It is understandable that you are likely feeling overwhelmed in the moments after being in an accident. However, what you do next can impact your potential claim for damages if the collision was caused by someone else. Here is a look at some of the most common mistakes people make after a car accident.
Leaving the Scene of the Accident
This should not ever cross your mind, but do not leave the scene of an accident without first exchanging information with the other parties. If you are injured, you should also contact the police to come out and make a report.
Not Getting Witness Information
Some people mistakenly assume that police will talk to everyone at the scene. Perhaps someone told you they witnessed the accident but ends up leaving before the police finish their investigation. That witness could be critical to your case, and without his or her contact information, there is no way for anyone to contact the witness to get his or her version of the events.
At no point should you admit any fault to the other party, their insurance company, or law enforcement. Even saying “sorry” could be construed as guilt to the other side.
Not Documenting the Accident Scene
If you are able to move around and are not being removed from the scene by an ambulance, you need to document the scene as best you can. You should take plenty of photos that depict the damage to both vehicles, the driver who was behind the wheel, any passengers, etc. In addition, you want to document the surrounding elements as well. Is there a stop sign blocked by foliage? Perhaps the ground was wet due to rain. These are important elements that your insurance company and attorney will want to know. The best time to document the scene is right after the accident happens since you cannot recreate all the elements of the accident for a photo later on.
Not Seeking Medical Treatment
Even if you feel ok the day of the accident, it is not uncommon for pain to set in a couple days later. Do not assume you are not injured. It is prudent to see a medical doctor to verify whether or not you have any internal, soft tissue injuries. Failure to see a doctor or waiting too long to see one can hurt your chances at receiving compensation as the other side will claim your medical treatment was unreasonable and unnecessary since you waited three weeks before making an appointment.
Not Retaining an Illinois Personal Injury Attorney Early on
Retaining an Illinois car accident attorney from the start is the best course of action. Your attorney can help preserve evidence, conduct a thorough investigation, and keep you from having to speak with the other driver’s insurance company, which will be trying to get you to admit guilt.
If you were injured in an Illinois car accident, contact the attorneys at Brassfield, Krueger & Ramlow, Ltd., to schedule a consultation.