Thursday, March 25, 2010

What To Do If You're in an Auto or Fall Down Accident

For Auto Accidents
Call the police to the scene. Exchange insurance information. It is important to note the traffic controls, lane configuration, speed limits , weather and road conditions, and the points of contact. If a driver admits responsibility get it noted in the police report as an admission of guilt. Notify your insurance company immediately.

For Fall Down Accidents
Notify the property owner or manager of the store immediately after the fall. Determine the cause of the fall. In order to recover there must be a defective or hazardous condition created by the owner or allowed to exist for a long enough time that the owner should have fixed it. Get the names of any workers or employees. Falls due to water, snow or ice may be compensated for if there is an underlying defect in floor or pavement . Check for torn or old carpets or mats.

Preserve the Evidence
For both types of accidents, get contact info from potential witnesses; draw diagram of the scene and/or defective condition; take photographs at scene.. Do not give recorded statements over the phone to the insurance company.

Time Limits Under the Law
Generally, in Illinois an adult has only two years to file a lawsuit for an injury. A minor child has two years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit but only two years to recover medical bills. Actions against municipalities may be only six months to one year. Always consult a lawyer to make sure the law has not changed.

Don't Delay Medical Care
Call 911 immediately and get emergency treatment. Follow up with your family doctor as soon as possible. Even minor injuries should be documented immediately with your family doctor. Your condition may be worse after a few days, but if not initially complained of, the insurance company will deny the claim.

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