The first thing you want to do if you’re in a car accident in Illinois is call the police. You want the police to document the details of the accident and to make a motor vehicle crash report. If the person who’s at fault is ticketed, they will have documentation that we, as your car accident attorneys, can order to bolster your case.
In the event you are feeling any type of pain, we would recommend that you immediately go to the emergency room either in the ambulance or take yourself. You should follow up with whatever type of medical advice the emergency room provides to you, but at the very least, also see a primary care physician. If you’re in severe pain, then I would recommend seeing an orthopedic or another specialist immediately to get the proper medical care and treatment.
Then, as soon after an accident as you can, we always advise contacting an experienced attorney to find out what your rights are.
Q: What if the police report says that I was at fault or I was partially at fault?
While documentation of any type of fault doesn’t help, there are many more facts and circumstances that are important in a car accident case. Police reports can help or hurt your case, but typically they are not admitted into evidence as they are hearsay.
When you speak with your lawyer, be sure to let them know all of the deficiencies or other issues in your case so they can properly assess the negative impact and figure out how to argue your case as strongly as the facts allow.
Police reports can be challenged because the conclusions from the police are from post-occurrence witnesses. They’re basing their report on what you and the other driver tell them. The report itself will not come into evidence, and any testimony the officer provides would be based upon second-hand knowledge.
Q: If I’m in a car accident and I feel okay, should I go to a doctor anyway?
With any car accident, you’re dealing with incredibly high forces affecting your body to where it would always make sense to see a doctor. For your own peace of mind and to make sure that there are no underlying issues that could become a problem later, it’s a good idea to be examined by a medical professional.