Important Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

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Important Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

The moments after a car accident are often filled with stress and uncertainty. Victims usually sustain physical and mental injuries that leave them confused and in pain immediately after the crash. But there are steps you can take that will aid you when pursuing compensation with a car accident attorney. 

If you were in a car accident, call Anspach Law Office to review your situation and see whether you may seek compensation for your injuries. 

Remain on the Scene

The scene of a car crash is often chaotic, but don’t leave right away. Exchanging information with others involved is vital to your case’s progression. Stay at the scene and cooperate with law enforcement as they investigate the situation. 

Check for Injuries

Injuries in a car accident range from relatively minor to life-threatening. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries, and if you discover any, call 911 immediately, even if you aren’t sure whether it’s necessary to do so. Don’t attempt to provide medical assistance that is beyond the scope of your training, and instead wait for authorities to arrive whenever possible.

Call the Police

Even if no one appears to be injured, you’ll need the police if property damage exceeds $1,500 in damage, according to Illinois Law. Since the exact cost of damage is practically impossible to know from observation at the scene itself, you’ll need the police to file a damages report. The officer will talk to everyone who was involved in the crash and procure a police report. Law enforcement may also be helpful if another driver was under the influence at the time of the accident or doesn’t have car insurance.

Exchange Insurance and Contact Information

This step is a crucial part of pursuing compensation. Identify the other drivers who were involved in the accident. Information to collect includes their names, driver’s license numbers, phone number or other contact information, and details of their car insurance. If one of the other drivers doesn’t own the car, be sure to get the owner’s information as well. Take pictures of their insurance card and driver’s license to ensure no information is lost or incorrect.  

Gather Evidence

In addition to speaking to witnesses of the accident, write down details of the vehicles that were involved, including their make, model and year, as well as the license plate number and a general visual description. This is the prime opportunity to take photos of the damage to your vehicle and theirs, as well as skid marks, the weather conditions and locations of traffic signals. These details play an important role in determining liability in the accident. 

Some intersections have cameras, and nearby commercial buildings may also have surveillance that contains footage of the accident. The information in these videos may serve as evidence in your favor. 

Speak Cautiously

When you’re at the scene of an accident, choose your words carefully. No matter how you may feel about the accident and what caused it, avoid blaming anyone of anything, even if there is reasonable evidence. Likewise, do not admit fault to anyone, including to the other driver. Remain amicable and remember that admitting liability can be used against you. Additionally, avoid making promises, especially to anything relating to insurance or the police. 

Notify and Cooperate With Your Car Insurance Company

Report the accident to your car insurance company at the soonest opportunity. You’ll need to answer their questions and provide evidence pertaining to the accident. If you believe your insurance company is wrongfully withholding your entitled compensation, or if you may need to file a claim, discuss your options with our car accident attorneys at Anspach Law Office.

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