No matter how experienced of a driver you are, when you get into a car accident you get rattled. Accidents often happen so suddenly; hence, it can be difficult to initially figure out what happened. After every car accident, no matter how small, there are five steps you should take to help keep you safe and to protect your rights.
1. Stop and Stay at the Scene
Leaving the scene of a car accident without first exchanging information and checking on the other driver is a crime. No matter the circumstances of the accident, you will always be better off by performing your duties as a driver.
2. Record Information
Immediately following an accident your adrenaline is increased and you may be in a state of shock. If you are able to safely move, making sure you have the information for any drivers involved in the accident is important. Even if you are a passenger, before you leave make sure to get contact and insurance information. This will make filing a claim easier. Write down the information on a piece of paper, or put it in your phone.
Additionally, retain the contact information of any witnesses. Those witnesses may never be found again if you do not have a way to contact them.
3. Report the Accident
Drivers need to call their insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident and open a claim. You do not have to give a recorded statement. However, before doing anything more than reporting the fact of the accident to your insurance company, you should consult with a lawyer. You should also report the accident to local law enforcement, even of they do not show up to the scene.
The DMV also requires a report for every car accident involving an injury or more than $1,500 worth of damage to any car or cars. Failure to file an accident report can result in a suspended license.
If you were a passenger in a car involved in an accident, you should consult with a lawyer before filing a claim with the insurance company.
4. Seek Medical Evaluation
Often, after a car accident, you may feel fine. However, after 24 hours you may develop stiffness or other signs of injury. Because of the speeds of car accidents and the unpredictability of body position, every car accident carries a risk of severe injury. Even if you do not need emergency care, please visit your health care provider in the first 48 hours after an accident to make sure you get the treatment you need.
5. Understand Your Rights
Illinois personal injury law is complicated. Before settling a claim or even negotiating with an insurance company, take the time to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You may only have a short time to enforce your rights.
If you have been involved in car accident, consult with a DuPage County personal injury lawyer with experience in car accident cases right away to discuss your rights and possible claims. Call Mevorah Law Offices LLC today to schedule your consultation at 630-932-9100.
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