Did a reckless or negligent driver cause your car accident in Chicago? If so, you may be unsure what steps to take to protect your right to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. Talking to Chicago car accident attorneys is one of the best ways to protect your legal rights. However, there are some other things that you should do after a car accident.
Steps to Take After a Chicago Car Accident
These eight steps can help you protect your best interests after a car crash:
1. Always Notify the Police
Calling 911 to report the accident is the best way to get help after an accident. You can request a police officer and emergency medical services. Having a written police report can help, especially if the other party denies fault or flees the accident scene.
2. Never Admit Fault
Do not apologize for the accident or say you are sorry. Comments expressing regret for the accident could be interpreted as accepting fault for the cause of the crash. An insurance company might try to use comparative fault allegations to reduce the amount you receive for your personal injury claim.
3. Document the Accident Scene
If you can do so safely, try to take photographs and make videos of the car accident scene. Items to include in your pictures and videos are skid marks, the damage to the vehicles, signs, traffic signals, and the surrounding area. Do not forget to ask eyewitnesses and bystanders for their names and contact information.
4. Seek Medical Attention
Always seek medical attention promptly after a car accident. Delays in medical care could cause your injuries and conditions to worsen. Insurance companies also use medical treatment delays or failure to follow treatment plans as an argument against paying full value for your claim.
If you do not go to the emergency room from the accident scene, do not say you are “okay” or you are “not injured.” Instead, say that you intend to see your doctor for evaluation.
5. Notify Your Insurance Provider
Notify your insurance provider of the accident as soon as possible. You could have insurance coverage that can help with medical bills, such as PIP or MedPay.
6. Avoid Discussing the Accident
Do not discuss the car accident with friends and family or on social media. If your case goes to trial, these individuals could be called as witnesses and your social media accounts could be subpoenaed.
It is also wise to avoid answering questions or making statements for insurance adjusters before talking with a lawyer. Remember, most telephone calls with insurance companies are recorded, even if the person does not tell you that they are recording the conversation.
7. Document Your Damages
Throughout your recovery, remember to keep copies of all documents related to the accident and your injuries. Keep copies of receipts, bills, and invoices to document your expenses. Also, keep track of all missed time from work and lost income.
8. Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer As Soon as Possible
Dealing with a car accident claim can be overwhelming, especially for victims who sustained traumatic injuries. It is easy to make mistakes that can hurt your claim, especially when dealing with aggressive, experienced, and highly-trained insurance adjusters. Claims adjusters work for the insurance company. Their job is to gather evidence to limit the company’s liability for your injury claim.
Contacting an Illinois personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a car accident can be very beneficial. In addition to handling all aspects of your car accident case, the attorney also provides support and guidance that can be comforting and helpful as you continue to heal from car accident injuries. Contact us today.