The Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Chicago
Car accidents are an unfortunate reality in Chicago and throughout Illinois, occurring unexpectedly and in a variety of locations.
These incidents not only pose a risk to drivers and passengers but also endanger pedestrians, who can become unintended victims in car accidents.
Additionally, bicyclists and motorcyclists share this vulnerability, often facing significant risk of injury when involved in accidents with motor vehicles.
In Chicago, many vehicular accidents are categorized as "property damage only." This classification indicates that the primary impact of these incidents is on vehicles or other non-living objects, with no physical harm to individuals.
In contrast, "bodily injury" accidents are those where individuals sustain injuries as a direct result of the collision.
Being part of any type of vehicular accident, regardless of its nature, is invariably a distressing experience.
The legal system in Illinois acknowledges the unpredictable nature of negligent drivers and offers certain protections and rights to injured victims.
The law provides a path to relief and recourse in the form of compensation for people injured in car accidents.
When you've been involved in a car accident in Chicago, make sure you are protecting yourself by contacting a Chicago car accident lawyer for a free consultation and to learn what to do after a motor vehicle accident.
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 (312) 924-7575 for 24-hour lawyer assistance.
What to do at the Accident Scene
- Stop if you are in an accident. Do not leave, as there can be criminal charges for fleeing the scene of an accident.
- Make sure everyone in your car is okay. If there are serious injuries, do not try to move them unless absolutely necessary. If you have injuries or are in pain, and it is safe to remain in your car, do not move until emergency personnel arrive.
- 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 contact information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information of all the drivers involved. Take down license plate numbers and vehicle information. Take photos of driver's licenses and insurance cards, if possible.
- 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. This can be important, as police officers sometimes fail to gather this information.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident, including the vehicles involved in the crash.
- 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 in pain, or "shaken up", let the police officers or other emergency workers know how you are feeling. Do not refuse medical care. Let an ambulance take you to the hospital if you are experiencing pain.
What to do After a Chicago Auto Accident
- Get checked as soon as possible by a doctor in an emergency room, or an urgent care even if you think your injuries are not severe.
- Go to the nearest police station and report the accident if no officers come to the scene of the accident. 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. 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 car accident lawyer. Do not give a written or recorded statement to the other driver's insurance company, since your statement can be used against you in settlement negotiations.
- Let your lawyer report the accident and claim to your own insurance company. There may be notice requirements in your policy, and you want to make sure you are covered for the accident. We recommend that you speak to a personal injury lawyer before talking to your own insurance company. If someone makes an insurance claim against you, immediately forward the paperwork to your insurance company.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Chicago for a Car Accident?
In Illinois, 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. Do this so they can protect you from waiving any rights or claims.
The nature of the collision and the parties involved can have a 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.
Contact a Chicago Car Accident Attorney
The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call. We offer all injury victims free consultations without any obligation. Finally, there is no fee unless you win your case.
Car accidents happen. If one has happened to you or a family member, do not hesitate to contact Abels & Annes, P.C. and let us fight for the compensation you deserve. Call (312) 924-7575 to find out how we can help you today.