If you have been in an automobile accident, it is important to know what to do. You may be injured and have a lot of questions. Here are answers to the most common questions people ask after a car accident in Illinois.
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1. How do I report the accident?
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may decide to report it to law enforcement or your insurance company. If you call the police, the officer will take a report and file it at the scene of the accident.
If the officer were not present when the accident occurred, you would have to file a police report at the police station nearest to the scene of the accident. You should notify the police immediately after an accident if the other driver leaves the scene before you can get the driver’s contact information.
The police may need to conduct an investigation to determine who is at fault for the accident. If you have auto insurance, you should notify your insurance agent as soon as possible after an accident.
2. Should I see a doctor after my accident?
You should see a doctor immediately after your accident to evaluate your injuries and get treatment if needed. Some injuries, such as head injuries or broken bones, may be difficult to see immediately and may not be readily apparent to you or bystanders.
A doctor can detect and diagnose less obvious injuries that might not be apparent to you or other people on the scene of the accident. If you do not see a medical professional within a day or two after the accident, the insurance company may use this against you to deny your claims. Even if you think you were not seriously injured in the accident, you still need to see a doctor to get a complete evaluation of your injuries.
3. How should I proceed if I have filed a claim with the insurance company?
Once your insurance company has been notified, it will assign an insurance adjuster to contact and evaluate you to determine the extent of your injuries and damages. The adjuster will collect information from you about what happened and how the accident happened.
You will be asked to complete forms and provide statements to the adjuster about your injuries and losses related to the accident. You will then meet with your adjuster to negotiate a settlement of your claim for compensation for your injuries and damages.
It is important to provide truthful information about your injuries and losses to allow the adjuster to accurately evaluate your claim. If you cannot agree with the adjuster, you will need to file a suit in court to resolve your claim.
4. How will I know how much my claim is worth?
It is only possible to predict the value of your claim once you determine how much money you will need in the future to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other economic losses related to your accident. An experienced Chicago personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and explain your options and what to expect during the claims process.
5. Hiring an attorney – should I or shouldn’t I?
That all depends on your circumstances and what’s at stake. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should hire an experienced attorney to protect your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
An attorney will answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your case.
You may decide to represent yourself after learning about the claims process and your rights under the law, but you should consider talking to an attorney first so that you understand the pros and cons of handling your case on your own.
If you decide to hire an attorney, choose someone who has experience handling cases like yours and has successfully handled similar cases in the past. Your attorney should be upfront and honest with you about the strengths and weaknesses of your case and the cost of pursuing it.
Generally, personal injury lawsuits follow a similar pattern from when you are injured until a final settlement is reached. However, individual cases have their own distinct characteristics that can dramatically affect the time it takes to resolve a claim and how much it will cost.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately to discuss your rights and begin the claims process.