The moments after a car accident can be very scary and disorienting. However, the steps you take immediately after the accident could have a major impact on your future insurance claim or lawsuit.
If you are involved in a car accident in Chicago, take the following actions to protect yourself, seek help, and preserve evidence for your car accident case.
The first step that you should take after a car accident is to remain calm and pull over in a safe location. It’s easy to become distracted and get absorbed by your emotions, so take a few deep breaths and try to focus on your next steps.
Try to pull over to the side of the road so that you can protect your vehicle from further injury or damage. While you are pulled over, check on your passengers and see if anyone needs emergency medical attention.
Next, call 911 as soon as you can. This will bring police and emergency medical services to the scene. The responding law enforcement officers will create an official report about your accident, which will serve as valuable evidence in your future insurance claim or lawsuit.
Seek medical attention as soon as you can after your accident, even if you do not feel hurt. Car accident injuries may not show symptoms for hours or even days after the crash. In particular, internal injuries and brain damage can cause no initial symptoms but lead to serious complications if left untreated.
As soon as you can, go to the hospital and receive treatment for your injuries. Save all of your medical records and documents; this evidence will provide valuable proof of the nature and extent of your injuries.
If you are able to move around the accident site without putting yourself at risk of further injury, take as many photographs and videos as you can.
Make sure to capture the following:
Next, approach the other driver and exchange your license, contact, and insurance information. When speaking with the driver, do not make any statements about your injuries or how the accident occurred. Anything you say could influence the outcome of your future claim.
If any witnesses saw the accident occur, ask them for their names and contact details. These individuals can provide valuable testimony in your case and help corroborate important facts like how the accident happened or what the other driver was doing right before the collision. Witness information may also appear in your police report.
Finally, once you have received the treatment that you need, you should contact a Chicago car accident attorney to discuss your case. Do not speak with the at-fault driver or any representatives from his or her insurance company before discussing your case with a lawyer.
A lawyer can guide you through each stage of your case and will work diligently to secure the settlement that you deserve. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible to take your first steps toward filing a claim.