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What to Do After a Car Accident That is Not Your Fault

Injured in a Chicago Accident? What to Do

The aftermath of a car crash that you did not cause may often be a confusing time. As you recover from your unexpected physical injuries, you may be unsure how you will pay for your medical bills, repair your vehicle, and recover emotionally from the accident. Fortunately, an experienced car accident attorney like Michael J. Brennan can allow you to focus on your recovery while he handles your case and helps you pursue any compensation you may be entitled to.

What Steps Should Someone Take After A Car Accident that Isn’t Their Fault?

The steps someone should take after an accident include seeking medical attention, documenting the accident, contacting law enforcement, contacting a personal injury lawyer like Michael J. Brennan to help you, and avoid speaking with the insurance company without your lawyer.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention 

If you have been in an accident that is not your fault, you should seek immediate medical attention to treat any injuries you may have suffered. Car accidents may often lead to catastrophic injuries that could be life-threatening or even fatal, especially if left untreated. Even if the accident seems relatively minor, or if you do not immediately appear to be injured, you should still seek medical treatment to make sure you have not suffered an injury. Some injuries may often not be immediately apparent, especially immediately after an accident when adrenaline or shock may mask an injury’s symptoms, especially with soft tissue injuries such as whiplash. If you are still experiencing stiffness, neck pain, back pain, or soreness in your muscles, you should go to your doctor, as this may be evidence of spinal injuries or whiplash.

Internal injuries may also not be readily apparent, such as internal bleeding, which could be life-threatening if not immediately treated. If you experience any symptoms such as confusion, loss of consciousness, or tingling in your legs or arms, seek medical attention immediately.

Document the Accident

It is often crucial to make sure you immediately begin gathering as much information as may be available about the accident. You should always be sure to obtain the other driver’s contact information, insurance information, vehicle make and model, as well as the license plate number and contact information for any witnesses to the accident. You should also take pictures, if possible, of the vehicles, any damage, the scene of the accident and the surrounding area, and any injuries. You should also be sure to keep all of your medical records related to the accident, any repair bills for your vehicle, or documentation showing that your car was totaled and had to be replaced. Finally, keep a record of any missed work due to the injuries and your resulting loss of income. This documentation may often be critical in proving your case when the other party or insurer may attempt to dispute your version of events or the extent of your injuries.

Contact Law Enforcement

After seeking any necessary immediate medical attention, you should call the police. Even if the accident seems minor, it is often best to contact the police. The police officer will generally file an accident report, which can help provide relevant information for your claim. This report will help support your claim for compensation against the other at-fault driver.

 Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

You should contact a skilled car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. An experienced attorney like Michael J. Brennan may help you better understand your legal options and how best to pursue any compensation you may be entitled to. After hiring Michael to represent you, he may often conduct a thorough investigation into the accident to gather as much evidence as possible. This evidence may include police reports, any pictures of the accident scene, insurance information, your medical records, the repair bill for your vehicle, and any witness statements. Michael can also negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf to pursue a satisfactory settlement. Insurers often hire large teams of lawyers to make sure the insurer pays as little as possible to settle any claims but hiring an experienced car accident attorney can level this playing field and help you seek compensation. If the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement, Michael may decide to take your case to trial.

Do Not Speak to the Insurance Company Without Your Lawyer

Insurance companies may often rush to speak with you after an accident. However, you should remember that the insurer’s goal is to pay as little as possible, not to compensate you for your losses fully. While the insurer may often seem helpful and may offer to settle your claim and provide you with some compensation quickly, you should contact your lawyer before speaking with the insurer, as your lawyer can help you avoid saying any statements that could be used against you while better understanding how much compensation you are entitled to before agreeing to a potential settlement with the insurer.

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