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Be prepared to document a car accident

| Mar 23, 2015 | Motor Vehicle Accident

According to the Chicago Tribune, 2013 saw an average of 782 motor vehicle accidents a day in Illinois. The statistics point to an average of nine people an hour injured statewide. Most conscientious drivers are aware of the necessity to keep proof of insurance in the glove box, as well as automobile insurance cards in their wallets. A more extensive toolkit is recommended in case of an accident, however, as thorough documentation may prevent headaches down the road.

Compiling data

To receive appropriate compensation from insurance companies, care should be taken to compile as much information from the scene as possible. An action plan that includes a way to take photographs and notes should be fairly easy to put together. In the event of injury or extensive damage, it is useful to gather data for a car accident attorney in Chicago such as the following:

  • Exact location of collision and description of events
  • Descriptions of vehicles, including make, model, color and year
  • Insurance information from all involved parties
  • Names and contact information for witnesses
  • Photographs of damage, as well as pictures of the scene of the collision, including skid marks and road conditions

According to The Chicago Tribune, this thorough documentation helps to strengthen a car accident claim for compensation, even if there is a delay in the claims process.

File a report

In a case where no serious injury occurs, law enforcement may not even respond to an accident, let alone file a report. It may be wise to file one anyway, as a report supplies valuable information for a car accident attorney in Chicago when a claim is delayed or becomes complicated. A form may be available through the local police department where the accident took place. Although a report is advisable, it is best not to sign any documents at the scene other than an agreement to appear in court if an officer requests it.

Keep calm and hold onto the cellphone

Plenty of statistics proclaim the dangers of driving while using a cellphone, but there is no denying its usefulness after an accident. Not only may a phone be employed to call 911 for help, but its camera may document the pertinent details of the collision. The National Safety Council reports the financial costs of crashes in Illinois exceeded 5.7 billion in 2013. Photographs of a collision site help to establish the validity of a claim when insurance companies resist paying. In general, the more reliable information that maybe taken down at the scene of the collision, the better the chances of receiving adequate compensation on an insurance claim with the help of a car accident attorney in Chicago.