What Should You Do After A Car Accident in Chicago?
Drivers of all ages should always have a plan of action ready in the event that they are involved in a car accident. If you are not injured after an accident, then you should try to take photos of the accident scene, exchange information with the other driver and continue to file a police report. States like Illinois require that drivers involved in car accidents file an accident report even if there is minor vehicle damage.
Illinois law is very clear that drivers must report the accident to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Specifically, Illinois law maintains that a driver of a vehicle that causes injury or death to another person, in excess of $1,500 or $500, must submit the report as soon as possible. This report must be filed not later than 10 days after the accident. Ideally, a driver should call the police and have an officer investigate the scene of the crash. If the driver does not call a police officer to the scene, then he or she should still provide notice to the local police department or 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 in regards to the appropriate form that individuals 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 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 have a window in which you can report an accident involving uninsured motorists, it is a good idea to get in touch with the insurance company soon after the accident. When you speak with an insurance representative, he or she may try to get you to admit fault. 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, and it is something you should receive advice from your lawyer prior to conversing about in a discussion.
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 the police and not assume that help will be on its way. You should also only relay the facts of the case to the officer. You may want to 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.
If you have been injured, it is vital that you obtain medical assistance as soon as possible. You may tell the police phone operator that you require emergency attention, and they may call emergency vehicles to transport you to the hospital. Even if you do not have any visible injuries, you should still consult with a medical professional. You may be unaware of injuries that you have due to a state of shock, or you may even be suffering from a severe concussion.
4. Exchange information with the other driver.
If the other driver has not fled the scene, then you should exchange your telephone, address, insurance carrier, full legal name, license plate number and other contact information with the other driver.
5. Write notes of anything that you remember or observe of the accident while it is fresh in your mind.
Your notes may be a valuable piece of evidence in the event that your case must go 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 this information on a smartphone, notepad or other device.
You may obtain valuable observations from witnesses, such as the driver that 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.