Picture this: you are cruising along Interstate 94 when suddenly, you collide with another car as its driver attempts to merge into your lane. It pushes your car into the guardrail, throwing you sideways and back again. Your head hits your driver’s side window hard, causing you severe pain. What do you do next?
Many drivers do not know what to do when they are involved in a car accident. Making the right decisions in these moments immediately following your collision are crucial to your physical recovery as well as your ability to successfully file a personal injury claim.
If you can, pull off the road into a safe space. This might be a parking lot or even just the highway shoulder. Only do this if it is safe to do so. If you can exit your car at this point, check on all other drivers involved in the collision and their passengers.
If anybody is in need of immediate medical attention, call for an ambulance right away. This step can save somebody’s life. Once you have done this, or if all parties are stable and there is no need for an ambulance, call the police. An officer will arrive to the scene shortly.
Be sure to get the other driver’s insurance provider’s name and his or her policy number. Give him or her your information as well. If you choose to file a personal injury claim, you will file it with the other driver’s insurance provider.
If anybody was around to witness the accident, take down their names and contact information. They might need to provide witness testimony later for your personal injury claim. Before you leave the scene, get a copy of the official police report and the attending officer’s name, contact information, and badge number. The police officer will be able to provide unique insight and testimony to your claim later.
At this stage, take as many photographs of the accident as you feel are necessary to fully communicate what happened. Get photos of all cars involved at every angle you can, focusing on the point of collision and the path that the accident took.
The next thing you need to do is seek medical attention for yourself as soon as you can. Even if your injury does not seem serious, get a doctor’s diagnosis to be sure. Remember the impact between your head and your driver’ side window in the example scenario? This type of impact can lead to a concussion, which is a type of traumatic brain injury that does not have immediate symptoms. This is known as an “invisible injury” and can lead to significant health issues for you later.
Once your injury has been diagnosed, it is time to contact a personal injury attorney to get started on your claim. Find an attorney who specializes in car accidents and can create a custom legal strategy for your claim. Do not wait too long to take this step. – You have a limited time to bring the case. If you fail to timely bring the case if can be detrimental with no recovery for you.
Car accidents happen. If you have been injured in a car accident, you might not have to shoulder the burden of its expenses on your own. Contact The Law Offices of Thomas A. Morrissey at 708-352-3790 to learn more about your personal injury claim options during your free initial consultation with our firm. Do not wait to begin working on your case with us. In Illinois, you only have two years to file your personal injury claim after your accident happens. Be proactive and call us or visit us online to schedule your legal consultation with our firm today.
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