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What should I do if I’m in a car accident?

At the scene of your accident, move your vehicle to a safe location, determine if anyone is injured and call 911 immediately. Obtain information – name, address, insurance and drivers’ license numbers – from all parties involved in the accident. If there were witnesses to the accident, record their contact information. In addition, use your phone or camera to take photos of the accident scene, weather and road conditions.

After your accident, it’s critical to seek medical attention immediately, even if you believe you were not injured or you suffered minor injuries. Contact your insurance company to report the accident. If you’ve been injured, continue to keep appointments with your doctor and keep him or her informed about your pain or other effects of the injury. If you believe your accident was caused by somebody else’s wrongdoing, contact an attorney immediately to learn your legal rights.

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Should I talk with the police when they arrive?

Yes. Reporting your accident to the police is critical when it comes time to pursue compensation and other damages after an accident. At the scene of your accident, police may fill out an Illinois accident report to document the cause of your crash and extent of both property damage and injuries sustained in the accident. If a driver is clearly at fault – perhaps she is drunk or admits to speeding or driving distracted – police may issue a citation or make an arrest at the accident scene. This information may become critical when filing a claim with the insurance company.

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Does it cost anything to talk to you about my car accident?

No. At Deratany & Kosner, we offer all prospective clients a free case evaluation. We take the time to listen to what you have to say about your accident. We want to help you know your rights. Chances are you have a lot of questions after an accident. You may have never needed to speak with an attorney before. Our experienced legal team firmly believes you shouldn’t have to fear out-of-pocket expenses when seeking answers.

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How long should I wait before I call an attorney?

Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after an accident can dramatically increase your chances of receiving compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage and other damages caused by the accident. Accidents happen fast. Evidence may disappear faster. Witness memories may fade. Our attorneys can collect evidence from the accident scene, obtain medical and police reports and help determine the long-term cost of your injuries. That way, we can help get your life back on track as soon as possible.

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Should I notify my insurance company to tell them I was in an accident?

Yes. Report your accident to your insurance company, including contact information for other drivers involved. You should stick to the basic facts and don’t discuss fault, even with your own insurance companies. If you are concerned about talking to your insurance company, don’t hesitate to contact us first at Deratany & Kosner. We may be able to deal with the insurance company on your behalf.

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What should I do if the other driver’s insurance company contacts me?

Decline to comment. If you have an attorney, give the law firm’s contact information to the insurance company and tell them to talk to your legal counsel about the crash. If you are not represented, politely decline to comment and then contact Deratany & Kosner. If you are represented by us, we will deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf.  Remember, anything you tell the insurance adjuster can be used to reduce your compensation or deny your claim. It’s critical never to consent to providing a written or recorded statement to another driver’s insurance company.

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What should I do if the other driver has no insurance?

Unfortunately, some accidents involve drivers who are either uninsured or don’t have enough insurance to cover your losses. Accidents involving uninsured drivers can be particularly frustrating, but you do have options. You may still be able to recover compensation for accident-related damages through your own auto insurance policy. This process can be difficult without a lawyer on your side. An attorney can gather evidence of your accident and injuries to support the claim you submit to your insurance provider.

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