If you’ve ever been in a traffic accident, you know that it can be a traumatic experience. Not only do you have to worry about the damage to your car, but you also have to deal with the potential for injury. If you’re involved in a traffic accident, here are some steps that you need to take in order to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
Get Medical Attention
Without hesitation, this should be your first move because you need to make sure that you and everyone else involved are safe. Not only that but people from the Prairie State who had similar accidents are advised by their auto accident attorney in Illinois to do this right away so that the doctors can record their injuries. This documentation will be very valuable when handling the aftermath of a traffic accident.
Getting treatment after a car accident is important for your health and well-being. Even if you feel fine, it’s always a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional. Make sure to ask your doctors to give you all the records. Personal injury law dictates that accident victims must provide evidence of their injuries in order to get compensated, so these records will be essential should you decide to file a claim.
Call The Police
Getting the authorities on the scene will help you avoid a potential hit and run, as well as get an impartial third party to document the accident. The police will also be able to direct traffic around the accident if needed and provide any other assistance that may be required. In some cases, the police will even call for a tow truck on your behalf.
When they’re done with their report, the police will give you a copy of it, which can be helpful when filing an insurance claim. The report will also come in handy if the other driver tries to deny responsibility for the accident.
Be truthful when giving a statement because, if the police catch you in a lie, you could face charges of perjury.
Document The Scene
To get some additional evidence, you should also take photos or videos of the accident scene. It can be helpful to show things like:
- the damage to the vehicles involved
- skid marks
- debris from the accident
- where the vehicles came to rest after the collision.
This will give you and your lawyer a better idea of what happened and who may be at fault. For example, if there are no skid marks, that may mean the other driver wasn’t braking before the collision.
If it’s safe to do so, take photos or videos of the scene from different angles. And be sure to get close-ups as well as wide shots. It can also be helpful to take photos of:
- the license plates of the other vehicles involved
- the drivers’ and passengers’ injuries
- any visible damage to the roadway or nearby property.
To make sure you don’t forget anything, create a checklist of things to document at the accident scene.
Confront the other driver and ask for their name, insurance company, and policy number. Give them your name, address, phone number, and driver’s license number. It is important to get this information from the other driver in case there are any problems later. If the other driver does not want to give you their information, call the police. The police will get the other driver’s information and file a report.
Talk To Witnesses
If there are any witnesses to the accident, talking to them can be incredibly helpful. Not only will they be able to give you an idea of what happened, but talking to them can also help refresh your memory about the accident. Be sure to get their contact information so that you can follow up with them later if necessary.
For example, you may not have seen the other driver run the red light, but a witness might have. This could be important evidence if you decide to file a personal injury claim later on.
Hire A Lawyer
A skilled attorney can be a lot of help after a car accident. An attorney can help you deal with the insurance company, investigate the accident, and if necessary, file a lawsuit.
Most people don’t need an attorney after a minor car accident. But if the accident was serious or resulted in significant property damage, you might want to consider hiring one. The same is true if you were injured in an accident.
If you’re not sure whether you need an attorney, it’s always a good idea to speak with one. Many attorneys offer free consultations, so it doesn’t cost anything to talk to one about your case.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You will also want to notify the insurance company about the accident. They will then conduct their own investigation, and may even send out an adjuster to assess the damage. Be sure to give them as much information as possible, including any police report number, so that they can begin their process.
Don’t let them manipulate you, however, into giving a recorded statement about the accident. Many people do this without realizing that their words can be used against them later. If an insurance agent pressures you into doing this, simply say that you will provide a written statement instead.
File A Claim
Once you’ve gathered all the evidence you may need, you need to file an official claim with your insurance company. If the other driver was at fault, you’ll need to file a claim with their insurer as well.
If you have questions about filing a claim, you can always speak to an agent. They will be able to help guide you through the process and make sure that everything is done correctly.
An attorney will also help you prepare your paperwork and stick by your side during the entire process. If you need help filing a claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Traffic accidents are dangerous and scary, which is why you must seek medical attention right away and call the police to the scene. Document what happened on your own as well and make sure to exchange information with the other party. Talk to any witnesses willing to go on the record and hire a lawyer to help you out. Once you’re ready, notify your insurance provider and file a claim once their investigation is done!