The worst possible thing has happened to you while driving home from work in downtown Chicago, you’ve been involved in a car accident. Your first concerns go on the safety of you and the other driver, but after that you panic, and you’re scared.
This is a completely normal response to a serious incident, however, when panicking, you might make a mistake at the scene of the accident to void some of your rights. The last thing you want to worry about when you are involved in something as serious as that is what legal steps you need to do to ensure your safety. At the same time, you have to be able to recognize if the other party is trying to do things to get you to void your rights and put them at a legal advantage.
It is important that you hire a lawyer to represent you, so you don’t have to stress out about the insurance companies and defending yourself. Unfortunately, however, your lawyer will not be present instantly when the accident occurs.
Here are some things you should do at the scene of the accident to protect your rights and help your case later.
Collect ALL Valid Information
The first thing you need to do after a car accident is to collect all the information from the other party. If you are injured and cannot move, you need to assign someone to do this for you.
This ensures that you are getting valid information that you can relay over to the insurance companies or the Chicago police should it come to that. Chicago accident lawyers say that many cases fall through or take much longer to resolve due to a person failing to gather all the vital information necessary.
Make sure you get the following from the other party.
- Full Name
- License Plate Number
- Insurance Police Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Other Person’s Phone Number
By getting all of this information, you can help keep your case moving forward and progressing. If certain aspects are missing, it will add a lot of time to your case and if you are seriously injured, could delay some of the necessary treatments. Always make sure that you have collected the information.
Do Not Apologize
Although it is often a reflex thing to say when something goes wrong, even if you are not at fault, it is vital that you do not apologize to the other person. Apologies are an admission of wrongdoing and even if the accident was their fault, if you apologize it can look as if you are assuming guilt for the situation and the person can now use this against you.
Try to avoid contact with the other party as they might try to bait you into saying something that they can use. When you get into an accident, quickly call the Chicago Police and let them come over and handle everything for you.
Taking photos of the damages inflicted upon both cars keeps you safe from future lies from the other party. A common scam is that people will get into very minor accidents, then damage their car heavily several hours later and blame the accident for causing it.
Take photos of both your car and theirs, that way when the investigation is underway and new damage appears on the other person’s car, you can refute it and say it was not there at the time of the crash and prove it with a photo. Once again, if you are unable to move and collect photos yourself, you should assign someone else to do it for you.
Failure to collect photographic evidence could come back to haunt you and ruin your insurance rates. Always take photos, it’s better to have too much than too little.
It is very unfortunate to get into a car accident, but what can be even more unfortunate is getting yourself into a bad situation afterwards. Always collect valid information from the driver to ensure that they not only are a legal driver, but you can also give their information into the Chicago police and insurance company.
Never apologize for anything, as you do not want to put yourself in a position where people assume you are taking responsibility for the crash. Finally, take photos to protect yourself from scammers trying to take advantage of you. Get yourself a good lawyer to represent you so that the only thing you need to worry about post accident is getting yourself better. Remember these tips to ensure your safety after the accident.