More than six million car accidents occur each year in the U.S. No one expects to have a car accident as they commute to work or drive to Woodfield mall. But when this frightening situation occurs, you should be prepared and try to stay level-headed. We recommend the following reminders to ensure that you are following the law and taking all of the steps necessary to help you recover damages if necessary.
Ensure Your Safety
After an Arlington Heights car accident, you need to check for injuries to yourself or to your passengers. If you have suffered extensive injuries, stay still and wait until professionals arrive to help you. Next, call 911 immediately. Emergency services such as the police and EMTs can assess the situation better and are very experienced in the aftermath of car accidents. While you wait for the professionals, stay calm.
Next, if you are able to get out of your vehicle, you can check to see if the other driver and their passengers are injured.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
Once you have checked that everyone is okay, return to your vehicle. If everyone is alright, ensure your continued safety and move your vehicle, if possible, to a safe place to continue the safe flow of traffic and to get out of any potential dangers.
We recommend that you do not:
- Confront the other driver for any reason outside of ensuring their safety,
- Apologize or admit fault for the accident, or
- Agree to allow the other driver to pay you on the spot in lieu of reporting the accident.
In many instances, your immediate reaction to an accident may miss some damage to your vehicle or injuries to you or your passengers. Before speaking to anyone, if you believe you suffered any damages or injuries, contact an experienced Arlington Heights car accident attorney first.
Why You Should Report the Accident
You must report a car accident if a driver or passenger involved in the accident was killed of suffered bodily injury in the Arlington Heights car accident. Illinois law mandates the reporting of such accidents as well as accidents of more than $1,500 in property damages occur in the accident. Since you may not be able to assess the value of the damages both to yourself or to your property, it is best to assume that you or your passengers suffered bodily injury and that at least $1,500 of damages occurred to your vehicle.
Additionally, remember to get a copy of the official police report. The police will typically provide the Illinois Department of Transportation with a copy of the police report within 10 days after the accident. This will include the information of the accident if you are unable to prepare your own notes immediately. It will also include the contact information for the other driver.
Keep a Solid Record
If you are able to immediately prepare a record of the accident, we highly recommend that you document everything. Unfortunately, in many accidents, your injuries may not allow you to focus on this effort immediately. But once you are able to begin, it will help you ensure you receive the damages you deserve after your accident.
Begin by writing your own report and include:
- The time and place of the accident,
- The other driver’s information including their name, address, phone number, license plate, make and model of their vehicle, and their insurance information, and
- Notice any potential distractions that the other driver may have experienced, such as cell phone use.
All of this documentation will help your lawyers to work tirelessly for you.
Contacting an Arlington Heights Car Accident Attorney
The last step is that if you or someone you loved has experienced an injury or suffered property damages, you may want to contact a qualified Arlington Heights car accident attorney. If you have handled this scary situation on your own thus far, you can rely on the expertise of the attorneys at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today for a free consultation.