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What Are the 5 Most Important Things to Do If You Are in a Car Accident?
Being in a car accident is a traumatic experience but it’s important to stay calm and take the right steps to protect yourself and to preserve any insurance claim you may have.
Here are the 5 most important things to do after being in a car accident.
- Check for injuries. The first thing you should do after a car accident is to check yourself and your passengers (if any) for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately and ask for paramedics and police.
- Move your car to a safe location. If your car is drivable, move it to a safe location out of the way of traffic. If your car is not drivable, call the police and ask for a tow truck.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s). If possible and it may not always be the case, especially if you have been seriously injured, try to get the name, address, phone number, driver’s license number and insurance information of the other driver(s) involved in the accident. You should also get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
- Document the accident scene. Take photos of the damage to the vehicles, the surrounding area and any skid marks or other evidence. You should also write down a brief description of what happened, while the events are fresh in your mind, as your memory of events may not be as accurate if you attempt to recall later in time, exactly what happened.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Your insurance company needs to know about the accident, if a claim is to be made, whether you make a claim to have your vehicle repaired or if a claim is made against you by the other driver(s).
In addition to the above 5 most important things, there are a few other things you should do after a car accident:
- Seek medical attention if you are injured. Even if you don’t feel hurt, it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately apparent. If you cannot get to your doctor or do not have a doctor, go the nearest hospital emergency room or same-day medical clinic.
- Keep a copy of all documentation related to the accident. This includes the police or incident report number, your medical records and any other paperwork you receive.
- Be polite and cooperative with the other driver and the police. This will help to ensure the accident is investigated fairly. If you are not sure how the accident occurred, do not make up a story; simply acknowledge you do not know how the accident occurred.
- Do not sign any documents. Do not sign any documentation, especially insurance documents requiring you to release your rights.
- Contact an experienced car accident attorney. A lawyer experienced in representing clients involved in car accidents, can answer any questions about your legal rights. An attorney can help you understand your options and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
By following these steps, you can protect yourself after a car accident and get the help you need.
Here are some additional tips for what to do after a car accident in Illinois:
- Do not admit fault. Even if you think you were at fault, it is best to avoid admitting this to the other driver or the police. This could make it more difficult to file a successful insurance claim.
- Do not discuss the accident with the other driver or witnesses. It is best to wait until you have spoken to your insurance company before discussing the accident with anyone.
- Do not post anything about the accident on social media. Anything you post online could be used against you in a legal case.
By following these tips, you can protect yourself after a car accident and get the help you need.
Contact us today if you have been involved in a car accident and have questions about your rights.