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Do you have to contact law enforcement after an accident?

In the moments following a car accident in Lousiana, you will probably be mainly concerned with ensuring everyone is okay and assessing how bad your vehicle was damaged. You might be tempted to avoid calling law enforcement and just work things out between you and the other driver, especially if there was just minor damage. However, it is almost always in the best interest of everyone involved to call law enforcement and report the accident.

Calling law enforcement means there will be a legal record of the accident that could be useful later. Moreover, according to the Lousiana State Legislature, in some car accident scenarios, you must report to law enforcement or you could face penalties. 

Accidents requiring reporting at the scene are those with more than $500 worth of damage or in which anyone was injured or died. The extent of the injury is not important. Any injury requires an accident to be reported immediately. 

Local law enforcement should be contacted, which may vary depending on where the accident occurs. Generally, calling 911 can get you in contact with the proper authorities. The dispatcher may also give you instructions and permission to move your vehicles, if possible, off the roadway to protect you from further issues with other vehicles traveling in that area. 

It is also important to note that any accident that results in at least $100 worth of damage must also be reported within 24 hours to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. This information is for educational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. 


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