A car accident may result in serious injuries or property damage. If you are struck by a negligent motorist while traveling in Illinois, you may be entitled to compensation to pay medical bills or to repair a damaged vehicle. However, there are key mistakes that you’ll want to avoid after a crash to minimize the risk of not getting everything that you might be entitled to.
Do not leave the scene
One of the biggest mistakes that people make after motor vehicle accidents is leaving the collision location. Don’t leave; contact help, like local law enforcement, and wait there. If the accident blocks traffic or lands you in a place that might result in another collision, it’s fine to move your vehicle out of the road. Furthermore, you’re encouraged to collect evidence from the site of the wreck while waiting for police, fire or ambulance services to meet you.
Don’t admit guilt
Chances are, even if you’re not at fault, you’ll want to apologize to other drivers involved in your collision. Don’t do that; it may be seen as an admission of guilt and could hamper your chances of obtaining a favorable settlement or jury award.
You also don’t want to say that you’re not hurt immediately after the crash. This is because symptoms of an injury may take hours or days to present, and by admitting that you’re fine, it may be hard to prove a link between the crash and your back, neck or head pain. It’s also in your best interest to be as concise and objective as possible when talking to your insurance company. Including subjective information in a statement may result in your coverage provider denying your claim even if you did nothing to cause the crash to occur.
You will typically have two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit. However, most personal injury cases are settled outside of court. To obtain a settlement, you’ll need to show that the other driver was tired, impaired or otherwise acting in a negligent manner when a crash took place.