How you respond in the immediate aftermath of a car accident plays an important role in your ability to receive compensation for your injuries, property damage or other expenses.
When you are traveling in Illinois, there are several mistakes to avoid and steps to take to preserve your accident case.
What to do
The first step to take after an accident is to assess the injuries of the people involved. Call 911 to bring first responders to the scene and alert local law enforcement of the crash. As you wait for law enforcement and medical help, start documenting the scene when it is safe to do so. Use your phone to take photos of all the vehicles, injuries, surrounding environment and weather conditions. Be sure to exchange contact information with the other drivers involved or any witnesses on the scene.
While the responding law enforcement officer will not have a copy of the police report to hand over, be sure to get the name, badge number and report number. Follow up with the agency in a few days to get a copy of your report.
What not to do
It is important to remain calm while you are on the scene of an accident. Try not to overreact. Do not blame other drivers or admit fault. Simply answer the officer’s questions honestly and briefly.
It is also important to pay attention to how serious a car accident is. You should visit a doctor as soon as you can to document any potential injuries, even if none are visible on the scene. In a state of shock, you may not recognize signs of a severe injury.
How you handle a car accident is important. The first steps are to protect your safety, while the next steps protect a legal case.