Imagine that you are cruising down I-90 in Chicago, eager to return home after a long day at work. As the oncoming traffic light turns red, you slow to a full stop. Suddenly the car behind you rear-ends your vehicle, causing your body to lurch forward. From the rearview mirror, you can see that your trunk door and bumper are badly damaged. What should you do next after an car accident?
- If you feel severe physical pain or experience difficulty moving, call for an ambulance immediately.
- In minor accidents, pull over to the curb or side lane on a highway and turn on your hazard lights. Jot down the make, model, and license plate number of the car that struck you. A detailed description of the other vehicle will be pertinent in case the other driver flees the scene.
- Dial the police department (911) to report the accident and wait for an officer to arrive. Typically, a police report will enable your insurance claim to be processed faster. In some districts, law enforcement might not respond to a car collision call if there are no injuries. In this case, you will need to file a vehicle accident report with the state police department or local DMV.
- Assess the damage on your vehicle, and take photos of all impacted areas on both cars as well as the overall crash site. Also take note of any witnesses who can provide corroborating testimony in the event of a claims dispute.
- Do not panic. An auto accident can happen to anyone and it will be important to maintain composure in the aftermath.
- Do not exit your car if you are hurt. Head, neck, spine or back injuries could worsen with rapid movement.
- Do not attempt to drive your vehicle if it’s severely damaged. Instead, call a tow truck company or AAA for assistance.
- Do not admit fault or casually say ‘sorry,’ especially if you are the victim. Try to keep discussions with the other driver at a minimum since any statements you make may be used in court or by police in an accident report.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident other than to get out of the way of traffic until you exchange detailed information or the responding officer takes down information for a report.
Exchanging Insurance Information
You will need to exchange detailed insurance and contact information with the other driver or any other parties involved in the auto accident. This step is key in filing a claim with an insurance provider. During the exchange, you should write down the following info:
- Driver’s full name and address
- Phone number or current email address
- Insurance carrier and policy number
- The make, model, year, and license plate number of the other vehicle
Names of any passengers or witnesses present
How a Chicago Auto Accident Attorney Can Help
When you are injured in an unexpected auto accident, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the situation. An experienced attorney can provide direction and legal assistance. The attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. are committed to your healing process. While you focus on making a full physical recovery, we will handle the insurance adjusters, claims forms, and legal jargon.
Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. If you were hurt in an auto accident due to another driver’s poor judgment or carelessness, Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help you obtain fair compensation to cover the costs of medical expenses, lost wages, car repairs, pain and suffering, and other damages. Please call our office today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free one-on-one case consultation with an attorney.