Immediately after a car accident you’re shaken up and unsure what to do next. In some cases, you may have been seriously injured in the crash and are still recovering when you first file your personal injury claim.
In stressful times like these, there’s a lot to sort through and a wrong decision during your personal injury claim process could delay your settlement or worse, get it denied. Your personal injury claim is unique, and there’s no set formula for how to proceed, but an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney can help guide you down the right path.
The First Steps After a Car Accident
Your first responsibility to yourself and your family is to make sure you and any other injured parties get the medical treatment necessary. Whether EMS was called to the scene of your car accident or you sought a medical evaluation and treatment shortly thereafter on your own, you need to put health concerns first.
The following are steps to take after a car accident and include information that should be gathered before leaving the scene. These elements are critical when building your personal injury claim:
- Photographs of the accident scene, including all vehicles and property involved
- Names and contact information of potential witnesses
- Name and contact information for responding police officer (if applicable)
- Make, model, plate number of other vehicles involved as well as their drivers’ information (name, contact info, insurance info)
Share this information with your Chicago personal injury attorney at the outset of your personal injury claim to ensure he or she has the most complete information available to build and strengthen your case.
What NOT to Do After a Car Accident
The steps you take immediately after a car accident are critical to your case’s validity and ultimate success. While still at the scene, do not move any vehicles unless required to do so by law or for safety reasons.
Do not leave the area unless told to do by the responding police officer
, as this could be considered as leaving the scene of an accident, which is a crime. Retain all materials involved in the accident, such as damaged clothing. This can be considered potential evidence for your injuries. You should inform your insurance company as soon as possible about your injuries so they can begin the claims process.
As you are facing medical bills, car repairs, and other related costs after a Illinois car accident, you’ll may find that you need the services of an Illinois personal injury attorney who can help you seek compensation to cover any bills you’ve incurred due to the negligence of another.
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