Knowing what to do after being injured in a motor vehicle accident can be difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone. Rightfully so, many drivers experience a range of mixed emotions after they’ve been in an accident. No matter the seriousness of the injuries, each driver deserves the same attention to ensure they’re alright.

As one of the leading car accident law firms in Rockford, Illinois, we understand that all of our clients are real people with genuine legal needs. Our practice was built on the belief that we must prioritize our client’s health first, which is why we have developed a complete guide of what to do after an accident.

When you’ve been injured in an accident, Crosby & Crosby, LLP Attorneys at Law, will be there to guide you through every step of the process. Our attorneys will review your case, provide you with all of your options, and fight for your rights in order to achieve the maximum compensation you are entitled to under the law.

A woman takes a photo of her broken headlight after a car crash.

What to do after a car accident


#1 Call 911

Immediately after being involved in a car accident, you should call 911 and ask for emergency personnel to come to the scene. If you have been injured, you should immediately be seen and treated by a paramedic. In addition to addressing any injuries you’ve received, it is important that a police officer arrives on the scene to document the accident and write a report.

#2 Move Your Vehicle

You should only pursue this step if you are able to safely do so. If you’re not seriously injured and your vehicle can be moved, it’s important to relocate it to a safe spot nearby. Once you’ve found a safe location, you will park the car, turn off the ignition, and step away from your vehicle while you wait for emergency personnel to arrive at the scene.

#3 Check for Injuries

If it is safe to do so, check yourself and other passengers, who were with you at the time of the accident, for injuries. If you or another passenger is seriously injured, it’s vital that you do not move them and wait for emergency personnel. This can prevent them from facing even more serious injuries after an accident.

#4 Gather Information

While waiting, if you have a camera, take pictures of the damaged vehicles from different angles and distances. It’s also important to photograph or note the intersection and road where the accident occurred. If you noticed any skid marks, broken glass or parts of either vehicle strewn across the road, then those items should be photographed as well.

All of this information can be used as credible evidence when you file a claim after an accident. Taking pictures of the scene and property damage can also help refresh your memory and corroborate any testimony given by the parties.

You’ll also need to document the date, time, weather conditions and the directions the vehicles involved were traveling as you will need to report this information to the responding officer.

#4 Treatment for Injuries

When paramedics arrive on the scene, regardless if the injuries are severe or minimal, it is best practice to be examined and treated by them. If they recommend that you visit the hospital to see a physician, then you should follow that advice. A hospital visit will also provide more documentation for your case.

#5 Speak with an Officer

Once the responding officer is available, provide them with the information you gathered and obtained under the fourth guideline. You should NEVER ADMIT FAULT OR LIABILITY for the accident.

Be sure to ask the officer to speak with any witnesses and gather their contact information such as name, phone number, and address. You will also need to exchange insurance information with the officer and other parties involved. Before anyone leaves the scene, be sure to obtain the accident report number as well as the officer’s name and badge number.

#7 Report Your Claim

Report the accident to your auto insurance carrier as soon as possible. The adjuster assigned to your claim may ask you to provide a recorded statement.


In addition to reporting the accident to your insurance carrier, the other driver’s insurance carrier will attempt to contact you. Our office recommends that you do not speak with an adjuster without an attorney present. Instead, we recommend telling the adjuster that you have or are hiring an attorney and respectfully ending the conversation.

#6 Receive Medical Treatment

If you are injured, we recommend that you follow through with any treatment course following an accident or hospital visit. You must never miss a doctor’s appointment, physical therapy appointment, an MRI, or a referral appointment where you see a specialist. Receiving medical treatment and following your doctor’s orders can help you achieve maximum results for your claim.

Be sure to have your physician’s office submit their claims through your medical payments policy provided to you through your auto insurance carrier.

If you were forced to miss work due to the accident and the medical care needed to recover from it, then you should also keep track of lost wages during this time.

Discover Our Car Accident Lawyers In Rockford, IL

Helping real people with real problems achieve real and satisfactory solutions to their legal issues is what we are all about at Crosby & Crosby Law, and that will never change. If you have been injured in an Illinois car accident and have questions, please call our office to schedule a free consultation.