After you’re in a car accident, you’re likely scared, angry and confused, and it can be difficult to know where to go next. Unfortunately, despite all this it’s vital that you do the right things to make sure that your injuries and damages are properly covered by those responsible. Learn the first five things you should do after being hurt in a car accident in Chicago, common mistakes to avoid and how a lawyer can help.
When you are involved in a car accident in Chicago, even if it seems minor, you want to make the right decisions, avoid common pitfalls and take the proper steps to ensure that those responsible are made to cover the damage they’ve caused. The first five things you need to do are:
1. Stay on the scene
2. Check on everyone involved and call for help
3. Document the accident
4. Inform your insurance company
5. Call an attorney
Stay on the scene until everything has been squared away. Leaving early is a critical error that could cost compensation for your injuries, and is actually a felony. By leaving early you could go from being a victim to having a warrant for your arrest. At least until you’ve exchanged information with the other driver, or police have arrived on the scene, you should never leave.
Check on everyone involved—make sure there are no major injuries. Then call for help. Get the police and first responders to the scene. Even if you don’t feel injured, you should get a police report on record, and you should be seen by a medical professional. Sometimes injuries from accidents don’t show up for days or weeks, so it’s important to get evaluated by a doctor. A police report can help you down the road if you have to go to court over damages. Never, ever apologize for anything at the scene. This could be taken as an admission of guilt later!
Talk to all witnesses at the scene. Take as many photos as possible. Get contact information from everyone you can. The more information you have, the better off you’ll be. This extends to your medical treatment. Keep meticulous records of every step of your treatment and recovery.
Within 24 hours of the accident, call your insurance company. Be honest and forthright about the accident and as detailed as possible.
As soon as possible, you should secure the services of a qualified personal injury attorney. Insurance companies will try to pressure you into accepting lowball settlements, and a Chicago car accident attorney will be able to help challenge those tactics. Best of all, you won’t pay unless you get a settlement. If you need help with an accident claim, we’re ready to step up. Give us a call for a free consultation today.