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FAQ after a vehicle accident

Vehicle accidents sometimes happen to the best drivers in Illinois, but it doesn’t make the experience less scary. While the details of each accident vary, many of the same basic questions get asked by the people involved in a collision. Here are some questions that drivers commonly ask after a vehicle accident.

What should a driver do after an accident?

Most states don’t require drivers to report minor accidents that do not include major property damage or injuries. However, they have time limits on reporting accidents with major property damages or injuries to the DMV, which is 10 days in Illinois. They will also need to inform their own insurance company of the incident and get contact information from the at-fault driver to file the claim with that company.

Should the driver see a doctor?

If the accident caused injuries, the driver should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Drivers should not attempt to settle claims without seeking medical care. Some injuries show immediately after impact, but others, such as whiplash or concussion, may not show signs for several days.

The body releases chemicals called endorphins after trauma as protection, which can easily mask symptoms. The injury could get much worse in the coming weeks, which affects insurance claims.

Can drivers not wearing seat belts still recover damages?

Not wearing a seat belt as a defense to lower compensation depends on each state’s law, but Illinois doesn’t recognize the seat belt defense. Some states base compensation on comparative fault, meaning each party shares a percentage of fault.

Illinois adapted the rule of modified comparative fault in 1981, which reduces an injured party’s compensation based on a percentage. Illinois sets comparative fault at 49% or less to recover damages against an at-fault party. Drivers in the state cannot recover damages from at-fault parties if they exceed that percentage.

Motor vehicle accidents can change the lives of injured parties. For this reason, they may want the help of an experienced defense attorney to get a fair settlement.