It may surprise you to learn that Winnebago County is one of the ten deadliest in the state for traffic fatalities according to statistics reported annually by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
While Cook County leads the rest of the state in deaths related to car accidents, Winnebago County ranks seventh in Illinois for traffic fatalities. Almost four percent of the state’s annual number of traffic accidents occur in this county alone.
Even though a car crash can happen for numerous reasons, you should know what to do when you’re involved in one. At the law office of Crosby & Crosby, we have successfully represented clients in numerous auto accident cases across Illinois. Our experts have put together the following guide to help you determine what to do if you experience a car accident.
What to do in case of an accident near Rockford, Illinois
If you have been involved in a traffic accident, especially one involving personal injury, you should do the following.
- Get medical attention. Your health should always be your first priority. Traffic accidents can not only leave you injured physically but confused and disheveled. Don’t take chances by shrugging off and disregarding your injuries, even if they appear minor to you.Allow yourself to be taken to the nearest emergency room for professional medical care. Your pain and confusion might be temporary or they could be symptoms of very serious, underlying injuries. Get immediate care as well as the follow-up treatment that may be needed in the case of very serious injuries.
- Take pictures. If you’re physically able, use your cell phone camera to take pictures of the damages to your vehicle, as well as the injuries you may have suffered.
- Collect reports and witness statements. Be sure to get a copy of the police report and if possible, witness accounts of the accident, as well as contact information for these witnesses. The officer investigating the accident should give you a numbered receipt, and you can get a copy of the accident report by calling the local police department and giving them that number.
- Be careful what you say and do. For example, do not admit guilt, even if this seems like the courteous thing to do. Also, while you may have to provide certain information to your insurer, you are not obligated to speak with the other driver’s insurance company.You should never agree to an immediate settlement for the damages you’ve suffered. You can be sure the other driver’s insurer will try to pay you the least amount they think they can for the damages you’ve suffered.
Reporting requirements and the statute of limitations
It’s also important to remember that all drivers in an accident must file a report with the state of Illinois in accidents involving death, bodily injury, or property damage of more than $1,500 – if all drivers involved are insured. If any involved driver does not have insurance, that reporting threshold drops to $500.
In addition, if you are seeking compensation for the damages you’ve suffered, under Illinois law, you have two years to file your claim. That may seem like a long time, but collecting all the information needed to support your claim for damages can be a long, drawn-out process, and you should file your claim just as soon as possible.
The need for experienced legal counsel
We fully understand that following a serious accident, with all the things you need to do, hiring legal counsel might not be the first thing that comes to mind. You also may be tempted to try to save money by trying to resolve all issues on your own without the benefit of legal assistance, but things rarely work out that way.
Having an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer working on your behalf can often be the difference between getting the compensation to which you are rightfully entitled or having to pay many of your expenses out of your own pocket.
The best way to protect your rights and get the compensation to which you are entitled is by hiring a personal injury attorney who knows how insurance companies operate and can take the steps to protect your rights.
Discover Rockford’s Car Accident Lawyer
At Crosby & Crosby Law, our attorneys have the experience and the knowledge to work successfully on your behalf to help you get every dollar to which you are entitled.
If you or a loved one have been injured or suffered extensive property damage in a motor vehicle accident, contact the car accident attorneys at Crosby & Crosby for your free consultation. We will utilize Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you.