Being involved in a car accident is a scary and often overwhelming experience. In some cases, the accident will only result in minor damages and injuries; others are more serious.
Regardless of how serious your accident is, taking the right steps after a car accident can help you protect your right to recover compensation.
Along with taking the right steps after an accident, you should also contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer, who can provide more advice and guidance.
Taking the Right Steps at the Accident Scene
At the scene of the accident, you must ensure you stay safe and gather evidence.
Move Your Vehicle Out of Traffic
While this may seem like common sense, some drivers don’t do this. Be sure to move your vehicle off the road as long as it is safe to do it. You may want to leave your vehicle where it is to prove to the police who caused the accident. However, doing this will increase the likelihood that another accident will occur. Make sure to prioritize your safety and the safety of others.
Even though you need to move your vehicle off the road, you should not leave the accident scene. You may face criminal charges if you do this. Pull over near the scene and wait for the authorities to arrive.
Check for Injuries
If someone involved in the accident is injured or unconscious, be sure to contact the authorities immediately. If the accident was serious, there is no way to know if the occupants in the other vehicle can call for help.
Gather Information and Evidence
Once you have checked to ensure everyone is safe, look around the accident scene. Are there hazards that can pose a risk to you or the other driver? Are you on a hill or curve? Are you close to an electrical line or flammable substance? Be sure to take note of the lighting conditions and weather, too.
After ensuring the scene is safe, exchange your information with the other driver involved in the accident. You need their name, contact information, insurance information from the other driver, and the names of any witnesses to the accident or other people in the vehicle.
It is also smart to take photos of the vehicles involved in the accident and any pertinent road conditions, signs, or something else at the scene. You can capture photos of the damage to both vehicles, any other property damage, and physical injuries you sustained.
Avoid Admitting Guilt or Fault
Make sure you never admit guilt or fault for the accident in any way (even if you believe it was your fault). This includes saying, “I’m sorry.” This can be taken as an admission of guilt and may reduce or eliminate your ability to recover compensation.
While it may seem natural to tell the other driver, “I’m sorry,” even in the general situation, avoid doing this. Minimizing your conversation with the other driver is best to ensure you don’t say something wrong or that is taken out of context.
Protecting Your Right to Recover Compensation After a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, it is a good idea to take steps to protect your right to recover compensation. By following the steps above, you can do this.
You must also contact an experienced and reputable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. This will help ensure you have the best chance of recovering the full compensation you are entitled to. The right personal injury attorney will aggressively fight for your rights.