Having a car accident is not usually a pleasant experience. Everyone is at risk of getting into a fender bender, including the best drivers. However, to prevent any legal troubles it is important to know what to do if you get into a car accident in Illinois. It’s best to understand the process when getting into a car accident.
One question to ask is what to do with the car after the accident occurs? This is key with any accident, but it’s best to follow state law, to avoid any legal issues. To prevent any issues, let’s explore some basic steps:
Should I Move My Car After An Accident?
When the accident first happens, stop the vehicle. Move it to a spot with the least amount of endangerment to others and oncoming traffic.
Reflectors and flashers can be used to warn traffic of the accident. This includes a small fender bender as well.
Criminal charges can be brought against you for leaving the site of a car accident. If you leave the site of an accident, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, serve one year in jail, and pay fines up to $2,500.
Provide Support To Any Injured Persons
After securing the car and warning oncoming traffic, make sure injured parties get medical care. Call 9-1-1 to get the best medical care for any injuries resulting from the accident. While waiting for emergency medical care, provide first aid based upon personal abilities and proficiencies.
However, do not provide any first aid if proficiencies are lacking in first aid. The goal is to not make matters worse and to keep watch over the injured person. This includes not moving an injured person from the area, which could make matters worse, like a neck or head injury.
Give The Necessary Basic Information
Once the car and injured persons are secure, the driver must provide basic information to the person of the damaged vehicle. This includes name, address, car owner’s name, license plate number and driver’s license. It is required by Illinois state law for both drivers to provide basic information.
Also, if the car has hit an unattended property, the owner must be located and contacted. If the property owner cannot be reached, leave the contact information securely in a conspicuous place on the property.
If the driver fails to leave their contact information on the damaged property, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, up to one year in jail, and pay up to $2,500.
Contact The Police
It is best to have the police handle the situation when they come, so they can further investigate the incident. This can take the stress off the drivers and injured persons involved with the accident.
The police will collect the necessary information to move forward with the accident report. The police report can be beneficial later if there is any legal action taken.
If the accident takes place within city limits, contact the local police. However, if the incident takes place in the open highway, contact the state police or county sheriff.
File An Accident Report
The driver must file the accident report with the Illinois Department Of Traffic (IDOT) within 10 days of the incident.
The accident report must be filed if any of these factors occurred:
- Personal Injury
- Property damage costing at least $1,500.
If the accident report is not filed, the driver’s license will be suspended, could also serve jail time, and pay fines up to $2,500.
You can file the accident report online to the IDOT, as well as in person. The report can be obtained at the local police station.
Collect Information From All Involved Parties
The driver who may have allegedly caused the accident can still collect information from the alleged injured parties. Get names, addresses and phone numbers of all involved parties. Take pictures and take necessary notes and observations of the incident. This information can also be helpful for any legal action taken.
Connect With Car Insurance Company
Illinois requires all cars to have auto insurance, mainly liability coverage. Trailers are the only vehicles not required to have insurance. The state does not require you to report the accident to the insurance company.
Most, if not all, insurance companies require car owners to report car accidents. Failure to report the accident to the insurance company could result in not having the cost of damages covered. If the accident is not your fault, the company could have challenges in reimbursing for any injuries or damages incurred.
Know Your Insurance Coverage
Read your current insurance policy for your car, to understand what is covered. The company can send you the current policy, to know what is covered. It’s important to focus on certain factors of the policy:
- What physical injuries are covered?
- Is additional medical coverage offered?
- Does the policy include uninsured or under insured parties, who do not have auto insurance, or have inadequate coverage?
It’s important to have a basic understanding in handling a car after an accident. These tips can help drivers protect themselves after an accident.
Find The Right Attorney
If someone was injured or died in a car accident, it is important to find the right attorney that understands the process. It’s important to find an attorney that knows the process of filing insurance claims and legal proceedings.
The Eames Law Group is an experienced law firm that guides people involved in a car accident. They help residents of Illinois gain their lives back after accidents, by managing medical bills and financial setbacks. The Eames Law Group can help people obtain the appropriate compensation and medical assistance from car accidents.
For more information, contact us to meet with the Eames Law Group and learn about the legal services they offer.