Top Chicago Personal Injury Attorney Explains What To Do If Involved In An Accident
There are many things that should be done directly or soon after an accident. This article will discuss some of the basic steps that should be taken.
First, it is important to get excellent prompt medical care. If one feels that they were injured, they should be transported to the emergency room via ambulance. Some people may opt-out of an ambulance ride because of various reasons, the most common one being that they don’t feel their injuries warrant it. However, it is important to remember that the human body is quite fascinating. Your body may go into shock to protect you from pain. The adrenaline build-up may be such that even very serious injuries do not feel as you think they might, at least not right away. Over the years, we as Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys have represented people who have had catastrophic injuries, such as amputated limbs. You would think that they would describe that pain at the scene of an accident as being horrific. However, because of the protection mechanisms that human beings possess, that’s not always the case.
In addition to getting prompt medical care at an emergency room, be sure to follow up with a physician, usually your family physician, unless the emergency room doctors recommend you see a specialist right away. Often, in an emergency room setting, triage will be performed to see if you need to be admitted to the hospital for close monitoring, more thorough testing or surgery, sometimes life-saving surgery. If this is not the case and you are discharged from the hospital, it is important to follow up with a physician to make sure that he puts you on the right medical treatment path or confirms that you do not need further medical treatment at all. It is unwise, both from a medical point of view and a legal point of view, to self-diagnose, and not get medical treatment for a prolonged period of time after an accident.
After an accident, get the police involved. If an officer comes to the scene, cooperate with the officer and tell him what happened. Hopefully, the officer is experienced with accident investigation and will interview the parties involved, eyewitnesses and maybe even preserve evidence with photos, measurements and other things that determine fault after an accident.
Next, speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You may need someone to help preserve evidence. We have actually won cases by obtaining videotape of accidents from nearby cameras even though the at-fault driver told the police a story wholly inconsistent with the videotape itself. Those videotapes often only exist for a limited period of time, so again, it is important to act without undue delay. Initial consultations with personal injury lawyers are free and the right personal injury lawyer will advise you of your rights.
Lastly, the next step is something you should definitely not do. Do not speak to the other party’s insurance company. They may call you soon after an accident and want a statement, usually a recorded statement. Those statements will often be damaging to the injured victim.
The above-mentioned steps are basics. There are many things that need to be done after an accident. If you follow these steps, you should be closer to getting your life back on track after an accident.