments after the accident, you may be feeling a wide range of emotions from fear, dismay, and disbelief all the way through to anger. Although it can be difficult, it’s extremely important to try and remain calm. Giving in to your emotions at the accident scene may cause you to make costly mistakes that you’ll regret later on. After an accident, avoid the following when you speak to the other drivers involved:
- Blaming, arguing, and yelling
- Apologizing or admitting fault in any way
- Asking witnesses pointed questions, such as “Did you see the other driver hit me?”
Get Help From an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer
If you’re able to collect witness statements, gather the necessary information from the other driver, and document evidence from the scene, it can help make things easier later on. However, the reality is that many people are too physically hurt or emotionally traumatized after their car accidents to do anything besides getting medical treatment. That’s why having an experienced auto accident lawyer who knows the right questions to ask can be to your advantage.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident in Lafayette, Metairie, or a surrounding Louisiana community, contact The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux to help you take the right steps. From questioning witnesses to helping you gather information to support your case, we are a personal injury law firm with years of experience handling car accident claims and can help you navigate every step of the way.
If you’re in pain, call Blaine or fill out our online form today for a free consultation.