Dos and Don’ts After an Injury
Accidents and injuries can befall any one of us any day, and most of the time, there’s no predicting when and where this will happen. For example, in 2021, there were nearly 61,000 injury car crashes that occurred in the state, according to data released by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Because none of us know what our future holds, it’s best to be prepared for accidents like this by knowing what to do and what not to do after an injury.
To speak with a personal injury attorney about your options for seeking compensation, contact us at the Law Office of Anselmo Duran P.C. From our offices in Chicago, Illinois, we can serve clients throughout the area including Lake County, McHenry, DuPage, Cook, Will, Kankakee, Kane, and Grundy.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Illinois
If you’ve been hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be asking yourself, “What should I do if I sustain an injury in an accident?” or “What if I’m injured but don’t have insurance?” These are crucial questions to answer, and in many cases, the answer may be pursuing a personal injury claim.
In Illinois, you have two years after the date of the accident to file a claim, and although this may seem like a long time, it can pass by sooner than you expect. The best thing you can do for yourself is to contact an attorney who can educate you on the claims process and help you gather and organize evidence to use in support of your case. However, there are also several dos and don’ts that you should be aware of before you get started.
When You Initiate a Personal Injury Claim
Don’t leave without exchanging information with the other parties involved as well as any witnesses who may have seen the accident happen. Try your best to get everything you need right away to avoid claims of a hit and run by the other driver. The only exception to this will be if you need immediate medical attention.
Don’t share details about your case with anyone but your lawyer, and this includes your friends and family. Most importantly, refrain from posting anything about the incident on social media because this information can and will be used against you as evidence.
Don’t talk to the insurance adjuster before speaking to a lawyer. One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, “Should I talk to the insurance adjuster?” It’s common for insurance adjusters to contact you as early as one to two days after an accident and press you for information. While you can give them basic information about yourself, you shouldn’t give detailed information about the accident, your injuries, or any thoughts you have on who caused the accident. You can simply tell them that you still need to consult with your attorney and that you’ll provide a statement as soon as possible.
Don’t say yes to the first offer. Adjusters are very busy and want to close your case as fast as possible while also saving their company money. This means they will often try to get you to accept an initial settlement offer that’s usually lower than what you actually deserve. Never accept this. Chances are, it won’t account for all your future costs, like unforeseen medical expenses, physical therapy, or time off work to deal with the long-term effects of your injuries.
Do get medical attention immediately. This is true even if you feel unhurt, your injuries are only “minor,” or you don’t have insurance. If you neglect your injuries, they will likely get worse, and only a trained medical professional can properly assess you. Some injuries, especially those that happen in a car accident, can take days or even weeks to manifest, and by then, it may be too late to address them.
Do call a lawyer. As soon as possible, contact a local personal injury attorney. Your chances of getting a higher settlement will be much higher when you work with a professional. They can also help reduce the burden of dealing with claims adjusters while you’re trying to recover and heal from the trauma of your accident.
Do document everything. This includes writing down details you can remember leading up to the accident, during the accident, and following the accident. You may also wish to keep an injury journal, recording information about how your ability to work and perform daily life functions has been affected by the accident.
Do keep every single medical bill, police report, and communication with adjusters. Providing sufficient evidence will be key to presenting a solid case.
Navigate the Legal Process With Confidence
If you’re in the Chicago, Illinois, area and have recently been injured in an accident, contact our team at the Law Office of Anselmo Duran P.C. to discuss your options for getting help. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you look toward a brighter future.