There are many measures you can employ to protect your rights after a car accident.
To strengthen your car accident case, you should consider:
- Reporting the accident to the proper authorities
- Documenting the accident scene
- Seeking medical attention
- Being mindful of what you say to the insurance company
- Organizing your accident-related documents
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an Illinois car accident, a motor vehicle accident lawyer can protect your legal rights. They can also help you recover compensation for your injury-related losses.
Report the Accident
You can protect your rights following a car accident by reporting the collision to the proper authorities. The Illinois Secretary of State explains that a driver has 30 minutes to report a crash after it occurs. Additionally, under 625 ILCS 5/11-406, you must report any accident that results in injuries, deaths, or property damage in excess of $1,500 (or $500 if a driver does not have insurance).
The other driver may try to convince you not to report the accident or promise to pay for your damages. However, this may not work to your advantage––especially if you do not fully understand the long-term implications of your injuries. Following a collision, if you did not file a police report at the accident scene, you should report the collision to the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles.
Document the Scene of the Accident
The moments immediately after a car accident can be incredibly important to how your claim is ultimately resolved. Because the accident scene’s conditions may be temporary, you should try to preserve whatever evidence you can.
This may include:
- Taking pictures of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle, and your injuries
- Requesting a copy of the police report
- Getting the names and contact information of any witnesses
- Noting nearby cameras that may have footage of the accident
- Writing a detailed summary of how the accident occurred
- Keeping a pain journal documenting your injuries
You may be able to take other measures than those listed here.
Seek Medical Attention
It is also important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you did not feel pain or experience symptoms at the time of the accident, you may be experiencing symptoms now. Additionally, not all injuries are immediately apparent. You should be examined by a medical professional who can help you determine the severity of your injuries. The information they give you can also establish a link between your injuries and the accident.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s orders to protect your health and claim.
Be Careful About What You Say to the Insurer
If the at-fault party’s insurance carrier contacts you, you are under no obligation to provide any information other than what is absolutely necessary. Following your accident, the insurance company may ask you to give a recorded statement. This is a tactic that insurance companies use to devalue or deny claims. Even if the claims adjuster seems nice and expresses concern about your health, keep in mind that they are hired to support their company’s interests, not yours.
Be mindful of what you say to the insurance company. Do not say anything that could be interpreted as an admission of fault.
Keep Your Evidence Organized
In the coming weeks and months, you may start to accumulate a number of documents, bills, and other evidence relevant to your case.
You should keep the following items organized and in a safe place:
- Your medical treatment records
- The results of imaging scans
- Notes from your doctor
- Your medical bills
- Vehicle inspection reports
- Mechanic estimates
- Final bills from mechanics
- Rental car costs or receipts from rideshare services
- Correspondence from the insurance company
- Your pay stubs and payment records
- Journal entries regarding your pain and suffering
Keeping track of these documents can help you establish liability and account for the full extent of your damages.
Call the Kryder Law Group, LLC
To protect your rights after a car accident, you should consider how a personal injury lawyer could help you. The Kryder Law Group, LLC can conduct an investigation into the cause of your accident and determine the liable parties. We can help you recover the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage expenses.
You can learn more about your legal options by participating in a free case review. You can get in touch with The Kryder Law Group, LLC by calling (312) 223-1700.