1. Think About Safety
Immediately following an accident, the safety and well-being of yourself and your passengers should be addressed. If a serious injury has occurred, try to remain still until medical assistance arrives. If possible, try to move your car to the side of the road with your hazard lights on, and the use of cones, warning markers, or flares could provide additional safety. After addressing your own safety concerns, you may want to check on the welfare of others involved in the accident.
2. Seek Help
Whether the crash is a minor accident or a major collision, you should contact the police to report the incident. Police officers will come to the scene of the crash and provide an incident report that can help establish who is at fault. Additionally, the presence of law enforcement may deter the person responsible for the collision from fleeing the scene.
Visiting a hospital or seeing a doctor following a collision can ensure that you receive the proper medical treatment, and it can provide insight about how the accident may affect your long-term well-being. Car crashes can result in serious injuries that might remain dormant for an extended period of time. Seeking medical help will create a record of your injuries that can determine how your life will be affected.
3. Exchange Information and Gather Evidence
While waiting for law enforcement to arrive, the following information should be exchanged between everyone involved in an accident:
- Names and contact information
- Vehicle descriptions (make, model, year)
- License plate and driver's license numbers
- Insurance information
You should also obtain any evidence that could be used to determine fault for the collision, including:
- Eyewitness contact information and statements
- Pictures of the scene
- Pictures of any damage to vehicles
- Pictures of any injuries sustained
- The police officer’s name and badge number
Furthermore, it is important not to sign any documents other than what is requested by the police. Do not accept payment from another driver or sign any statements regarding fault for the accident.
4. Contact a Schaumburg Personal Injury Lawyer
While you will likely be able to make an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company or under your own policy, you should contact an attorney before speaking to an insurance company. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we can help you determine the full extent of your damages, and we can negotiate a settlement with insurance companies to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and damages. If necessary, we can help you file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve.
A car accident injury can result in loss of future wages, unforeseen medical expenses, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. If you have been injured because of another driver’s negligence, our experienced Palatine car accident attorneys will work with you to seek the compensation you are owed. For a free initial consultation, contact our office today at 847-934-6000.
About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.