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What to Do When You’re In a Car Accident in Chicago

Car accidents can happen at any time and place, and Chicago is no exception. They can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if you are trying to figure out what to do next. If you are in a car accident in Chicago, knowing what steps to take to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights is essential. From exchanging information with the other driver to seeking medical attention and filing a police report, several critical steps should be taken after an accident. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on what to do if you’re in a car accident in Chicago so you can be prepared in case the unexpected happens. So, buckle up, and let’s get started!

1. Check for Injuries

The first and most important thing to do is check for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. Even if no one appears injured, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is still a good idea. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Even if you didn’t appear to be injured at the accident scene, it’s still a good idea to follow up with your doctor to ensure you don’t have any underlying injuries that may have been missed. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may only appear several days after the accident.

2. Move to a Safe Location

Moving your car after an accident can help prevent further collisions and ensure the safety of other drivers on the road. If you’re in the middle of the road or obstructing traffic, move your vehicle to the side of the road or a nearby parking lot if possible.

However, if you can’t move your car due to severe damage or injuries, it’s best to stay put and wait for emergency services to arrive. Moving your vehicle can cause further harm, especially if you’re dealing with a spinal injury or any other serious injury.

3. Start Gathering Documentation

Exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver. Be sure to get their name, phone number, address, insurance company, policy number, and the make and model of their car. Also, get contact information from any witnesses to the accident.

Take photos of the accident, including damage to both cars and any injuries you or anyone else sustained. This documentation is essential when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action. If your car has a dashcam, the footage counts as additional documentation and evidence. Note, don’t skip taking pictures if you have a dashcam. The footage will only be from the camera’s angle and won’t show details.

4. Don’t Admit Fault

After a car accident, it’s natural to feel flustered and want to apologize, especially if you believe you were even partially at fault. However, it’s essential to avoid admitting guilt or apologizing since either can be used against you in legal proceedings and may jeopardize your chances of receiving compensation for any damages or injuries sustained in the accident.

Additionally, The other driver or passengers involved in the accident may be at fault, but your admission could let them off the hook. They may use your admission of guilt as evidence against you in court or when dealing with insurance companies.

5. Notify the Police and Insurance

In Chicago, you are required to file a police report if the accident resulted in injury or property damage over $1,500. Since there is no estimator on site, call the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene. Then, get a copy of the police report for your records.

As soon as possible, report the accident to your insurance company. Give them all the information you gathered from the other driver and any documentation you have of the accident.

6. Keep a Record of Expenses

Keep track of any expenses related to the accident, such as car repairs, medical bills, and rental cars. These expenses may be reimbursed by your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company.

You should also mark down any damages, such as lost wages due to the accident. These can be included in your settlement to help you stay on track with your annual budget. If you find yourself in a bind, some companies offer pre-settlement cash advances— don’t seek their aid without your lawyer’s help. Many companies that seem helpful could be a scam.

7. Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Car accidents can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when it comes to navigating the legal process. If you’re involved in a car accident in Chicago, hiring a lawyer specializing in car accidents is highly recommended. They have the expertise and knowledge to guide you through the legal system and provide you with the support you need. After a car accident, it’s common to feel emotional and overwhelmed. It can be challenging to make clear-headed decisions. Still, a car accident lawyer can help provide you with an objective perspective. They’ll help you make informed decisions that are in your best interest.

An experienced car accident attorney in Chicago can negotiate with all involved parties, including insurance companies and other drivers involved in the accident. They have the skills and expertise to get you the compensation you deserve. They can also gather evidence to support your case, including witness statements, police reports, and medical records.

Pursuing a car accident case can be time-consuming and stressful. However, with the help of a lawyer, you can focus on your recovery while they take on the legal burden. They’ll handle all the legal work and develop a legal strategy tailored to your situation. Each car accident case is unique. A car accident lawyer can work with you to understand your options and achieve the best possible outcome. With their expertise, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your case is in good hands. So, if you’re involved in a car accident in Chicago, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance from a reputable car accident lawyer.

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