If you have been involved in a car accident in Illinois, our Springfield, Illinois Auto Accident Attorneys recommend you take the following steps:
Step 1 – Check for injuries
Assess the situation. You need to check to see if anyone is injured – including yourself. In addition, you want to make sure that you do not do anything that would create further injuries to people and avoid any action that could create further accidents. If in doubt, STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE.
Step 2 – Call 911
After you have checked on the occupants of your vehicle, call the police. It is important for law enforcement to come out and document the scene, interview witnesses, and make sure that traffic is properly rerouted in order to avoid further injuries. Request that the officer take pictures of the damage to the vehicle and any injuries that you have sustained (if visible). Also, request the officer take pictures of the scene of the crash and interview any potential witnesses.
Step 3 – Record Contact Information
It is important to make sure you have the contact information for all of the people who were involved in the accident as well as those who witnessed it. You will want to gather their:
- Phone Number;
- Email Address;
- Driver’s License Number;
- Make/Model of their Vehicle;
- License Plate; AND
- Insurance Company and Policy Number.
You should also request a copy of the crash report and investigation from the police officer as well as their name, agency, badge number and a contact number for them.
Remember to be polite but firm when requesting all of this information.
Step 4 – Get Medical Treatment
Depending on the severity of the accident, this may be the first step after the accident if you are immediately taken to the Emergency Room. To the best of your ability, make notes on what doctors are treating you, what company they work for, and what diagnosis(es) you receive. Request a copy of your medical records – they are very important!
It is not uncommon for people to think that they were not injured in the collision only to have symptoms develop after a few days. If this happens to you, go to your primary care physician (or ER if it is an emergency) for treatment and request referrals to specialists as needed. DO NOT GO TO ANY TREATMENT PROVIDERS THAT YOU HAVE NOT BEEN REFERRED TO BY YOUR DOCTOR.
Step 5 – Contact an Attorney
If you, or your loved one, have been injured in an accident, the Personal Injury Lawyers at the Noll Law Office would be happy to speak to you regarding your case. Our office has a wealth of experience in litigating these cases and insuring that our clients medical bills are paid and they are compensated for their lost wages and pain and suffering. You will need to bring a copy of the crash report and any medical records that you have to your Free Initial Consultation. Our attorneys can be reached as (217) 414-8889.
Our office will guide you through the process and set up a barrier between the other party’s insurance company and you. We will look to see what types of insurance policies are available to help you get the treatment you need and make sure that your bills are taken care of.
Step 7 – Contact Your Insurance Company
If you have not already done so, contact your insurance company. Most insurance companies require timely notification of an accident as well as cooperation from the policy holder.
Step 8 – Do Not Speak to the Other Party’s Insurance Company
If you have been contacted by the other party’s insurance carrier, be polite. Any information they want or any questions they may have should be referred to your Personal Injury Attorney or to your insurance provider. You should not agree to a recorded statement without the advise of legal counsel. You should not sign any releases or documents without consulting a lawyer.
Step 9 – Follow Up on Medical Treatment
Your doctors have ordered your medical treatment to help your body recover from the injury. The best thing that you can do is follow your treatment plan, make your appointments and do what is required of you. If you develop other symptoms or do not believe that the treatment is helping, go back to your PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN and discuss it with them.
Step 10 – Keep Organized Notes and Records
It is important to keep a log or journal of your medical providers and treatment. At the end of the case, you will want to be able to pay the medical bills that have been accumulated. In order to effectively do this, it is easiest to note the date of treatment, the provider and keep a copy of the bill. It may seem tedious but it can save a tremendous amount of time, headaches and money later on down the road.
The Auto Accident Lawyers at the Noll Law Office in Springfield, Illinois represent the injured throughout the State of Illinois. If you have been injured or have a question related to a car accident, please contact our office at (217) 414-8889.