Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Fadi Rustom

Fadi Rustom

Personal Injury Lawyer

Hi, I’m Fadi Rustom a personal injury attorney in Peoria, Illinois.

Hope that you get to enjoy the nice weather and open road and that I’ll see you out there, but if something goes wrong – I can help.

I started by writing this page for you – it’s filled with great information to help you after being in a crash.

Here’s my top 9 things to remember to do after your crash.  Glad to help out & if you need anything feel free to call me.

If you find these tips helpful – please consider sharing them with others.


Top 9 Steps to take after your car accident

Step # 1: Don’t Give Statements to Insurance Companies

Most accident or car crash victims assume they are required to give statements to insurance companies because they will be truthful.

However, accident victims have not experienced professionals and what may seem like the harmless conversation can be a legal trap.

An insurance company may call and say they need to take your recorded statement about how the accident happened and the severity of your injuries before they can make any payments.

Do NOT give the insurance company a statement.

An insurance company does NOT need a recorded statement from you before they pay your claim.

In many instances, the insurance company takes a statement in order to use your recorded words against you to deny or reduce your claim.

Our firm routinely settles cases with insurance companies without our clients having to give statements. An experienced lawyer can help to prevent an insurance company from tricking you into saying things that can hurt your case.

Step # 2: Ask an Experienced Injury Attorney – or 2

Why should you get an attorney after your car accident, or vehicle collision? 

A: Money.

It’s a pretty shocking increase in your recovery from injuries suffered from a wreck you suffered on the roads.

Here it is:

Lawyers get you 3x the recovery

That’s what the data says because a recent study by the Insurance Resource Council discovered that victims of car accidents or other personal injuries that hire lawyers receive gross settlements three times larger than those who do not hire attorneys.

Hiring an injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident is a very wise financial decision to maximize your claim’s recovery.

Think about it. Would you go to a car lot and purchase a vehicle without first researching the price?  Of course not. 

How would you know that you’re getting a good deal? Would you trust the car salesman to tell you that you’re getting a good deal? Unlike your personal injury case, it’s easy to do your own research when buying a vehicle.

Now think about your personal injury case.  Ask yourself these three questions:

  • How do you know you are getting a fair settlement from the insurance company?
  • Can you trust the insurance company who tells you you’re getting a fair settlement?
  • Do you know the true value of your case?

Lawyers get you 3x compensation

Only an experienced injury attorney can answer these questions for you.

Many accident victims want to settle their case as quickly as possible. Insurance companies know this and may offer to settle your case quickly, so you don’t hire an attorney. This is a mistake. You are fighting an uphill battle against professionally trained insurance investigations, adjusters and their lawyers.

You need someone looking out for your rights and your interests. Failing to contact an experienced injury attorney before settling with an insurance company may actually cost you a considerable amount of money.

Step  # 3: Do not Trust an Insurance Company to Look Out for Your Rights – Conflict of Interest

The point of an insurance company is to reduce expenses and maximize profits for the shareholes, or policyholders if it is a mutual insurance company.  That is the conflict of interest they have with you – who wants to maximize your compensation for what you have gone through.

That’s it.

They want your claim to be worth 3 x less than it is if you have a good personal injury lawyer – in Peoria, Illinois or anywhere else.

A Car Insurance Company is a big business and they have one thing in mind.

Their Profit!

The only way they can make bigger profits is to take in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible for your claim or nothing at all. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced injury attorney.

Only your attorney has the same interest in your case as you do. The better your attorney does for you, the more money you receive. The more money you receive, the more likely you will recommend your attorney’s services to other people who have been hurt in an accident.

Because we work hard for our clients and obtain real results, our clients often refer clients to our firm by way of testimonials. Remember, the insurance company has no interest to work hard for you. Only your attorney has the incentive to work as hard as he can for you.

Call Us With Questions about Your Car Accident Injuries

Step # 4: Get Timely Medical Treatment and Document Your Injuries

“Your face is my case” a fictional lawyer from Seinfeld based on Johnny Cochran.

Many car crashes or accident victims make the mistake of not getting treatment right after an accident for car accident injuries.

Sometimes, victims refuse treatment from emergency personnel or being taken to the emergency room for examination. Most people, while in the midst of adrenaline immediately following an accident, think they will not need medical attention. As a result, it could take longer to recover from an injury.

Failing to get medical treatment can also affect the value of your injury case.

In fact, the longer you wait to get medical treatment and document your injuries, the more harm it can cause the value of your case. Insurance companies routinely argue that a delay in medical treatment indicates accident victims may not have been as hurt as they may claim.

