What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident In Illinois
March 20, 2020 Published in Car Accidents
Car accidents can be incredibly scary and confusing experiences. While nobody wants to get into a car accident, there are several steps you can take in the aftermath of a traffic incident to help ensure your own well-being while also boosting your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve for what happened. Here, we outline the most basic steps any car accident victim should take when an incident occurs.
1. Stop your car
As soon as an accident occurs, pull your car to a safe location on the side of the road or in the median if you are able to do so. Do not leave the scene of the crash, as this is a crime in Illinois. Even if the incident seems minor, stay at the scene of the incident.
2. Get police and medical assistance immediately
Use your cell phone to call the police or have somebody else call 911 for you. Let the dispatcher know where the incident occurred and whether or not anybody is injured. It is important that both police and EMS are notified. The police officer’s accident report will be a valuable piece of evidence for your insurance claim. EMS will assess your injuries and take you to the hospital if necessary. You should always seek medical assistance after any car accident to both ensure your well-being and to establish that any injuries occurred due to the accident.
3. Get the other driver’s information
Be sure to get the following information from any other driver involved:
- Phone number
- Their insurance carrier information
4. Gather eyewitness contact information
You should also get the contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash. This information could prove to be invaluable when working to get an insurance settlement or if you have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
5. Take photos and write down facts
Use your phone or other type of camera to take photographs of every detail at the accident scene. This includes the vehicles, any damages, injuries, traffic patterns, weather conditions, roadway conditions, and more. As soon as you have time after an accident, write down every detail you can think of pertaining to the incident. This information will prevent you from forgetting crucial details you may need during a settlement or lawsuit process.
6. Speak to a qualified attorney
A qualified Illinois car accident attorney will offer a free consultation of your case. Let an attorney look at the aspects of the crash and work to determine how much compensation you may be entitled to. Attorneys generally have more resources and legal knowledge than a car accident victim and are better positioned to secure full compensation.
7. Report the incident to your insurance company
When you make the initial report to your insurance company, all you need to tell them initially is the basic information pertaining to the incident (that an accident occurred, who was involved, and the other driver’s information). Avoid talking about fault or your injuries, and let any insurance carrier (yours or the at-fault driver’s) know that you are talking to an attorney.
How often do these incidents occur?
Car accidents are not uncommon in Illinois. During the latest reporting year in this state, there were more than 311,000 total car accidents. Out of those incidents, there were 998 fatal crashes, and more than 66,000 injury crashes. These incidents affect so many people across the state, and it is vital car accident victims take the steps necessary to secure the compensation they need. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident that was caused by somebody else’s careless or negligent behavior, do not hesitate to seek assistance from a qualified car accident attorney immediately.