Injured In a Car Accident in Illinois?
If you have been injured in a car accident in Belleville, you should know that there’s a law firm near you who can help you get the compensation you deserve; a lawyer will also be able to file car insurance paperwork and negotiate with the insurance agent or adjuster. Even if your case doesn’t go to court, having an experienced attorney on your side will help you get the best settlement for your needs.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are a number of steps you need to take, some of which your attorney can either help you with or accomplish completely on their own. Here is a brief outline of the overall process, but understand that the details of your case will most likely vary, and sometimes a variety of circumstances come into play. Each accident is as unique as those involved in it. With that, here are some of the elements in the process:
What to do at the Scene of the Accident?
Get yourself to a safe location. This may involve moving your car to the side of the road. Usually, it’s best to stay in your car, away from the flow of traffic; if this isn’t possible in your specific situation, find another way to stay safe. If you can, pull your vehicle to the side of the road; if you are unable to move your car or it’s not safe for you to stay in your car, move to a place where you’re safe, away from any immediate danger, but also where you can be seen by any law enforcement or medical personnel that arrive on the scene. If you have the option, choose to stay on the side of the road rather than a center median.
If you or anyone else has been injured, you should call 911 as soon as possible. When you speak to a 911 dispatcher, it’s most helpful if you remain calm and speak clearly. Tell the dispatcher only the important, relevant details so that they can help you more quickly and easily. Provide your name, your reason for calling, the location of the accident, and any other important details, such as whether the road is blocked or someone is injured.
Next, you need to start gathering information. Many car insurance companies provide their customers with forms to keep handy in your car in the event of an accident; these forms will remind you what information to ask for, and provide you a place to record it, so all you need is a pen. If your insurance company hasn’t provided that to you, make sure that you get the other driver or drivers’ contact information (name, phone number, address, and email address) as well as their car (year, make, model, and license place number) and insurance information (policy number and carrier).
In speaking to the other driver(s) and law enforcement and emergency medical personnel, you should remember to keep your conversation to a minimum. Don’t discuss the accident, and don’t apologize, as this could be used as evidence in court that you take responsibility for causing the crash. If you have a mobile phone that takes decent photos, make sure to use it to take pictures of the scene, damage to vehicles, and injuries to anyone involved, as this type of evidence is much more difficult if not impossible to obtain after the fact. Furthermore, if a law enforcement officer comes to the scene with the intention of making a car accident report, remember to get the officer’s name, badge number, phone number, and (if available) the number of the police report so that you can get a copy once it’s complete. Additionally, never leave the scene of the accident until you’ve been given clearance to do so.
What About When You Get Home?
Once you get home and begin the sometimes-lengthy, arduous process of putting your life back together, a number of issues may crop up. The most important thing you can do after a car crash is taking care of yourself. See your doctor as soon as you can, and start documenting everything. For example, if you were at all injured in the accident, you might wonder if you should see your own doctor, whether you need to say anything about your car crash. For the purposes of a lawsuit, you should document everything; it’s always better to have too much documentation instead of not enough. Make a record of your injuries immediately after the accident as well as how you feel on the days, weeks, and possibly even months after that. You should also keep a record of the days you saw a doctor regarding your injuries, any related copays, and costs of medications. Recording these types of things will only help support your case, and help you get adequately compensated.
Hire a Car Accident Attorney to Help with This Complicated Process
This whole process of filing a lawsuit to get compensated can be daunting, confusing, and frustrating, but that’s just one of the many reasons you might want to consider hiring an experienced attorney to help you. Here are a few more:
- A lawyer can help you file a claim, which can be a huge burden lifted off of your back – after all, you have many more important things to worry about.
- Your attorney can deal with the car insurance agency. Sometimes dealing with insurance agents can be like trying to speak a language you don’t know; an experienced attorney will know how to communicate with them, which makes the process so much easier and less stressful.
- Your lawyer will fight to get all of the compensation you’re due, whether that means reaching a settlement out of court, preparing for a trial, and even going through the entire legal proceeding. Your lawyer will be there with you every step of the way.
Call a Belleville Car Accident Lawyer Today!
Call today for a free consultation with one of our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys; you can discuss the specifics of your case and decide whether hiring someone to help you is the right decision for you.