Thousands of individuals and families are forced to seek advice from an attorney for car accident injuries that they endure every year. According to the Illinois Department of Transpiration, 103,156 people were injured in car crashes, and another 1,248 people died in Illinois in 2007 alone. Those numbers have only increased over the past few years. Unfortunately, most individuals are statistically likely to be involved in at least one accident in their lives. Being prepared for the accident and knowing the steps to take after it occurs can help accident victims avoid many common complications in the legal process.
What to do immediately following an accident
After the dust has settled, the most important task is to ensure that anyone that has an injury and needs medical attention receives it as soon as possible, according to Edmunds. As soon as an accident victim is physically able, they should write down exactly what happened to cause the accident. Drivers can draw pictures, diagrams, and anything else that will help them remember the events leading up to the accident.
Using a disposable camera or smart phone to take pictures can be incredibly beneficial as well. Photos should include the state of the vehicles, their location and orientation, and up close shots of any damage to the vehicles. Those who have been seriously injured can have a pre-designated family member perform this task instead, so no time or information is lost. To make documentation easier, drivers should keep an accident information form and disposable camera in an accident kit in their vehicle at all times.
Exchanging information with the other drivers involved in the accident is also essential for anyone who wishes to seek compensation for their injuries. Law enforcement officers will usually include the information in their accident report, but insurance companies often require it in order to start any kind of claims process. Being proactive on this can save drivers time and energy and help get them the things they need more quickly.
What to do in the near future
Those who have significant injuries will usually be transported by emergency personnel to a hospital directly following an accident. Those with less severe injuries should see their own doctor as soon as possible to ensure they are not hurt, and to document their physical state following the accident.
Victims should also keep a daily journal of how their injuries are affecting their lives and the lives of those around them. It can include information about injuries, treatments and what they entail, any new physical and mental limitations, and daily pain charts.
It is imperative that victims document their version of events as soon as possible following an accident. When done properly, it can help victims and their attorneys have clear evidence to use to get the best settlement possible.