What Should You Do After A Car Accident in Chicago?
Drivers of every age should know what to do if they are involved in a car accident. If not injured in the crash, attempt to take photos of the accident scene when possible, exchange information with the other driver and file a police report. States including Illinois require drivers involved in car accidents to file an accident report even if there is minor vehicle damage.
Illinois law is unambiguous where drivers must report the accident to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Specifically, Illinois law maintains that motorists who cause injury or death to another person or damage more than $1,500 must submit the report as soon as possible. The report must be filed no later than ten days after the crash. Ideally, a driver should call the police and have an officer investigate the scene of the collision. If the driver does not call law enforcement to the scene, they should still provide notice to the local police department or the nearest office of the county sheriff.
Individuals must also report crashes using the Illinois Traffic Crash Report form (Police Report) or the Motorist Report form (Motorist Report). Additional information is available from Division of Traffic Safety website on how to obtain the appropriate form that motorists should file.
If you have been involved in a car accident in the greater Chicagoland area, please feel free to call our Illinois auto accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 for help with your situation. In addition, you can also take the following steps as soon as possible after your auto accident.
1. Call your insurance company as soon as possible, but refrain from admitting fault.
Because some insurance companies limit the time where traffic accident victims can report a crash involving uninsured motorists, it is best to contact the insurance company soon after the collision. When speaking with an insurance representative, never admit fault, even if pressed to make a statement declaring your responsibility. While you should be honest as to the facts surrounding the accident, you should refrain from making any legal conclusions with an adjuster. The admission of fault is considered a legal conclusion that can be determined through advice from your lawyer before you talk to anyone else.
2. Call the Illinois police and report the accident.
It is also important that you alert the police that an accident has occurred. You should call local law enforcement and not assume that help will be on its way. You should relay just the facts of the case to the officer. Ask the police officer for a copy of a police report or how to obtain a copy after it is filed.
3. Get medical attention as soon as possible.
It is crucial to get medical assistance as soon as possible even if you have only a mild injury. You may tell the police phone operator that you require emergency attention, and they may call EMT vehicles to transport you to the hospital. Even if you do not have any visible injuries, you should still consult with a medical professional, because you may be unaware of injuries that you have due to a state of shock, or concussion.
4. Exchange information with the other driver.
If the other driver has not fled the scene, then trade your telephone, address, insurance carrier, full legal name, license plate number and other contact information with all other drivers involved in the crash.
5. Write notes of anything that you remember or observe of the accident while it is fresh in your mind.
Your notes may be an invaluable piece of evidence if your case goes to trial.
6. Take photographs of the accident scene.
Photographs are useful for insurance adjusters as they investigate your case. Photos may also be useful to a jury if your case goes to trial.
7. Interview witnesses about their perceptions of the accident and record the information on a smartphone, notepad or another device.
You may obtain valuable observations from eyewitness accounts especially if the witness saw that the other driver caused the accident. Every smartphone has a recorder function for a maximum of 8 minutes per segment, and you can easily record these witness observations on your personal smartphone.
8. Speak with an Illinois auto accident lawyer with experience in handling these cases.
Calling an Illinois auto accident lawyer is in your best interest after an accident. When you are feeling overwhelmed, Illinois auto accident attorneys can provide you with stability and help you make guided, rational decisions.
Illinois auto accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are here to support you in this difficult time. We sympathize with the injuries that you have suffered, and we will make your case a priority if we determine that you have a valid legal claim. Please contact our Illinois auto accident lawyers for a free case evaluation today.