It’s no secret that New Orleans is one of the hottest tourist destinations in the United States. Millions of Americans and non-Americans alike flock to Louisiana year-round to experience our vibrant music, food, and history, and are an essential aspect of our local economy.
Unfortunately, this explosion in tourism also comes at a cost. Particularly in metropolitan hubs like New Orleans, traffic jams and unskilled drivers trying to navigate our streets are both common causes of car accidents. Accordingly, Louisiana drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike are at a constant risk of suffering serious injury due to the negligence of another driver.
If you or a loved one was injured in a Louisiana car accident, you deserve justice. This is why the experienced Louisiana car accident attorneys at Allen Berger & Associates have dedicated our practice to helping the New Orleans community seek compensation when they are harmed by the negligence or bad actions of another party. Contact us online or call at 504-526-2222 for assistance with your New Orleans car accident claim.
Below, we’ll discuss some of the reasons why an accident with a tourist can cause extra headaches, and more importantly, why an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney can be an invaluable asset.
Insurance Claims with Tourists Aren’t as Simple
If you’re involved in a car accident with another resident in Louisiana, the insurance process is relatively straightforward (though by no means easy). When the other driver is from another state (or country!), however, the process can hit some turbulence.
Every state has its own laws regarding insurance claims, coverage, and liability. What may be mandatory coverage in Louisiana, for example, might be optional in another state. Furthermore, in cases like hit-and-runs, it can be more difficult to locate and serve a liable party if they reside out of state.
If your accident was caused by a tourist, there’s a good chance there won’t be a simple exchange of information and a quick resolution to your claim. Here, retaining an experienced Louisiana car accident attorney is useful. In our New Orleans practice, we’ve seen car accidents caused by drivers from every corner of the globe—we know how to identify responsible parties, navigate the out-of-state insurance process, and ensure your claim is pursued correctly, no matter where the defendant resides.
Rideshares and Rental Cars
It’s challenging enough to resolve insurance disputes with out-of-state tourists. It can be even worse, however, when the vehicle isn’t even owned by the driver.
In the case of rental cars, you may end up pursuing a third-party claim against the driver directly, or you may need to pursue the rental company’s insurance coverage. Again, every rental company is different, and has their own procedures and a labyrinth of coverage options for their customers. It can quickly become overwhelming when you aren’t even sure who is responsible for your injuries!
This can be even worse when we consider the advent of rideshare services like Lyft or Uber, which take advantage of independent contractor drivers to service their business. Depending on the rideshare company in question, as well as the status of the driver at the time of the collision, it can be impossible to know who is truly responsible at first glance.
Your Louisiana car accident attorney will be able to identify all relevant parties to the claim, and pursue the maximum compensation available to you, whether against the driver in question or a pseudo-employer like Uber or Lyft.
Intoxicated Drivers and DWI
Unfortunately, New Orleans’ vibrant nightlife and metropolitan culture also carries a substantial risk of encounter with an intoxicated driver. Many tourists visiting our great city are there to let loose; accordingly, far too many visitors make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after one too many drinks.
Whether as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, know that intoxicated drivers are all over the place, and pose a serious risk to our community. Particularly during events like Mardi Gras or in places where alcohol and automobiles may congregate, there is a significant chance of being involved in a collision with a drunk driver.
What Do I Do Following a Car Accident With a Tourist?
First and foremost, make sure you, your passengers, and anybody else involved in the accident is safe. If you or someone else is unable to move, don’t try to—call 911 and wait for first responders to arrive.
Next, comply with any requests both police and medical professionals make. At some point, you will need to fill out a crash report form (SR-10). Exchange insurance information with the other driver or drivers (and make a mental note if it appears they are not from the area). It can also be helpful to identify any witnesses nearby; collect their contact information as well.
When interacting with anybody on the scene, make sure to avoid accidentally accepting blame for the collision. Even polite statements like “I’m so sorry!” or “I didn’t even see them coming!” can be taken out of context to impart liability to you.
Finally, even if first responders have given you a clean bill of health, it is almost always a good idea to see your physician or another medical professional as soon as possible. Many injuries caused by car accidents can disguise their symptoms for hours or even days. Your health and livelihood are invaluable: always ensure you receive a full evaluation by a medical professional following a car accident.
A Compassionate Louisiana Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Since 1974, Allen Berger & Associates has been an advocate for the people of Louisiana in all aspects of personal injury law. While we are fortunate to call a beautiful place like New Orleans home, we also know that our constant influx of tourists can put residents at risk when it comes to disasters like car accidents.
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident with a tourist, your Louisiana car accident attorney can make all the difference. Contact us online or call 504-526-2222 for assistance with your New Orleans car accident claim.