When you travel by motor vehicle on an Illinois roadway, you can reasonably expect all motorists in your vicinity to obey traffic laws and exercise caution at the wheel. There’s never a guarantee, however, that you’ll safely arrive to your destination. Numerous issues may arise to cause delays, such as a sudden collision.
It’s not uncommon to think ahead about what you should do after an accident, whether you’re involved in one while driving, riding as a passenger or as a pedestrian. This central focus of this post is not what to do after a collision but what not to do. Keeping these things in mind can help you get the care you need and also help avoid complications or legal problems later on, especially if the incident prompts litigation.
It is unlawful to leave the scene of a collision if you were involved
One of the most important things to remember in the immediate aftermath of a car accident is to remain at the scene, unless a police officer tells you that you’re free to go. Of course, if you suffer severe or life-threatening injuries and are transported by ambulance or air flight to a hospital, it is the same as having permission to leave the scene. Otherwise, police will want to speak with you before you exit the scene.
Do not engage in confrontation with anyone, including the other driver
Except to obtain contact and insurance information, there’s no reason to converse with anyone else who was involved in the collision, except those who may have been traveling in your vehicle with you. Road rage and other factors can spur erratic behavior in some people. It’s best to let police do all the talking and to avoid verbal altercations at the scene.
It’s always best not to decline medical attention
If you survive a collision and believe that your injuries are minor, you might be tempted to decline medical intervention. Declining medical attention is one of the things you should not to do after a car accident. There are numerous reasons why it’s always best to go to the hospital for care, including the fact that not all injuries are immediately apparent. Going to the hospital also means there will be documentation of the incident added to your medical records, which may be useful to you if you later on.
Recovering from an Illinois motor vehicle collision
Even minor injuries might necessitate taking time off work after a car accident. Your employer might want you to present a note from a physician. Having documentation on-hand is also helpful if driver negligence was a causal factor to the damages that occurred and you plan to seek financial recovery for your losses.