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The moments after a crash are terrifying at worst and riddled with uncertainty at best. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself after a crash.

Check for Injuries

Health and safety are paramount after a crash. If anyone is injured, call for emergency medical assistance as soon as you are able to safely do so. Do not move anyone who is injured unless it is necessary to avoid further injury. If paramedics come to the scene, they can provide basic life support and run initial tests until the injured person can get to a clinic or hospital for more complete evaluations. 

Call the Police

Call the police and politely ask for their help. Police officers can come to a scene, gather information about the accident, and sometimes gather witness information. The police can help record what happened to cause the crash. If you are able to tell them what happened, your statement might be recorded and later used as evidence in your case. 

If Possible, Obtain Information

Obtain the names and contact information (including phone, email, and mailing address) of the people involved in the crash. Also obtain the full names and complete contact information of witnesses. When you're injured, this will be a difficult step to take. Often it's impossible. But knowing who actually witnessed the crash can go a long way in helping your case.

Take Photographs

Pictures of the scene of the accident can go a long way in establishing who is at fault and helping to support your claim. Pictures of any visible injuries, like scrapes, bruises, cuts and abrasions, can also help people understand your injuries better. 

Seek Medical Attention

It is important to seek medical attention following trauma to the body. Some injuries may not present right away, but having a doctor or qualified health professional assess what happened will be important to your recovery. In Illinois, we are fortunate to have some of the best health care workers in the country. They can help you. The sooner you seek medical attention, the sooner you can begin to recover.

Work with an Advocate 

After a crash, even the strongest and smartest people are at their most vulnerable. Don't let pride get in the way of seeking help from someone who has ethical duties to protect your rights and the experience to provide you with additional steps that are critical to a full recovery after a crash. Talk to a lawyer before you talk to any insurance companies or potential defendants who caused your crash. A free and confidential consultation costs you nothing and can protect you from the traps that insurance companies and others set. An advocate in your corner can help you recover fully and more quickly than handling a claim on your own. 

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