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What to Do and What Not to Do After a Car Accident

 Posted on October 30, 2023 in Car Accidents

IL accidet laywerA car accident happens in a split second. In the chaos of the moment, you probably won’t know what steps should be taken. 

Your actions following a car accident can support or hurt your chances of having a successful claim. If you have been involved in a car accident, regardless of fault, you need the experience of a Will County car accident lawyer.  

What to Do

Fear can motivate us to flee when we sense danger. Here is a list of what to do and what not 

to do following a car crash:

Report the accident

If a car accident causes bodily injury, death, or more than $1,500 in property damage, then you are legally required to call the police. If either driver does not have car insurance, then you are required to report an accident when there is at least $500 worth of damage. 

If nobody was hurt and you are unsure of the value of damage, err on the side of caution and notify the police.

Move your vehicle to a safe location

When it is safe to do so, move your vehicle off the road to a cross street or other location that does not interfere with traffic. If your vehicle is badly damaged and in the way of traffic, you must make a reasonable effort to have the vehicle moved.

Take pictures of the accident scene

Photos of any vehicle wreckage, your injuries, cross-streets or other landmarks may be used as evidence when you file your car accident claim.

Seek medical care

Even minor injuries should be tended to by a physician. Whether you need to get to the emergency room or urgent care, or you plan on seeing your doctor, get treated for injuries. 

Contact a Qualified Will County car accident lawyer

Whether you suffered minor injuries, serious injuries, or vehicle damage, a knowledgeable Joliet car accident lawyer will know how to best proceed.

Do not leave the accident scene

Even if you think the accident is not your fault, do not leave the accident scene. Illinois law makes it illegal to leave the accident scene without exchanging information with the other drivers involved and offering medical help. 

If you leave the accident scene and a court assesses that you caused at least $1,000 in vehicle damage, and your license will be suspended.

Admit fault

Never admit fault, even if you think you are solely responsible for the accident. Admitting fault can result in not being compensated for your injuries and vehicle repairs.

Attempt to negotiate a settlement 

Don’t try to skip filing an insurance claim and privately settle with the other driver. You will likely not be receiving a fair amount for your damages.

Accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company

The first settlement offer is never what your car accident claim is worth. If you sign a settlement agreement without first consulting with an attorney, you will be barred from receiving any further compensation for your car accident.

Get angry

In the heat of the moment, you may say or do things that can later be used against you. Stay calm following your accident, and don’t show other parties if you are upset.

A Joliet, IL, Car Accident Lawyer with Proven Results

Emotions run high following a car crash. If you have suffered injuries, your health should be your primary concern, not how you are going to pay for treatment. Seek medical help first and then think about consulting a Will County, IL, car accident attorney.

At McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC, we understand that you are not an expert in negotiating with insurance. Leave the negotiations to us. Contact the office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. 


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