Vehicle accidents can be terrifying, particularly when they happen late at night. Late-night vehicle accidents must be handled appropriately, and you need to know what to do when these incidents occur. As we go through the steps of what to do if you are involved in a late-night vehicle accident in Illinois, we understand how confusing these incidents can be. We strongly encourage you to contact a skilled Chicago car accident lawyer who can step in on your behalf as soon as possible.
1. Ensure You Are Safe
Ensuring your safety after a late-night vehicle accident in Illinois is crucial. Crashes during the daytime are dangerous enough, but nighttime crashes add the extra element of danger associated with less visibility. If you can safely move your vehicle to a median or the side of the road, you should do so if there is an immediate danger of being struck by oncoming traffic. If the vehicles are disabled, you should get yourself and any passengers to safety on the side of the road, but only if it is safe to move an individual. In some cases, injuries may be severe enough to where it is not safe to move an individual from where they are inside the vehicle.
2. Check for Injuries
You need to check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If you are able to do so safely, you can check others involved in the vehicle accident. If there are any injuries, these individuals need to seek immediate medical care. This begins with calling 911 and arranging emergency medical transport.
3. Call 911
Law enforcement officials need to come to the scene of just about every accident that occurs in Illinois. Police can get to the scene, conduct an initial investigation, ensure the safety of the area, and fill out an accident report that will be used by the insurance carriers.
4. Gather Evidence
Only after a scene is safe should an individual consider gathering evidence. This may not be possible at all, depending on the situation. However, if you are able to do so, you can use a cell phone to take photographs of everything at the scene of the incident. Additionally, you need to get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses as well as any drivers and passengers involved in the vehicle accident. Make note of any surveillance cameras you see in other vehicles or on nearby buildings. This surveillance footage could be used to help prove liability.
5. Contact a Lawyer
We encourage you to contact a skilled vehicle accident lawyer in Illinois who can help you throughout this entire process. An attorney can get involved, conduct their own investigation into the incident, and help you recover compensation for your losses. Even if a crash occurs during the nighttime hours, many personal injury lawyers have 24-hour hotlines that you can call to get advice about what to do next.
6. Talk to Your Insurance Carrier
You do need to report the vehicle accident to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Often, this includes reporting the incident through an online portal or through a phone app. Most insurance carriers have very strict reporting deadlines, and failing to meet this deadline could result in your claim being delayed or denied. You do not have to go into much detail when you make your initial report, and we encourage you to refer any questions by insurance claims adjusters to your attorney.
7. Continue Medical Care
You need to continue all medical treatment recommended by your doctor. If you discontinue care against a doctor’s advice, this could significantly jeopardize the outcome of your insurance claim.