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What to do after a car accident

Getting into a car accident has the potential to be a terrifying experience. One moment you are driving along, minding your own business and suddenly you are in a wreck with another person or object. Every year car accidents cause thousands of dollars in damages, numerous injuries and, unfortunately, many deaths as well. In 2017, 1,097 people lost their lives in Illinois due to car accidents.

In the event that you find yourself involved in a car accident, it is crucial that you understand how best to handle the situation. Navigating the scene following an accident can be difficult, but it is important to stay calm and follow the proper protocol to assure that you are prepared for a worst-case scenario.

Clear the scene

The first thing you need to do after a car accident is make sure that everyone involved is safe. If your car still functions, calmly pull it over to the side of the road so you are not at risk of another accident. After you have arrived in a safe place, check to see if anyone involved suffered an injury.

Naturally, if someone was severely injured, you should contact medical attention as quickly as possible. If you are lucky enough to escape without any injuries, take the time to make sure that the subsequent conversations take place in a safe area away from the damage.

Alert the authorities

After securing the scene, you will want to give the authorities a call. Regardless of the severity of the accident, it is in your best interest to alert the police. The police officer will file an official report, which could prove very helpful if you decide to file with your insurance company.

Additionally, having an officer present could help with any confrontation following an accident. If the police are unable to meet you at the scene, you may also file an accident report through the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles.

Collect information

Your next move involves having a conversation with the other person involved in the accident. It is crucial that you take down all pertinent information about the driver. This may include his or her name, address, telephone number, insurance provider and insurance policy number. It is important that you are polite and professional, but you should also avoid admitting fault or allowing your emotions to get the best of you. Make sure to collect information intelligently and responsibly.

Document the accident

The final step is to carefully document the accident. Your goal should be to take detailed notes about everything that may prove important if you decide to file an insurance claim. Write down everything from the damages to your car to how the incident occurred.

If possible, taking pictures of the vehicles involved could also prove valuable. Finally, you may want to quickly interview any witnesses. An extra viewpoint about what occurred can be helpful if there is a disagreement about the accident. Organize these documents and make them easily accessible so you can provide information as necessary.

Car accidents are unfortunately inevitable. If you find yourself in a worst-case scenario, make sure to contact an experienced professional to help you navigate the situation.

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Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.
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Wheaton, IL 60187

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