Even if you are one of the safest, most defensive drivers on the road, there is still a risk that you could end up in a major accident. Car accidents remain common in our region. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were more than  324,473 traffic collisions reported in the state in 2016 alone. Approximately 20 percent of those crashes (66,703) resulted in at least one reported injury.

All drivers need to be prepared for the possibility of a crash. In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a wreck, you need to know what to do to protect your legal rights and financial interests. In this guide, our top-rated Rockford, IL auto accident attorneys provide an overview of the five most important steps to take after a car crash.

1. Call the Police

Following a serious accident, you should always call the police. Under Illinois law, all car crashes that result in any injury or in at least $1,500 of total property damage must be reported to state or local law enforcement authorities. Drivers should also remain at the scene of the collision — unless emergency medical attention is required. Upon arrival, the responding officer(s) will secure the scene and draft an official traffic crash report… READ MORE

2. Exchange Information

You should also exchange information with every other driver involved in the accident. Be sure to get the other driver’s name, contact information, vehicle information, and their insurance information. The more information you have in your possession, the easier it will be for you to file a car accident claim… READ MORE

3. Take Photographs

It is important to document the crash. Should a dispute arise — whether it is over fault for the wreck or over the total value of damages — photographs will serve as an important form of evidence. Take as many pictures as possible. You can always delete unnecessary pictures later. You should try to get photographs of the vehicle damage, the accident scene, your injuries, and any other relevant details… READ MORE

4. Seek Medical Attention

All car accident injuries require professional medical evaluation. Without question, emergency needs always come first. If you need emergency assistance, you should accept an ambulance ride to the nearest medical center. Beyond that, you need to get yourself checked out by a doctor. Not only is this necessary to protect your health and safety, but you will not be able to bring a personal injury claim without medical documentation… READ MORE

5. Seek Legal Advice

Finally, if you were injured in the crash, you should be ready to seek legal guidance. While you may not need an attorney for a minor fender-bender, you should always be represented by a lawyer if you were injured in a crash. Insurance companies are notoriously aggressive when handling auto accident claims. You need a strong, experienced advocate by your side. Your Rockford personal injury lawyer will be able to review your claim, investigate the accident, go over your rights and options with you, and help you recover the full and fair financial compensation that you deserve… READ MORE