What to Do After a Car Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault

what to do after a car accident not your fault

Few experiences rattle you like being blindsided by a car accident you didn’t see coming. In the confusing hours and days after a collision, getting life back on track can feel daunting.

You’re rattled, overwhelmed, and unsure of what to do next.

Take a deep breath. You don’t have to figure this out alone.

At Onward Injury Law, we’re here to walk you through your next steps. 

We’ll help untangle insurance coverage, secure transportation, and, above all, ensure you get fairly compensated for damages.

Here’s what you should do after a car accident that wasn’t your fault.

Seek Medical Attention ASAP, Even If You Feel Fine

The first and most important thing to do after any auto accident is to get medical attention right away, even if you do not feel you are injured. 

When your body is flooded with adrenaline after a car accident, you may feel totally fine or have only minor aches and pains. However, there are many injuries like concussions, internal bleeding, whiplash, and spinal issues that have delayed onset and may not manifest symptoms until hours or days later.

We always advise our clients to get checked out immediately so any injuries that arise can be appropriately diagnosed and treated.  

Delaying medical care could also cause the insurance company to argue that you are exaggerating your injuries. There are even cases where people have lost their right to compensation because they rejected medical treatment directly after an accident. Don’t let this happen to you. Seek treatment right away.

Thoroughly Document the Auto Accident Scene

If it’s safe to do so, gather evidence to document the accident thoroughly. Take photographs of the damage to all the vehicles involved, the position of the cars, any skid marks on the roadway, debris from the impact, and injuries or conditions of the other drivers. 

Make sure to get the at-fault driver’s insurance and contact information, including name, license number, phone number, address, and insurance details.

In addition, get contact information for any passengers in the other vehicle. When the police respond to the scene of the accident, ask for the responding officer’s name and badge number. All of this information can help protect you financially and legally down the road.

Always File a Police Report

Even if injuries and vehicle damage seem relatively minor, it is wise to request an official accident report from the police. The officer who responds will interview you and the at-fault driver, document details like time, date, location, and road conditions, and ultimately determine fault for the accident in the police report.

Having an objective accident report on file can help resolve any discrepancies later on if the other driver changes their story or tries to dispute who caused the accident. Police reports can also help establish fault in instances where neither party has clear evidence about what happened. So, even for minor accidents, take the time to call the police and file an official report.

Notify Your Car Insurance Provider Quickly

Contact your insurance company about the accident as soon as realistically possible. Insurance policies often have strict time limits regarding when you must notify them after an accident, so don’t delay. 

Ask your claims adjuster what documents they require and what the next steps are. By being proactive, you are more likely to get issues resolved efficiently.

Do Not Give a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company

After a collision, you’re likely rattled and overwhelmed. The last thing you need is tricky questions designed to trap you. Yet insurance agents may pressure you to provide a recorded statement about the incident immediately. Don’t fall for it.

Insurers train representatives to elicit recorded statements when emotions and shock run highest. They bait policyholders with questions that can actually minimize or invalidate entire claims. Many clients regret statements given before contacting our firm.

Additionally, do not sign any release of liability forms or checks from insurance companies before consulting with a personal injury lawyer. Insurers may try to pressure you into signing away your rights or settling for less than you deserve.

Beware of Early Settlement Offers

Shortly after an accident, you may be contacted by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, offering an early settlement. This is often a low-ball offer, hoping you will take the payout before the full extent of your injuries, lost wages, car damage, and other accident-related expenses are known.

It’s wise to decline these early settlement offers and instead have an experienced personal injury attorney deal with the insurance company on your behalf. A car accident lawyer knows how to navigate settlement negotiations and fight for maximum compensation when someone else causes you harm. Don’t sell yourself short by accepting an insurer’s first offer. You may be entitled to far more damages than you realize.

With legal guidance, you can engage with insurers in a way that benefits your case.

Consult a Skilled Car Accident Attorney

Contact a qualified personal injury law firm promptly after an accident to protect your rights. Your lawyer can investigate the accident, handle the claims process on your behalf, and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve. 

With experienced legal representation on your side, you may be able to recover compensation for:

When choosing the right car accident attorney, you’ll want to look for someone with extensive expertise in handling no-fault insurance claims. Opt for an attorney with a proven track record of success securing favorable settlements and court awards for their clients. It’s also wise to choose someone you feel comfortable with and who will give your case the time and attention it deserves.

Don’t Go Through It Alone – Get the Strong Legal Advocacy You Deserve

Being in an accident that wasn’t your fault can leave you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. By focusing on the immediate priorities, like getting medical help, documenting evidence, and contacting your insurer, you take positive steps towards physical and financial recovery.

At Onward Injury Law, our attorneys have the resources and dedication to build a strong accident claim on your behalf. With six convenient locations across central Illinois, we make it easy to meet with a knowledgeable lawyer who will protect your rights every step of the way. Don’t wait to get the powerful legal advocacy you deserve after an auto accident.

To set up a no-obligation, free consultation with our team of proven personal injury attorneys, contact us today. 

If you’ve been in an accident, download our free guide – 9 Crucial Tips to Winning Your Personal Injury Claim. It reveals insider strategies injury victims need to know to avoid insurance company traps and mistakes that could cost you money. Get the upper hand and receive the maximum payout you deserve by arming yourself with vital knowledge.

Author Bio

Josh Rohrscheib

Joshua Rohrscheib is the Owner of Onward Injury Law, a Central Illinois personal injury law firm. With more than 17 years of experience in injury law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including car accidents, trucking accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, and other personal injury cases.

Josh received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named among the “Top 40 Under 40” in 2019 by The National Trial Lawyers and a “Rising Star” in 2019 by Super Lawyers.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google

Get Your Free Consultation! It Only Takes 5 Minutes.

"*" indicates required fields

By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from Onward Injury Law. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies.