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Common Mistakes Made After an Auto AccidentUnderstandably, many people are in a state of shock after being hurt in a serious traffic accident. They may not realize that the actions they take immediately after being in an auto accident can mean the difference between receiving full compensation for the expenses incurred by their injuries and being saddled with burdensome medical bills and other costs related to the accident. If you or a loved one are ever involved in an accident, make sure to avoid these common mistakes.

  1. Not Calling the Police: There are many reasons that a person involved in a car wreck may not call law enforcement to the scene of an accident. Perhaps the driver has had a negative interaction with a police officer in the past or does not realize how much a formal police report will benefit him or her if he or she ends up filing a personal injury claim. In some situations, a driver does not call the police because another driver involved in the accident suggests or outright demands that the police remain uninvolved. Do not let another driver convince you not to call law enforcement. Even if you do not plan on filing a claim, calling the police and getting a police report after an accident is essential.
  2. Underestimating Your Injuries: There are many injuries such as whiplash and traumatic brain injuries that are not immediately evident. You should always get checked out by a medical professional after a major auto accident – even if you think your injuries are only minor. If you do end up being more injured than you realized, receiving compensation for medical expenses or lost income caused by the injuries can be nearly impossible without an official record of these injuries.
  3. Not Gathering Evidence and Witnesses Information: After an accident, get the names and contact information of witnesses. These witnesses can be extremely helpful if you need other people to corroborate your version of the events in the future. Take pictures and videos of the accident scene, damage to your car, damage to the other car, and the position of the vehicles.
  4. Assuming You Cannot Receive Compensation if You Were Partially At Fault: Imagine this scenario: A man is driving down the highway when he is struck by another vehicle. He sustained major injuries in the accident, incurred massive hospital bills, and is left unable to work. However, he does not pursue compensation for these damages because he was speeding at the time of the accident and assumes that he cannot win a personal injury claim. This is a common misconception about personal injury claims. Under Illinois comparative negligence law, a plaintiff may still receive partial compensation for an injury as long as he or she was less than 51 percent at fault.

Contact a Joliet Car Accident Attorney

After an auto accident, you should always call the police, get evaluated by a medical professional, and gather evidence and witness information. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident and you want to learn more about your options for receiving compensation, contact an Illinois personal injury lawyer from Schwartz Injury Law. Call our office at 815-723-7300 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.

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Three Common Mistakes Drivers Make After an AccidentThe moment you are involved in a car accident, panic automatically ensues, making it difficult to think clearly. In the moments immediately following the collision, you are concerned first and foremost with your safety and the safety of any passengers in your vehicle. As your adrenaline pumps overtime and you work to assess the situation, all other details surrounding the crash are likely a blur at this time. This is especially the case when you are looking for signs of injury, which can be difficult to identify while in a state of shock. However, what you do – or do not do – directly after a car accident can completely alter the outcome of the collision and may even save your life. 

What Not to Do After a Car Accident

Protecting both your health and your rights after a car crash is the most important part of managing the aftermath of a collision. It is normal to experience a range of emotions, such as anger at the other driver, confusion over how the accident took place, and fear for your wellbeing. Although it can be difficult in the midst of these heightened emotions, it is helpful to keep things in perspective and keep your best interests in mind. Refrain from these common mistakes after the accident:

  1. Engaging in an Argument: As tempting as it may be, avoid engaging in a heated debate with the other driver. Do not play the blame game or encourage hostile interactions, as anything you say or do during this time may or may not be used against you at a later time if the situation takes a turn for the worse. Try to remain calm, exchange only what information is necessary, and wait patiently for the authorities to arrive at the scene.
  2. Making Assumptions About Your Injuries: Not all car accident injuries can be observed with the naked eye. Internal injuries are not always immediately apparent, and certain injuries can surface in the hours, days, and even weeks following the collision. Do not assume that just because you do not see or immediately feel something wrong, that you are in the free and clear. Make sure you are examined and that you note any changes to your physical and mental health in the subsequent days.
  3. Forgoing Legal Assistance: Whether you discover the other driver is uninsured or you find they are making accusations about your role in the crash, the decision to forgo legal assistance is risky, especially if you suspect you are injured. It is crucial to know the rights you are entitled to and how to proceed in a way that protects your best interests. Consider speaking with a knowledgeable attorney, who can point you in the right direction.

Contact a Cook County Personal Injury Attorney

Navigating the scene after a car crash is often scary and always overwhelming, but having proper legal representation by your side can make a significant difference in the experience and overall outcome of the incident. Take the first step in protecting your rights by speaking with a DuPage County personal injury lawyer. Call the lawyers of Schwartz Injury Law at 708-226-9000 and schedule a free consultation today.

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