What to do in a Motor Vehicle Accident
Unlike some other types of incidents, car accidents can happen at any time and at any place. Even those who do not drive are at risk for being involved in a collision in Chicago or across the state of Illinois. When a crash occurs, the driver or drivers involved may be hurt but so may the passengers in their vehicles, anyone in another type of vehicle involved like a bus or truck, or pedestrians who happen to be near the location of the crash. Bicyclists and motorcyclists similarly are at risk for being involved in a car accident even though they may never drive a car themselves.
Many accidents in Chicago can be classified as "property damage only," meaning that the only damage sustained in those crashes was to the vehicles or other inanimate object. This contrasts with accidents causing "bodily injury" which is exactly what it sounds like: accidents where one or more individuals involved is hurt or injured due to the crash.
Regardless of the results of a crash, it is always distressing to be involved in a collision. Fortunately, the laws in Illinois recognize that accidents happen and may be beyond the control of those who are harmed. To make sure you are protecting yourself and following all necessary laws, the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. suggest the following tips if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident.
If you have been involved in an accident, please contact us immediately. Every accident is unique, and we may have important instructions that are different than what is listed below. Also, there are time limitations for filing lawsuits in Illinois and other states. Call (855) 529-2442 for 24-hour lawyer assistance.AT THE ACCIDENT
- Stop if you are involved in an accident. Do not leave the scene, as there can be criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident.
- Make sure everyone in your car is not injured. If there are serious injuries, do not try to move them unless absolutely necessary. If you are injured and in pain, and it is safe to remain in your car, do not move until emergency personnel arrives.
- Call the police and let them know if there are injuries. Make sure a police report is made (you will need one later for any type of claim).
- Move your car off the road if you can do so safely. Use your flashing hazard lights and use emergency flares if you have them.
- Do not get into an argument or confrontation with the other driver.
- Obtain the names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information of all the drivers involved. Take down license plate numbers and vehicle information.
- Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. Make sure to give any witness information to the police at the scene.
- Do not accept fault or blame for the accident.
- Cooperate with police officers and make sure you get a chance to tell them what happened.
- If injured, in pain, or "shaken up", let the police officers or other emergency workers know how you are feeling. If you are in pain, do not refuse medical care. Let an ambulance take you to the hospital to get checked by a doctor.
- If injured or in pain, get checked as soon as possible by a doctor. If the accident was after normal business hours, go to an emergency room.
- If police were not on the scene, go to the nearest police station and make a police report. If the other party involved refuses, go there alone and make the report.
- Contact our office as soon as possible after the accident. The sooner we know what is going on, the better we can help you. Call (855) 529-2442. We are available 24-hours to speak to new potential clients.
- Do not speak to or try to handle the claim with the other driver's insurance company before consulting with a personal injury lawyer. Do not give a written or recorded statement to the other driver's insurance company, as such statement can be used against you in settlement negotiations.
- Immediately report the accident/claim to your own insurance company. There may be notice requirements in your own policy, and you want to make sure you are covered for the accident. We would recommend that you speak to a personal injury lawyer before talking to your own insurance company. If a claim is made against you, immediately forward the paperwork to your insurance company.
In Illinois and other states there are time limitations for filing lawsuits and certain types of claims. It is very important that you speak to an injury lawyer soon after the accident so they can protect you from waiving any rights or claims.
The nature of the collision and the parties involved can have substantial influence on the length of time you have to file a claim. Statutes of limitation can be longer or shorter depending on the facts so victims should never assume that their claim will be viable if they fail to act.
Rather, victims should contact a lawyer as soon as practicable following an incident to learn about their legal rights and options. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call so that you can get the answers you deserve, whenever you need them. We offer all injury victims a free case consultation without any obligation and we will keep everything discussed confidential.
Car accidents happen. If one has happened to you or to your loved one and you are looking for answers, do not hesitate. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us fight for the relief you deserve.