As a busy metropolitan area, Alsip, Illinois has a number of dangerous intersections, including 123rd and Pulaski and 123rd and Cicero. Use caution when you drive and be safe. Unfortunately, that isn’t always enough. Sometimes another driver is not so careful. People often ask their lawyer what they should do if they are involved in a car accident. The general answers are the same throughout the state of Illinois, but it can help to have information that is specific to your community. Here is some information about what to do when you are in an accident. We are also including links to links to resources in Alsip that may be of assistance.
Call the Police
Any time you are involved in a car accident, you need to call the police. Which police you call depends on where the accident occurs. Interstates 294 and 57 pass through the Alsip area. If your accident occurs on the interstate, you should contact the Illinois State Police. If the collision happens anywhere else, you should contact the Alsip Police Department at 1-708-385-6902. You can get more information on their web site. Obviously, if there are serious injuries, you should call 911.
If You Are Injured
If you are injured, that is the first priority. Tell the police officer that you are injured and alert them if you need an ambulance. If you are unsure of the extent of the injuries, it is best to get checked out by the paramedics and, possibly the hospital. In an emergency situation, you may not have much choice about where you will be taken. After the emergency has passed, however, take time to get the best medical care possible.
Pick and Excellent Doctor or Hospital
In the South Suburbs, there are a lot of good hospitals and doctors. When you are injured in a collision, the most important thing is to get excellent medical care. Don’t assume that the best care is the closest to you. Be willing to travel a bit to get the best qualified doctors. U.S. News and World Report publishes information about qualify ratings for hospitals in the Chicagoland area. In addition, the Illinois Department of Public Health publishes a list of licensed trauma centers, many of which are near Alsip, Illinois. If you are not obtaining treatment because you can’t afford it – you should seek guidance from a lawyer as soon as possible. There may be insurance coverage or public benefits that can help you.
Notify Your Insurance Company
According to Grossman Attorneys, whether or not the accident was your fault, you should notify your insurance company of the accident. Many insurance policies will exclude coverage for the collision if you do not report it within 30 days. Even though the other driver was at fault, you may need to use one or more benefits from your insurance policy – such as rental car coverage or medical payments coverage. If you are going to have a personal injury claim, it is best not to talk to the insurance company for the other driver until you have consulted with a lawyer.
Get Your Car Fixed
Insurance companies will sometimes try to steer you toward a shop that they prefer. If you like their shop, that’s fine – but generally speaking, you have the right to go to any repair shop of your choice. Take a moment to make sure you are going to a reputable shop. Here is a link to Auto Body Shops listed with the Better Business Bureau for Alsip, Illinois.
Get an Attorney If You Need One
Not all car accidents require an attorney. If your car is damaged and the company works with you to fix it, you should be able to manage this on your own. If you have a serious personal injury from the accident, it is likely that you will legal need help to get fair compensation. Picking a good personal injury lawyer is very important. As with doctors, keep in mind that the best lawyer may not be in your neighborhood. Be willing to travel a little to find an experienced lawyer. Also, some lawyers (including Stotis and Baird) will agree to come out to Alsip to meet with you.
Understand Attorney’s Fees
Most injury lawyers work on a contingency fee – meaning that you do not pay unless you make a recovery. The typical fee is 1/3 and you should not need to pay a higher fee than that. Understanding how contingency fees work is important.
If you have additional questions about what to do after a car accident – please feel free to call us: Stotis & Baird Chartered – 312-461-1000. Serving Alsip and the rest of the Chicagoland area – 200 W. Jackson Blvd. Suite 1050, Chicago, Illinois 60606 or visit us on the web at www.stotisandbaird.com. Article by Eric Parker, injury attorney with Stotis & Baird Chartered.