Imagine you’ve been driving around the Chicago area and suddenly get into an accident with another vehicle. What steps should you take to ensure your safety and preserve your right to potential compensation in the future?
First, you need to make sure you and any passengers are safe. Check for injuries and call for medical attention as soon as possible if anyone is hurt. Then, if at all possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid being hit by other cars coming in your direction. If it’s night and you have warning flares, cones or triangles, you should set them up to increase your visibility.
Once your vehicle is out of the way and medical responders are en route for you or the other driver (if necessary), call the police. Officers will come to investigate the scene and file an accident report, which could prove valuable as evidence later should you need to file a personal injury claim.
While you’re waiting for officers to arrive, try to take some pictures on your phone of the accident scene, including the damage to both vehicles, damage to the surrounding area, skid marks on the road, signs in the area and anything else that could be useful. If you don’t have a camera or smart phone handy, write down all of this information in as much detail as possible.
Finally, get the name, insurance information and contact information of the other drivers, as well as the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Never claim full or partial responsibility for the crash, as it could come back to haunt you if you need to seek compensation for injuries or property damage.
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