When you are in an accident, the state of Louisiana requires you to file an accident report. Form DA 2041 can be filled out online and emailed or printed out and mailed in. Instead of filling this out on your own, it is better to call the police after an accident to have them investigate and fill out the report.
After calling the police, you should also consider contacting an experienced Louisiana auto wreck lawyer.
When is it Required to Call the Police After an Accident?
Louisiana state law RS 32:398 outlines what needs to be done after an accident.
When an accident occurs that involves injury or property damage that is $500 or more, the driver must do the following:
- Report the accident to the local police department in a city setting. If in a rural setting or it cannot be determined the city limits involved, call the sheriff’s office or state police to report it.
- Give the other person all of your information. This includes your name, address, phone number, license number, and plate number.
- Make sure that you are collecting all of this information from the other party involved in the accident too.
- Make sure that you are providing the officer on the scene all of the same information that you just gave to the other person involved. They will need this for the accident form they are required to complete.
When an accident occurs that involves injury or property damage that is $100 or more, the driver must do the following:
- Send in a written report within 24 hours to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. If this is violated, the driver could spend up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $100.
- If the Department of Public Safety and Corrections determines that your reports are insufficient, they will require additional forms to be sent in with witness statements.
The officer that prepares the accident report is in charge of investigating the accident. The officer must also let both parties know that they need to report the following:
- The name and the address of the owner of the vehicle. This must also be included for the driver if different from the car owner.
- The license number of the cars involved.
- The name of the insurance companies that are used. This must also include the address, phone number, and the agent responsible for the policy.
The officer is responsible for doing the following with their accident reports:
- Every accident report must have the initials of the officer that investigated it. If the accident requires more investigation by other sources, their initials must be included in the reports as well.
- Once the investigation is completed by the officer, they must send the forms to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections within 48 hours.
- If this accident occurred within city limits, a copy of the accident forms must be sent to the city department that it involves.
The accident form and the investigation will be valuable components in a personal injury lawsuit lead by a Louisiana auto accident lawyer.
It’s a Smart Move to Call the Police After an Accident
The police officers in Louisiana are trained to investigate car accidents. When they arrive at the scene of an accident, they have a specific job to do.
It is important that you do not get in the way while they do what they were called to the scene to do. Their first obligation is to help protect those who are injured and call an ambulance if it is required.
After they have tended to those who are injured, they will secure the scene and begin getting statements. They will document all of the evidence and determine the fault of the accident.
It is at this time that they will issue citations or make arrests due to impaired driving if necessary.
Louisiana Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
The state of Louisiana allows for personal injury claims to be filed for up to a year following an accident. These cases can be filed against the other party of the accident or the insurance company.
When a car accident happens, there is increased adrenaline in the body. This can cover up injuries that may not be visible to the naked eye. The statute of limitations is in place for circumstances like this.
When you obtain a lawyer for cases like this, they will require you to have all of the information from the accident. They have to prove that it was the accident that caused your injury. Having a detailed account of the accident from a report filed by an officer will be a great asset.
Obtaining Legal Representation
If you do decide that filing an injury claim from an accident is necessary, allow a Louisiana car accident law firm to represent you and your case.