Question

What Should You Do After Being In A Motor Vehicle Accident In Illinois?

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Timothy S. Mahoney - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Timothy S. Mahoney

Located in Freeport, ILMahoney & Mahoney, LLC

Freeport, IL
Phone: 815-656-4600

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Answer

First, here are three things you do not have to do after an accident:

  • You don’t have to give a statement to the other side’s insurance company.
  • You don’t have to sign anything regarding payment of medical expenses.
  • You don’t have to accept a settlement that is offered to you. 

Now, let’s look at what to do after a major accident and what to do after a minor accident.

Major Accidents

Here’s a good rule of thumb. If you are being taken from an accident in an ambulance, then you or someone who can represent you should contact an attorney immediately.

Here’s why:

The other side’s insurance company already has dispatched its own investigator to examine the accident scene. You need an attorney who’s on your side and who likewise will have an investigator who’s on the ground, gathering information on your behalf. This can include examining the crash site and the vehicles. It also can include finding and interviewing witnesses.

Minor Accidents

If you’ve been in a minor accident, take pictures of everything, including:

  • Your vehicle
  • The other vehicle or vehicles
  • The accident scene
  • Insurance cards from the other drivers 

After a minor accident, you also should contact your insurance agent immediately. The agent might try to talk you out of filing a claim. Don’t agree to anything until you speak with an attorney.

Your insurance company will ask for a statement. You must give a statement, but you are allowed to do this on your terms. Your lawyer can give the statement for you.

Medical Care
It’s crucial to seek medical attention after any accident. Back, neck and head injuries are very common in low-speed accidents. But symptoms often do not show up for several days.

If the medical exam reveals an injury or injuries, the exam will help to preserve your legal rights. Plus, the sooner injuries are diagnosed, the sooner your treatment can begin.

Why It’s Smart To Hire A Lawyer

Any accident – whether it’s major or minor – can create complicated issues. Bad decisions can be very costly.

First, there’s the insurance. If you’re like most drivers, you have insurance but you have very little understanding of what the insurance coverage means for your particular situation. A qualified attorney can help you decipher the insurance get the best possible result.

Then there’s your physical health. When your physical health, medical costs and financial well-being are possibly at stake, it is important to have someone who is on your side and representing your legal interests.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact an experienced attorney today.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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