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.
DO NOT Admit Fault After a Car Accident
Illinois is a fault-based state when it comes to car accidents, and any statements you make, including trying to blame the other driver, may harm your personal injury claim. Never apologize for the accident or injuries, as this may also be used against you later as an admission of negligence.
If the other insurance company contacts you for a statement, say nothing and direct all communications to your Chicago personal injury attorney. The insurance broker taking your statement may seem sympathetic to your injuries and suffering, but they’re really concerned about the insurance company’s bottom line. They’ll try to get you to say something that will damage your claim and minimize the damages that you earn.
After you retain the services of a Chicago personal injury lawyer, your attorney should handle any and all communication with the insurance adjuster working on your personal injury claim.
How do I get a fair settlement for my car accident?
The evidence you collect after a car accident, along with documentation of your injuries and related medical expenses all go into determining what is considered a fair settlement for your car accident injuries.
What is and isn’t considered a fair settlement is determined by the insurance companies who are looking out only for their own bottom line. The other driver’s insurance company may consider that just paying your immediate medical bills as settlement enough, but you are entitled to seek other damages, including wages lost from inability to work, any permanent disability, and your suffering from your accident.
A Chicago personal injury attorney can review your settlement offer and help you determine if it’s fair compensation for your current expenses and any future needs. They can also negotiate with the insurance company to convince them to offer you the fair settlement you deserve.
Hiring a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident
The insurance company is working hard to minimize or even deny your claim, shouldn’t you have someone working on your side?
A Chicago personal injury attorney from the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. can help you to stand up to the insurance company’s bullying and tricks, and help you develop and file a personal injury claim to recover the compensation you deserve for your losses.. Contact us today for a free case evaluation! – (312) 263-1080