Chicago is a big, busy city. Teeming with vehicles and people, with everyone multi-tasking and on the go, rear-end accidents are going to happen. What causes them? Oftentimes, a distracted driver, tailgating, or bad weather is a factor.
Being a victim of a rear-end accident in the best case scenario is a nuisance that derails your day. In more serious accidents, you could be dealing with physical injuries, property damage, and missed time at work. This means dealing with insurance companies and claims adjusters, which can be overwhelming. Depending on the facts of your case, you may also consider filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
If you’ve been in a rear-end accident, the smart first move is to speak with an experienced Chicago accident attorney. An attorney will walk you through your options and the steps to take after a rear-end accident.
Step 1: Call the Police
Let’s say you are minding your own business at a traffic light. Out of the blue you are rear-ended by someone who was texting and not paying attention. It’s jarring and scary and your adrenaline will start pumping. Once you get to a safe place and regroup, call the police so they can create an official report.
The police will take statements from both drivers and any witnesses to the accident. Their report will document when and where the accident happened and if there were any injuries to the drivers or passengers and if there was damage to the vehicles.
The police report is extremely important for any future insurance claim or potential lawsuit. Without it, you will have no official proof that the accident happened. Be sure to get a copy of the official report.
If the police aren’t called to the scene, in Illinois you have 10 days to file a police report. If someone was injured or in tragic cases, fatally injured, the accident must be reported to the Illinois Department of transportation (IDOT). The accident also has to be reported if there was more than $1500 in property damage. Reporting to the IDOT must be done within 10 days of the accident.
Step 2: Get Looked Over by a Doctor
Clearly, if you are seriously injured, you should get medical treatment right away. If you feel okay and don’t think you suffered any injury, it’s still a good idea to get checked out by a doctor. Once the adrenaline rush from the accident is over, you may notice that you do actually have some pain in your neck or back, for example.
A visit to the doctor will document any injuries and the treatment recommended for them. This will help you with any insurance claim or court procedures down the road.
Reach out to a Chicago Rear-End Accident Lawyer with Questions
After an accident, you may find yourself injured with a stack of medical bills to deal with. If you’re unable to work because of the accident, that financial stress is even worse. It’s smart to have an experienced accident lawyer by your side. They can help you with the insurance process and any legal claims and make sure your interests are represented. Get in touch with our dedicated team today.