During your case, our attorneys advise you on how best to document your injuries.

Call us if you’ve been the victim of another person’s careless driving.

Step # 5: Get Treatment Even if You Lack Health Insurance

Go to a doctor or hospital IMMEDIATELY upon suffering a personal injury.

Sometimes car crash victims do not get medical treatment for car accident injuries. They’re afraid that, if they don’t have health insurance or a medical plan, they can’t receive health care attention.

But that’s wrong!

You can see a medical professional even if you don’t have health insurance. In most cases, you should not have to pay for any treatment up front.

WARNING: Not getting treatment could destroy any chance you have of getting a settlement.

If you don’t have medical insurance, get the advice of an experienced lawyer. Attorneys at Hall. Rustom & Fritz will discuss with you how to get the needed medical treatment without any up front cost to you.

Remember, medical records will help prove the severity of your injuries and help determine the amount of money you will receive. If you don’t get medical treatment, you probably will not receive a settlement.

Call us if you’ve been the victim of another person’s careless automobile driving.

Step # 6: Take Photographs of Your Damaged Vehicle

Take photographs of your car following a car crash. Very important! Car accident photos show the severity of accident’s impact and will prevent the insurance company from claiming that you were not hurt.

The worse the damage looks, the better your chances of convincing the insurance company that you sustained injuries.

Here’s an example of how photos can help your case:

When an older model car is totaled and cannot be fixed, the insurance company may argue that the car was basic transportation and offer less than $1,000 as payment for the totaled car.

Accident victims who accept this settlement and do not take photographs of their damaged car have just made a serious mistake. The insurance company can then argue that because there was less than $1,000 in damage, this was a low-speed accident and you could not have been hurt.

In situations like these, insurance companies often offer less than the medical bills or nothing at all.

Photos of your vehicle can help prove that the accident is more serious than the insurance company claims. It may help to show that you are entitled to additional money.

You should not have to take photographs yourself.

Step # 7: Take Your Car to Your Choice of Body Shop for Repairs

When your car has been damaged in an accident, the insurance company of the person who hit you may suggest you take your car to a pre-approved auto body repair shop. Don’t do it! Taking your car to their pre-approved garage is a mistake.

Here’s what could happen:

The actual damage to your car may be $1,500. However, the insurance company may pressure the garage to fix your car for under $1,000. Because the garage gets much of its business from the insurance company, it agrees to do the repairs for less than $1,000. the insurance company then argues that because there was less than $1,000 in damage to your car, the impact probably wasn’t sever and you could not have been hurt in the accident.

An experienced lawyer is aware of this technique and will give you specific advice on how you can avoid this danger. Best of all, our law firm does not charge anything for advice or any work we do to help you get your car fixed or salvage paid, if you car is totaled.

Call us before you take your car in for repair. Our lawyers will advice you during our free consultation.

Step # 8: Have a Lawyer Review Any Check Before Depositing an Insurance Check or Signing a Release

Accident victims often deposit an insurance claim check or sign an insurance release thinking they are just giving their approval to have their vehicle repaired or replaced. Unfortunately, cashing/depositing an insurance check or signing a release of liability for property damage can prevent or limit how much money you receive for your injury claim. Money for items such as medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering can be limited in this situation.

Not having an experienced lawyer review an insurance check or release before you sign it can prevent you from making an injury claim for more money. Be smart about the way you handle it. Have a trusted lawyer review any insurance check or release before you sign it.

Call us before you make a similar mistake. Our lawyers will advise you during our free consultation.

Step # 9: Failing to Take Photographs of Your Visible Injuries

Time heals all wounds

Car accident victims in Illinois make a mistake that is simple to avoid. Taking pictures of a visible car accident injury. We have all heard the expression that a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to getting you the most compensation and benefits, it’s no different.

One of the most common mistakes car accident victims make is failing to record, in photographic form, injuries that are noticeable. Visible bruises, cuts, abrasions and other injuries are typically visible injuries suffered by victims of a motorcycle, trucking, car or pedestrian accidents. In many instances, injuries heal without evidence of their existence. When this happens, the insurance company will not fully appreciate the extent of an accident victim’s injuries and may offer less money to settle the case.

If you prefer, our firm can have your injuries photographed by our private investigator or one of our paralegals. Hall, Rustom & Fritz provides these services free of charge to our clients. We do this to help our clients obtain the most compensation possible for their cases.  Call our personal injury law offices in Peoria, Illinois.













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316 SW Washington Street, Suite 1A
Peoria, Illinois 61602

Phone: (309) 740-4033 || Fax:  309-699-4693


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