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What laws in Louisiana apply to motorists following a car crash?

In the event an unexpected vehicle crash happens, Louisiana residents may benefit by knowing beforehand what steps they should take in accord with their state laws. By following proper protocol, car accident victims will be better prepared should legal and insurance liability issues arise.

Drivers involved in a vehicle wreck must take certain actions following the incident whereby damages of at least $500 incurred or if anyone involved suffered an injury or died. First, the driver must immediately notify nearby law enforcement official. Once the officer arrives on the scene, all involved drivers must produce pertinent information such as names, addresses, the vehicles’ registration numbers and, when requested, a driver’s license. Secondly, drivers must exchange pertinent information with other involved drivers including names, addresses, vehicles’ license plate numbers and insurance information and produce a driver’s license or permit to drive at another driver’s request. In a vehicle accident where a driver incurred damages of at least $100 or caused someone to be injured or killed in the accident, the driver must send a written report to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections inside of 24 hours following the incident. Louisiana drivers who fail to comply with any of these stipulations may face a fine of up to $100, a jail sentence of up to 60 days or both.

Victims of such car accidents have a right to obtain a copy of the official police report of the incident for a cost of up to $500. These reports must be completed and made available to the injured party and their insurance companies inside of a week after the conclusion of the accident investigation.

Following a car accident involving an injury or death, the injured party or a decedent’s representative may be able to hold a driver suspected of negligent conduct liable for damages. A Louisiana attorney may be able to find evidence supporting the party’s claim that could result in a monetary award for the plaintiff.

Source: Louisiana State Legislature, “RS 32:398“, October 03, 2014

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