Don’t let the shock of the accident keep you from acting responsibly. Whether you’re driving in Illinois or Indiana, here are some steps you should take following an automobile crash.
Check for injuries
Check yourself and your passengers to assess the seriousness of any injuries. If you can safely exit the car, check the condition of those passengers as well.
Call the police
Call 911, report the accident, describe the extent of the injuries and wait for the police to arrive. Do not admit guilt to the investigating officer or the other driver.
Document the scene
Exchange insurance information with the other car’s driver and then walk away. Take photos of the motor vehicle accident scene, including the vehicles. Ask witnesses to provide their contact information, and request a copy of the police report for your files.
Call your insurance company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Follow any recommendations they may give you.
Seek medical attention
If the paramedics at the scene tell you to go to the hospital, do it. You may not have an apparent injury, like a broken bone or lacerations, but you might have internal bleeding, which can be life-threatening. If you begin experiencing headaches or memory lapses, see a doctor, even days or weeks after the accident. You could have a severe brain injury.
Retain medical bills
Create a file and store all your medical bills, including those from the pharmacy. Start a diary and record the onset and duration of any unusual symptoms. If you want compensation for your pain and suffering, it helps if there is a written record for investigators.
Remember, insurance companies may not have your best interests in mind. If you are not satisfied with the insurance company’s settlement offer, you can file a lawsuit.