Insurance companies will look for every edge possible to keep their costs down. Insurance adjusters, who place value on claims based on objective criteria such as the way the accident happened, the cost of your medical bills, and how much money you lost because you were out of work, will often make low offers to settle because they will not consider your pain and suffering. Insurance adjusters will also try to blame you for causing the accident, or at least play a role in creating the accident, and will also argue that the injuries you suffered are not as extensive as you claim. There are appropriate steps to take, and pitfalls to avoid, to make your claim stronger to receive the most compensation possible.
First, you must call the police to report the crash as soon as possible. You must take care of yourself and any other person around who was hurt in the accident and ask the police for medical assistance if necessary. The police will start an investigation into the accident by taking statements and maybe taking photos as well. The police investigation will be more extensive if criminal activity was involved or if someone was severely hurt. You or a family member should obtain a copy of the report as soon as practicable.
You should document the scene as carefully as possible. Use your cellphone camera to capture the scene as soon as you can. Also, you must ask for medical assistance if you think you were hurt. Some injuries do not appear until well after the crash because your adrenaline has subsided. Seek treatment if you feel anything is wrong. Lastly, you must report the accident as soon as possible to your insurance company and keep a close accounting of all of your medical losses and economic losses as well.
Our firm’s vast experience handling car accident cases in Illinois gives us some insight on what not to do. First, do not admit guilt or express regret about the crash to anyone because your words will be used against you later even though you were merely being friendly. Do not do anything to make matters worse. Make sure you attend your medical appointments and do everything required of you to regain your health. Also, you must never give a sworn statement or sign anything, including accepting a settlement, until consulting an attorney.
INJURED? CALL STEIN SHULMAN, LLC FOR YOUR INSTANT CASE ANALYSIS
Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at (312) 422-0506.