Every day, people are involved in car accidents in the Greater Chicago area. Some accidents are simple fender benders. Some are annoying and cause minor financial worries and stress. But other accidents may be life changing.
If you are involved in an accident, what should you do?
First Things First
Immediately after the accident, make sure everyone is safe. If there are injuries or substantial damage to the cars, call 911 to request medical and police assistance. If there are no injuries, the police department may tell you to just exchange information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident.
Gathering Information and Cooperating with First Responders
If the police do not arrive at your accident, exchange information with the other driver. Try to get the following details, either by talking to the other driver or reviewing documentation:
- Name and contact information for the driver
- Name and contact information for the automobile insurance company, including the policy number
- Details about the car like the license number and car registration
- Names of any passengers
If you feel the other driver is not providing accurate information to you, call the police again and then ask the other driver to stay at the accident scene.
If the police, fire department, or ambulances arrive at your accident, cooperate fully. Only discuss details about the accident with the police officer and not the other people involved in the accident. Ask the police officer how you can obtain a copy of the police report about your accident.
At the scene of the accident, be careful what you say. Do not make agreements with the other people involved in the accident. Do not apologize or say the accident was your fault. Statements like these can be used against you when negotiating with the insurance company or if a lawsuit is filed. An Illinois attorney who has represented parties in automobile accident cases can provide expert advice on how to handle the aftermath of an accident.
Reporting the Accident
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident occurs Often the insurance company will want to take your statement. The other driver’s insurance company may also contact you to discuss the accident. This may be a good time to contact an experienced personal injury attorney and get advice on how to proceed.
Illinois drivers who are involved in car accidents must also report the crash to the Illinois Department of Transportation within ten (10) days. Use the form provided by the police officer at the scene of the accident if an officer arrived, or use the online form located at http://www.idot.illinois.gov/transportation-system/local-transportation-partners/law-enforcement/crash-reporting.
Review Your Legal Options
Know your rights. Know what Illinois law says about insurance companies and auto accidents. Talk to Osvaldo Rodriguez, an attorney dedicated to protecting you and obtaining the best financial recovery possible. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.
We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Cook, DuPage, Will, and Kane Counties.