The aftermath of an accident is always confusing. While there are some steps you should take, there are others you should always avoid. Your safety and well-being is the most important priority after a crash. Knowing the actions to avoid will help protect your immediate safety, as well as any future car accident claim you may file. Below, our Illinois car accident lawyer outlines the five things not to do following a crash.
It is against the law to leave the scene of an accident before law enforcement has arrived. If you leave, you could be charged with a hit-and-run, which is a Class A misdemeanor. Always call 911 or local law enforcement and ask them to come to the scene. Only move your vehicle if you have to move it to the side of the road so it does not block oncoming traffic and potentially cause another crash. Your vehicle may serve as very important evidence when filing a car accident claim.
Again, your biggest concern after an accident should be making sure you receive treatment for any injuries you sustained. Even if you do not think you were hurt, you should still be examined by a doctor. Certain injuries, such as concussions, do not present symptoms right away but a doctor will know what to look for to ensure you are not hurt. Seeing a doctor will also document the extent of your injuries, which is crucial when trying to claim the full damages you deserve.
Some of the strongest evidence that will prove your claim is right there at the accident scene. Before leaving, take pictures of the damage to the vehicles involved, your own injuries, and the accident scene as a whole. Also locate witnesses and ask for their name and contact information. Exchange information with the other drivers. Your lawyer will need this information when filing your claim.
Admitting you were at fault while still at the scene is one of the worst things you can do after an accident. Even saying you are sorry the crash happened at all will be misconstrued as an admittance of guilt, which will make the claims process much more difficult. There is time to determine who was at fault, but the moments following a crash are not it.
Neither the insurance company nor a court will look favorably on you if you make false statements about the crash. For example, you may be tempted to say you smelled alcohol on the other driver’s breath when that is not true. You will lose credibility if you lie, and even an innocent mistake could have you facing accusations that you lied. If you do not know certain facts about the crash, simply say you do not know and do not try to guess.
After a crash, our Illinois car accident lawyer at Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd. can advise on every aspect of your claim and help you claim the full damages you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
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