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Key initial steps to take after an auto accident

You can never predict a car accident in Illinois, so you must learn about some of the key first steps to take in advance. This way, if and when that crash does come, you'll be able to stay calm and follow the proper procedures to get the outcome that you desire.

Of course, the first thing you should do will probably also be your natural instinct: Seeking medical attention for yourself and any loved ones or passengers injured in the accident.

It's also very important never to leave the scene of a crash. Not only are there laws against this, but it can weaken your claim if you think the other person was at fault. Furthermore, leaving means you can't do the following things, which are very important:

Trading contact information

You need to know who the other driver is and what insurance he or she has. You should also provide this information to that driver. Do this regardless of fault.

Taking photos

It's important to take pictures of the scene for a few reasons. For one, they can help to show the police how the accident happened. On top of that, they'll show the damage that was done, which your insurance company is going to want to know about.

Interviewing witnesses

Depending on the accident, the police may interview the witnesses as well, but you can talk to them on the scene if you'd like. They can help to provide perspective and important testimonies, and you may also want to ask if any of them have dash cam footage of the accident.

Source: FindLaw, "After a Car Accident: First Steps," accessed April. 21, 2015

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    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....
    -Jeff D.

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    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....
    - Dave

  3. "Very satisfied"

    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.
    -Jennifer

  4. "Easy to talk to"

    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day... -Larry

  5. "Provided very wise advice"

    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.
    - Tyler D.

  6. "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.
    - Karen K.

  7. "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends. -Dan H.

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