What to Do After a Car Accident in Illinois

Being involved in a car accident is often stressful and frightening, especially knowing Illinois roads are full of heavy traffic. Accidents tend to occur more frequently than elsewhere; hence, their name is auto accidents. If this should happen to you, it’s understandable that you will want information about how best to protect yourself and your rights. The following are some critical steps to take after a car accident in Illinois:

Stay at the Scene

One of the key things in case of an accident is that you must stay at the Scene of an accident. A hit and run is a serious offense in Illinois, as failing to stop after an accident. If possible, drive your vehicle to a safe place away from traffic; otherwise, do not leave the Scene.

Check for Injuries

Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. But even if there are no outward injuries, it is still necessary to go for medical treatment because some aren’t immediately evident.

Call the Police

If a car accident in Illinois causes injury, death, or property damage of over $1500, it is illegal not to report the incident to the police. Although the accident may appear relatively innocent, it is still a good idea to call the police because this will enable them to make an official record, which can be used as evidence when making insurance claims.

Exchange Information

Once everyone is safe, exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident. This involves names, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and vehicle plates. Do not talk about the specifics of the accident or admit blame because this could be used as evidence against you later.

Document the Scene

The Scene of the accident needs to be recorded. Photograph the extent of damages to all vehicles, the positions in which they were found, and any visible signs of injuries. This can be used as evidence for insurance claims or possible legal troubles. If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask for their phone number and address.

File an Accident Report

If the wreck in Illinois results in injuries or damage to property worth more than $ 1,500, you must report it to the IL Department of Transportation (IDOT) within ten days. The report may be filed on the IDOT website or at any police station. If you DON’T report, the fine or driver’s license can be suspended.

Notify Your Insurance Company

After the accident, you must notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Understand your insurance policy. Know what is covered. Drivers in Illinois must carry minimum liability insurance to cover any other cars or property damaged by them in an accident for which they are responsible.

Consider Hiring an Attorney

If the accident causes serious injury or damages, you might seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help you understand the types of damages related to an accident for which you may receive compensation, such as costs associated with medical care, lost wages and pain and suffering. They can fight on your behalf so that you are compensated fairly by insurance companies or other parties.

Watch the Statute of Limitations

In Illinois, there is something called the statute of limitations defining a time limit within which you must file your personal injury or property damage lawsuit. The statute of limitations for individual injury cases is two years from the accident date. Five years for property damage. Awareness of these deadlines and acting on them as soon as possible is imperative; otherwise, your right to pursue compensation will forever be lost.

Understand Comparative Fault Laws

Illinois adopts the principle of “comparative fault” in car accident cases to determine liability. Therefore, if it is determined that both parties are to blame, then the compensation will be reduced proportionally depending on how much fault was found in each party. For example, if you are judged to be 25 % liable for the accident, your compensation will also be reduced by 25 %. This understanding is essential when dealing with an insurance company or a legal battle.
In conclusion, being in an automobile accident is the kind of thing that can make you feel like your head’s swimming. But if you follow these steps and know your rights, you can ensure your safety, protect those around you as well, or even obtain fair compensation for any damage. Also, being familiar with the traffic rules in Illinois can help to prevent accidents from occurring.