What to Do After a Car Accident
A car accident can be a frightening, traumatic experience, but so can the events that follow. Serious injuries, time away from work, unpaid medical bills, financial problems, and so much more are all possibilities. However, it is possible to recover your losses, including those that may not have a monetary value. Protect your rights and improve your chances of receiving fair compensation by knowing what steps to take after an accident in Illinois.
Get Immediate Medical Assistance When Needed
If anyone is seriously injured during an accident, your first step should be to call 911. Excessive bleeding, head injuries, lack of consciousness, entrapment, or difficulty moving a body part are all signs to look for in yourself, your passengers, the other driver, or the other car’s passengers. If at all in doubt, call for help. Also, unless you have specific medical training, you should never try to move someone who is seriously injured unless leaving them would put them in greater danger.
At the Scene of the Accident
As long as no one is seriously injured, you can obtain most (if not all) of the information you will need while at the scene of the accident. Take pictures of the accident scene, the surrounding area, and any damage to your vehicle. Collect the name, address, insurance information, driver’s license number, license plate number, and any other pertinent information from the other driver. Gather names and contact information from anyone that may have witnessed the accident. While you are doing so, do not admit fault or apologize. The adrenaline rush can cause you to feel guilty, even if you are not at fault, and admitting fault could affect the outcome of your claim.
Immediately After the Accident
If you were not injured severely enough to receive immediate medical attention from paramedics, you should still see your doctor as soon as possible. This is especially important since victims often fail to realize just how much they have been injured in the hours after an accident. A doctor can help spot any potentially serious or long-term injuries that you might have otherwise dismissed. If any troubling symptoms arise in the meantime, visit the emergency room to be checked out.
It is important that, when visiting your doctor, you keep a copy of all documentation and information regarding your visits. You should also record your mileage, collect receipts for medical care, receipts for any prescriptions, and obtain documentation for any other financial expenses you may incur. Record time away from work as well since this, too, can often be factored into an accident settlement.
Consult an Attorney Before You Sign Anything
Whether you are filing against your insurance or the other driver’s, you should avoid signing any sort of document until after you have spoken with a skilled personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are well known for trying to offer a low-ball settlement before you have the chance to find out you could be owed more. They are also likely to try to obtain evidence against you and may even deny your claim if they can find justification for doing so.
At Schwartz Injury Law, we understand just how significantly an auto accident can impact your life, and we believe strongly the victims deserve full and fair compensation. Dedicated to helping you get the most out of your settlement, we stand up for your rights and protect your interests. Schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced Orland Park car accident attorneys. Call 708-226-9000 today.