We have represented thousand of individuals that have been injured in auto accidents. Often times a person does not know what to do immediately after an accident happens. Below is a brief summary of the steps you should take in order to protect your rights.
- Stop your car. If you fail to stop after being in an accident, you may be subject to criminal prosecution. Leave your car as close as possible to the place of the accident without blocking traffic. This will help the police office to determine who is at fault.
- Tend to the injured. If someone is injured, give first aid if you are qualified, otherwise call 911 immediately.
- Call the police. You should always report the accident to the police, especially if someone is injured. Make sure to obtain a motorist report or exchange of information sheet from the officer.
- Exchange of information. You will need to exchange information with the other driver. Make sure to get their name, address , phone number, insurance company and policy number. If you are able, take a picture of the drivers license and insurance card of the other driver. You should also take pictures of the damage to their car along with any damage on your car. Be sure to get the name, address and phone number of any witnesses. The outcome of a case may depend on the statement of an independent witness. You should also make a diagram of how the accident happened, including street names and directions. Be sure to make notes about the time of day, weather conditions, road conditions.
- Never admit responsibility. When you exchange information and speak to the police, do not admit responsibility for the accident. Whatever you say may later be used against you if a lawsuit is filed.
- Notify your insurance agent or insurance company. You must call your insurance agent and report the accident. If you fail to give your insurance prompt notice of the accident, they can deny coverage. Save copies of everything that you send to your insurance company. If you were at fault for the accident, your insurance company should pay for any injuries or property damage sustained by the other driver. If the other driver is at fault and does not have auto insurance, your insurance may pay for damages to your car, your medical expenses and even for your pain and suffering if you are injured.
- Seek medical treatment. If you are injured, you should immediately seek treatment from a hospital. If you are unable to get to the hospital, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Any delay in seeking care from a qualified medical practitioner may have a significant impact on the potential value of your claim.
- Call your lawyer. If you have been involved in an accident with property damage or injuries, your lawyer can advise you on your rights and responsibilities. The sooner you call your lawyer the better so that they may contact your witnesses and start the investigation into the accident.
Contact the experienced Chicago accident attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC who have successfully represented those injured in car accidents in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Call us today for your free case evaluation at 312.422.0500.