What Should You Do When Involved in a Car Accident? Car accidents happen suddenly, and it can be tough to know what to do in the immediate aftermath. The steps you take after a car accident can greatly affect your ability to receive compensation. If you've been injured in a car accident that was somebody else's fault, call Burger Law's car injury attorneys at (314) 500-HURT or complete our contact form.
You can use our free personal injury calculator to see how much your claim may be worth.
7 Steps to Take After a Car Accident
The personal injury lawyers of Burger Law recommend taking the following seven steps if you have been in a car accident in Chicago and Missouri:
1. Check if Anyone is Injured
The most important thing is everybody's well-being and safety. Check to see if anyone is injured and how significant their injuries are. If you or anyone is severely injured, call 911 immediately. If you can, render aid to anyone who needs it.
2. Get to Safety
If anyone has a significant injury, it's best not to move until emergency personnel arrive. Otherwise, get your car to the side of the road to avoid being a danger to oncoming traffic or risking further injury.
3. Call the Police
Under both Missouri and Illinois law, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident where someone was injured or killed, and you must file a police report. Police officers are trained to determine fault in an accident, and having a police report will greatly help your case. Police will be able to take over the scene safely and notify emergency medical personnel if necessary.
Get the names and badge numbers of the officers at the scene, and ask them where you can get a copy of the police report.
4. Collect Evidence at the Scene
Take pictures of all vehicles involved, any injuries you sustained and other parts of the scene, such as the road surrounding the crash. Lack of tire marks may help prove that the other driver was distracted. If the other driver was drunk, take pictures of the police arresting them.
You should also exchange insurance information with the other driver. If there were eyewitnesses, get their contact information so your car accident lawyer will be able to take official depositions from them. It's also a good idea to write down everything you remember about the crash, as your memory will be freshest in the immediate aftermath, and you may forget seemingly insignificant details that later turn out to be important.
5. Get Medical Treatment
In order to get maximum compensation from an insurance company, you need complete records of your injuries and medical treatment. With minor injuries, a quick trip to the emergency room or to your primary care physician may be all you need. More significant injuries may require ongoing care.
It's important to get medical treatment even if you believe your injuries are not serious. Injuries such as whiplash can take several days to show symptoms, and may only be noticeable with MRIs, X-Rays or other tests. Adrenaline can often mask pain immediately after an injury.
6. Be Wary of the Insurance Company
If the other driver was at fault, you will need to notify their insurance company. Insurance companies use a lot of tricks and deceitful tactics to try to minimize your claim, or even avoid paying you anything at all. They may tell you that you have to give a recorded statement, which is false. Do not tell them anything regarding the nature of your injuries or who was liable.
7. Call Burger Law
Burger Law's car accident lawyers in Missouri and Illinois have over 70 years of combined experience holding negligent drivers accountable. To date, we have won our clients over $175 million in verdicts and settlements. You may be wondering if it is even worth it to get a lawyer after a car accident. If you have been injured, in most cases it is absolutely worth it to hire a lawyer. Our personal injury lawyers will make sure that you are compensated for every way your injury has affected you, including your property damage, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Our initial consultation and preliminary investigation are free, so there's no harm in calling us to discuss your case with us. Always speak to a lawyer before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company. Call Burger Law now at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online.