What Should you do if You're Involved in a Car Accident?
Car accidents are not nicely planned out; they happen when you least expect them. Because of this, it is important to know what to do in the event that you are involved in one. The Illinois DMV has published an article
explaining what to do when you are in a car accident.
First of all, after being involved in an auto accident you should stop, and if possible, park your car in a safe place. After you have cleared the road, you should then check and see if anybody is injured or needs assistance. If anybody is injured badly, cover them with a blanket or coat to help prevent shock, while making sure not to move them. Call 911.
After taking care of anybody that needs medical attention, exchange information with all parties involved in the accident.Make sure you have the following information:
- insurance information,
- driver's license numbers,
- license plate numbers, and
- vehicle descriptions.
You may want to record the names, addresses, and phone numbers of those who witnessed the crash.
Crash reports are required in the state of Illinois by each of the drivers involved if the auto accident caused a death, bodily injury, or more than $1,500 of property damage. In the event that a police officer does not arrive at the scene of your accident, you will need to file a report with the local police department, sheriff's office, or Illinois State Police. If for any reason you are unable to file this report, particularly if you have been injured, a passenger of the accident may file the report for you.
You are also required to file an additional report with the Illinois Department of Transportation. This report needs to be filed no more than 10 days after the accident. The forms required for this are generally found with local insurance agents or at law enforcement offices.
There are some severe penalties for failing to file crash reports (when they are necessary.) It's very possible that you could be fined $2,500 or up to a year in jail. There are also penalties for being involved in an accident and leaving the scene, also known as a hit and run. If you choose to leave the scene of the accident and more than 30 minutes pass without you reporting the accident, you will probably face a $25,000 fine, up to three years in jail, and potentially the suspension or revocation of your driver's license.
can be very scary and stressful situations, but it is important to remain calm and know what to do when you are involved in one. If you are involved in an auto accident, be sure to contact
an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney who can help you.