After a car accident, there are just as many things that you should not do as those that you should. Avoiding these common mistakes will keep you on track to getting the money you deserve for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other expenses you have to pay after being involved in a car accident.
The car accident lawyers in Chicago at Langdon & Emison know how one moment can alter your life forever. We are here to help you recover and move past your injuries. Langdon & Emison will investigate every detail of your case and put together an unstoppable strategy for recovering the compensation you deserve. We will fight for you through every step of the legal process, including against the insurance companies who want to minimize your damages.
When everyone seems to be against you – insurance, the other driver, and the police – Langdon & Emison will be there for you. To learn more about us and schedule your free case consultation, call (312) 855-0700 today.
What To Avoid Doing After a Car Crash
Leaving the scene.
You must stay at the scene of an accident regardless of whether or not the crash was your fault. In Illinois, leaving the scene of an accident (LTSA) where there is property damage is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, a perpetrator could spend a year in jail, pay a $2,500 fine, and serve two years of probation. In the case of a hit-and-run accident where someone was injured or killed, the perpetrator will be convicted of a felony.
These offenses are taken seriously, especially if there is evidence that the accused was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In that case, a prosecutor could accuse the runaway driver of attempting to avoid a DUI charge, which would result in additional penalties.
An LTSA charge could also lead to license suspension or revocation. Driving is a privilege, and no one should risk losing that privilege by making an easily avoidable mistake.
Unfortunately, the Chicago auto accident lawyers at Langdon & Emison see these cases frequently. We represent clients who were injured or suffered property damage in car accidents, then suffered an additional problem when the other driver fled the scene. This is an unacceptable decision on the part of the negligent or irresponsible driver. Langdon & Emison works relentlessly to hold them accountable to pay for our clients’ injuries and damages.
Not calling the police.
In Illinois, you are required to notify the police of a car crash if there were any bodily injuries or if damage to the vehicles exceeds $1,500. It can be difficult to tell the dollar amount of damage at a glance, so call the police. There may be hidden or latent damages that cause the amount to skyrocket.
Because Illinois police officers are trained to handle any situation during or after a car accident, let them take over. They will perform an investigation and obtain helpful and necessary information from you and the other driver(s) involved.
You don’t want to be in a situation where an uninsured or fugitive driver injures you or damages your vehicle and then tries to pay you off in exchange for not calling the police. If you take money from the other driver, you may realize later that the amount comes nowhere near what you need. You’ll then have to pay out of pocket for an accident that may not have been your fault.
In this case, it would be extremely difficult to receive the compensation you need to pay for your injuries and vehicle damage. When in doubt, call the police, and then call a car crash lawyer at Langdon & Emison to fully protect your legal rights and work toward getting the money you need.
If you are the kind of person who apologizes frequently and profusely, avoid doing so at the scene of a car accident. Any admission of guilt can be used against you by the other driver’s insurance company. If you admit guilt, if only just because you’re in shock after the crash, you may end up having to pay for damages that you didn’t cause.
You should avoid speaking to anyone except your Chicago auto accident lawyer and the police. It’s important to remember in speaking with the police that you should relay what you saw and experienced; do not make admissions of guilt to the police, either. A thorough investigation must be conducted before someone can be held liable.
If you must speak with the other driver, you can do so only to see if they need immediate medical attention or to obtain their contact and insurance information. If you’re hesitant about saying something, don’t. Wait for your car accident lawyer before you make any statements. If you don’t have a lawyer, call Langdon & Emison as soon as you can after the accident to protect your rights and keep you from making a statement that could cost you your case.
Speaking to the other party’s insurance company.
Insurance companies try to pay as little as they can in car accident settlements. Therefore, they will often try to speak with you alone when you are much more likely to make a mistake and say something they can use against you later.
It’s extremely risky to speak to the other party’s insurance company without your lawyer present. You need to hire a Chicago car crash attorney to handle all communication with the insurance company. Our lawyers at Langdon & Emison know the tricks that insurance companies try to pull on our clients; we don’t allow them to pull the wool over our clients’ eyes and get them to settle for much less than they need.
If you were involved in a Chicago car accident and have been receiving calls or emails from the other driver’s insurance company, call Langdon & Emison at (312) 855-0700 to speak with an attorney who will protect your rights and best interests.
Not hiring an attorney.
If you were involved in a car accident and suffered injuries or property damage, do not try to handle the case on your own. As mentioned above, insurance companies and other drivers are not looking out for you and your best interests. They will do everything they can to get you to settle for an amount much lower than what you need, and they will feel emboldened to do so if you don’t have an attorney.
You should also never try and represent yourself in court for a case in which you were injured or suffered property damage. If you attempt to represent yourself, you may end up losing an enormous amount of money. Your case may even be thrown out because you won’t know all the rules and etiquette of the court. Don’t neglect hiring a lawyer in an attempt to save a little money upfront. This will almost certainly cost you much more in the long run, and few cases are won by individuals representing themselves in court.
Car Accident Lawyers in Chicago
For over 30 years, Langdon & Emison has dedicated our legal practice to helping injured victims of car accidents. We’ve seen how insurance companies attempt to pay intolerably low settlements, and we’ve negotiated to get our clients the money they need to move past their injuries.
We will not settle for anything less than you need; our recognition as one of the nation’s top law firms and reputation as the most effective personal injury legal team for our clients proves how hard we will work for you. Call the Langdon & Emison Chicago office at (312) 855-0700 or visit us online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.