What to Do After a Car Accident


Did you know that over 200,000 accidents occurred on the roads of Illinois in 2020 alone? Car accidents at the most dangerous intersections in Illinois can be traumatic and have severe consequences, often leaving those involved feeling shaken, injured, and overwhelmed. Understanding what you need to do after a car accident is essential, as it can help alleviate stress and anxiety, ensuring that you receive the necessary assistance, especially when injuries arise and require medical attention. 

Everyone must know how to respond in case of a car accident, injury, or emergency. This guide will outline the immediate steps to take after a car accident and the subsequent actions to follow if injuries become evident.

What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

Safety First

In the event of an accident, it is crucial to prioritize safety above all else. Begin by moving your vehicle to a safe area, such as the side of the road, to prevent further damage or injury. If your vehicle cannot be moved, remain inside with your seatbelt on until help arrives. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of the situation and minimize the risk of additional collisions. Regardless of the severity of the incident, call 911 to report the accident. The police will document the scene, and an official report can prove beneficial when filing an insurance claim or pursuing a personal injury case.

Exchange Information

The next step is to exchange contact and insurance information with all involved parties. This includes obtaining their name, address, phone number, email, driver’s license and insurance details. Likewise, be sure to provide your information to the other drivers or parties involved. To strengthen your case, use your smartphone to take photos of the damage to all vehicles (not just your own) and property, the accident location, traffic signs, and any other relevant details. These pictures can serve as evidence and may assist your attorney in putting together a strong claim.

Gather Evidence

As you compile evidence, take note of the location, date, and time of the accident, as this information will be important when building your case if needed. In addition, if there are any witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information, as their statements can provide valuable evidence in your case, and your future lawyer may want to speak with them. Lastly, document any injuries you or your passengers sustained as a result of the accident. Seek medical attention promptly, even if injuries are not immediately apparent. Keep records of all medical treatment; these documents are necessary to pursue a personal injury claim.

Seek Medical Attention

Importance of Seeing a Doctor After a Car Accident

If you have been injured, you should consider seeking medical attention promptly after a car accident. Some injuries may not be obvious immediately, and delaying medical care could worsen your condition or complicate your personal injury claim. A doctor will provide a professional evaluation of your injuries, prescribe necessary treatment, and document your medical condition, which will be essential for connecting the injuries to the crash.

Don’t Give Statements to Investigators

If you’ve been contacted by an investigator from the insurance company for the at-fault driver, it’s in your  best interest to avoid giving them a statement.  Regardless of what they say, they don’t have any interest in treating you fairly.  Rather, they may ask you leading questions to try to obtain statements that hurt your claim.

Documenting Injuries

In order to support your personal injury claim, it is essential to document your injuries thoroughly. One effective method is to maintain a daily journal, recording your symptoms, pain levels, and any limitations you experience due to your injuries. This information can help your personal injury lawyer demonstrate the impact of the accident on your daily life. Additionally, collect copies of your medical records from all healthcare providers who have treated you for accident-related injuries. These records will be crucial for building your case and determining the extent of your damages. Finally, if you are unsatisfied with the diagnosis or treatment plan provided by your primary doctor, consider seeking a second opinion from a specialist. Doing so can help ensure you receive the appropriate care for your injuries and provide additional evidence to support your claim.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Importance of Hiring a Lawyer

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is critical in protecting your rights and interests after a car accident. An experienced attorney will have the knowledge and expertise to build a strong case, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages.

What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do for You:

Evanston personal injury lawyers and those throughout Illinois can provide invaluable assistance in several ways. One of the key benefits they offer is guiding you through the complex legal process, which can be particularly overwhelming for those unfamiliar with personal injury law. From filing a claim to negotiating a settlement or preparing for trial, a skilled attorney will be by your side each step of the way. Additionally, personal injury lawyers can negotiate with insurance companies, advocating on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement for your injuries and losses. Finally, when your case cannot be resolved through negotiation, your attorney will be prepared to represent you in court, presenting a strong case to maximize your chances of success.

How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer:

To find the best personal injury lawyer in Illinois, search for one with a proven track record and experience handling car accident cases. Such an attorney should have extensive knowledge of personal injury law and a history of achieving favorable outcomes for their clients. Start your search by reading online reviews and testimonials from former clients to get a sense of the lawyer’s reputation and the satisfaction level of those who have worked with them. Some personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, which allow you to discuss your case and determine if the attorney fits your needs. During the consultation, inquire about the lawyer’s experience, success rate, and fee structure, and be sure to ask any questions or express worries you may have. 

Filing a Claim for Monetary Compensation

Types of Compensation Available

You may be eligible to receive various types of compensation when pursuing a personal injury claim after a car accident. These can include medical expenses, which cover the cost of your medical treatment, such as emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and ongoing rehabilitation. Lost wages may also be recoverable if your injuries prevent you from working during your recovery period. Additionally, compensation for pain and suffering accounts for the physical pain and emotional distress you’ve experienced due to the accident and any long-term disability or reduced quality of life.

How to File a Claim

When you get into a car accident, it is crucial that you contact your insurance provider immediately to file a claim. They will assist you in navigating the process and provide the coverage details as outlined in your policy. It is important to gather evidence to support your claim, such as police reports, medical records, photographs of the accident scene, and witness statements. These materials will help establish the cause of the accident and the extent of your injuries, making your claim stronger. 

Working with a car accident lawyer in Evanston or another local attorney can significantly improve your chances of receiving a fair settlement. By working with your lawyer, they will review the evidence, calculate the total value of your damages, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Your attorney will be prepared to take your case to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.

Take Action and Protect Your Rights After a Car Accident

In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and gather essential information, seek medical attention, and obtain legal advice and assistance. 

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact the Rooth Law Firm for guidance and support. Our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys will tirelessly protect your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Remember, acting promptly after an accident is essential to maximize your chances of a successful outcome. Contact the Rooth Law Firm today to discuss your case and explore your options with a trusted personal injury lawyer by your side.