Tips for Responding to an Automobile Accident
Personal Injury - October 7, 2015
Auto accidents can happen suddenly – sometimes without even the slightest warning. People with good driving records may feel safe, but nobody can control the actions of negligent motorists. In addition to physical pain, victims often face legal hurdles when trying to recover compensation for health-care bills, lost wages and other damages.
Practicing safe driving etiquette is a good way to reduce your chances of getting into an accident. For example, it is best to limit driving during rush hour, weekend nights and holidays due to heavy traffic and the higher potential for drunk-driving collisions. If you are involved in an accident, then it is critical that you know how to respond in a way that protects your interests.
If you would like to speak with an accident attorney in Chicago who is experienced in handling automobile injuries, contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today at (800)-985-1819. Starting with your first free consultation, we can review the details of the accident and explore all legal options available to you.
Stop The Vehicle and Check On Others and Your Surroundings
Stop your vehicle and make sure the engine is turned off. Take a deep breath. Check your surroundings before exiting the vehicle to make sure it is safe, and exit your vehicle. If you are not injured, check on all those involved in the accident. If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 emergency responders immediately.
Do Not Block Traffic
After getting into an accident, you should plan to stay in the area until speaking with police or exchanging information, depending on the details of the incident. That said, you should make an attempt to stay out of the way of other vehicles during this time. If possible, move your car to the side of the road and conduct all conversations with the other drivers in a safe area.
Exchange Insurance and Contact Info with Other Drivers
Even if nobody was harmed and the damage was minimal, it is still important to exchange insurance and contact info with all drivers involved. Serious penalties can arise for leaving the scene of an accident without exchanging information. Information that should be included:
- Date of Accident, Location of the Accident, and Time of the Accident
- Occupant names of the other vehicle
- Insurance Info
- License Plates, Makes, and Models of Vehicles
- Contact Information from Witnesses
- Name and Badge Number of Responding Police Officers
You should also consider taking photographs of the accident.
If the collision was minor, then you may not need to call the police. In Illinois, an accident must be reported if the accident resulted in death or injury to any person or there is property damage of over $1500. If there are injuries, then you should always call emergency responders as well as law enforcement and file a report. If you or the other driver has called the police, then do not leave the scene until they have arrived.
Do Not Prematurely Leave the Scene of an Accident
Even if the accident was only a fender-bender, do not leave the accident if law enforcement has been called. Doing so may result in hit-and-run charges.
File an Accident Report If Necessary
If the accident caused injuries or serious property damage, then you are required to file an official report, according to Illinois law. In most of these cases, a police presence is required, as well.
The accident report will outline a number of details that could be beneficial to your claim.
If you would like to speak with a Chicago accident lawyer about a recent car crash, contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today for a free consultation at (800)-985-1819. We have recovered more than $1 billion in damages through record-setting verdicts and settlements. Call us today for a free consultation and case review.