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A car accident is generally stressful and hectic for all involved. Here are some useful tips if you ever find yourself in a car accident in the future.
Safety first! A car accident can happen so quickly that you may think you are fine when in fact, you sustained an injury. Ensure that you are not hurt, and then make sure the others in the car are not hurt. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. Do not try to move anyone who is hurt as that can make his or her injuries worse.
Call the authorities to alert them to the accident. If you are not at fault, the other driver or drivers may attempt to persuade you that it is not necessary to call the police. However, it is always a good idea to have a police officer come to witness the scene and to take statements.
Take pictures of the locations of the cars, the conditions of the road, and any and all damage done. Make sure to take note of the other driver’s car make and model and the license plate number in case they drive away.
If the accident is minor, move both vehicles to the side of the road for your safety and to allow traffic to continue to flow smoothly.
Exchange insurance and license information with the other driver or drivers.
Give your statement to the police officer on the scene. If a police officer does not arrive on the scene, go directly to the police station to file a report.
Get the names and contact information for any witnesses. Ask them to make a written statement with the police on the scene, if possible.
Immediately after the accident, everyone involved should see a doctor. As noted in our previous blog post, some injuries are not immediately noticeable. In particular, there are brain injuries that may not be noticeable until hours or days after the accident. It is important to make sure your doctor thoroughly examines you for common car accident related injuries.
Contact an attorney. It is important to not speak to your or the other parties’ insurance companies prior to discussing your case with an attorney qualified to handle your case. The insurance company may offer you money in an attempt to settle the claim without involving lawyers or the legal system. However, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney who has the experience to know exactly how to navigate the system and who knows exactly what you deserve.
Relax. With a qualified attorney on your side, you can rest assured that this unexpected obstacle will be navigated with care and expertise.
Martoccio & Martoccio has helped victims navigate the aftermath of car accidents in Hinsdale, Darien, Carol Stream and in cities all over Illinois for years. In the case of a car accident anywhere in Illinois, contact us for a free case consultation.