We’ve written about what you should do after an accident. Here are things you should not do.
- Don’t forget to get a police report. If your goal is to prove that the other driver is at fault, and we assume that is your goal if you’re considering legal action, then you will need a police report. It’s an important piece of evidence that you won’t get if you don’t call the police to the scene of the accident. If it’s a major accident, they’ll obviously be there. If it seems minor, you should still call and get this report in case you realize later that you are more injured than you thought. Also, don’t be tempted if the other driver tries to discourage police involvement and just pay you instead. If they’re at fault, they might try this. If you agree, and they drive away, you might never hear from them again if you change your mind.
- Don’t compare your case to someone else’s. There are some similarities among accident cases, but there also are specific differences. Usually these differences exist because of specific facts. The law might be the same, but it can be applied differently in different situations. You might hear stories from family members or friends or coworkers about what happened in their accident case. You really can’t assume it would apply to you. An experienced attorney is the best person to give you advice and help you set realistic expectations.
- Don’t wait too long to get a lawyer. We understand why people wait. You’re wondering what the best approach might be, whether you even have a case and how much it would cost to get a lawyer. While you’re pondering all of this, evidence is disappearing and witnesses are forgetting what happened. It’s free to talk to a lawyer about your Illinois accident case, and there is no attorney fee involved at all unless you win. Illinois law only gives you a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit, and if you wait too long, you lose your chance.
- Don’t share a lawyer. The problem with sharing a lawyer is that a lawyer cannot protect two clients on either side of a legal issue. Your interests are at odds with the other side, even if things are friendly. If you agree to share a lawyer with the person who caused your accident, it’s safe to say that you aren’t going to get an outcome that is fair to you. In the worst case, you could fail to recover the money you need to pay your medical bills and other losses.
- Don’t plead guilty. Don’t plead guilty unless it’s at the advice of an experienced lawyer whom you trust. Otherwise, you are accepting an outcome that can be avoided in many cases. Even if you don’t think you have a choice, talk to your attorney first.