As long as there are cars on the road, car accidents will be inevitable. Even very safe drivers are involved in accidents, so it’s important to understand the first steps you should take.

In 2017, 21.5% of the 311,679 crashes reported resulted in injuries. In the unfortunate event that you become part of a statistic like this, a personal injury attorney can be your guide through recovering medical compensation.

Call for help

Calling 9-1-1 to the scene of the accident should happen as soon as possible. If you are going to make the call, first make sure you pull your car over safely. It’s natural to want to call family or loved ones immediately after experiencing a traumatic situation, but the quicker you call for help, the quicker you’ll receive it.

Calling for emergency aid will also begin to create a paper trail of the accident, which is an essential to building a case for an insurance claim and/or court case.

See a doctor

In many cases, an ambulance will transport you to a hospital. Whether or not you receive care the day of the accident, medical follow-up is crucial because the shock of the event can cloud pain and some injuries take time to develop. For example, an X-ray can show broken bones immediately, but soft-tissue injuries that often result from whiplash can appear later and won’t appear at all in an X-ray image.

File a claim

Filing an insurance claim seem like a daunting process, but in Illinois if you want to file a personal injury lawsuit, then it needs to happen within two years of your accident. It’s also against state statute to not report a car accident that resulted in injuries or death to either party.

As previously mentioned, starting a trail of paperwork can help ease this process. This can include, a police report, insurance information of the other driver and doctor’s notes. Beyond keeping track of deadlines and paperwork, legal aid can help alleviate the stress that can come along with both first-and third-party insurance claims.

A split-second event can change your life forever. Taking thoughtful steps after an auto accident can help you receive the compensation you deserve.