How to Handle Personal Injury Claims from Memorial Day Weekend Accidents

May 15, 2024

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, a time when families and friends gather for barbecues, road trips, and outdoor activities. However, the increased activity also leads to a spike in accidents and injuries. If you find yourself injured during this busy holiday weekend, it’s crucial to know how to handle personal injury claims effectively. Here’s a comprehensive guide to navigating the process:

1. Prioritize Your Health and Safety

Your first step after any accident should be to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. Seek immediate medical attention, even if you think your injuries are minor. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms right away but could become serious over time. Keep all medical records as they will be vital for your claim.

2. Document the Scene

Collect as much evidence as possible from the accident scene. This includes taking photos or videos of the scene, the vehicles involved (if it’s a car accident), and any visible injuries. If there are witnesses, get their contact information and statements. Document weather conditions, road conditions, and any other relevant details that might have contributed to the accident.

3. Report the Accident

For car accidents, it’s important to report the incident to the police and obtain a copy of the police report. This report provides an official record of the accident and can be a crucial piece of evidence in your claim. For other types of accidents, such as boating or recreational accidents, report the incident to the appropriate authorities.

4. Notify Your Insurance Company

Promptly inform your insurance company about the accident. Provide them with all necessary details and cooperate with their investigation. Be honest but avoid giving recorded statements or accepting any settlements until you have consulted with a personal injury lawyer.

5. Keep Detailed Records

Maintain a file with all documents related to the accident, including medical bills, repair estimates, police reports, and correspondence with insurance companies. Also, keep a journal documenting your injuries, treatments, and how the injuries affect your daily life. These records will be crucial in demonstrating the extent of your damages.

6. Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury law can be complex, and insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and the best course of action. An experienced lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and ensure you receive fair compensation.

7. Understand the Claims Process

The personal injury claims process typically involves several steps:

  • Initial Consultation: Meet with your lawyer to discuss the details of the accident and your injuries.
  • Investigation: Your lawyer will investigate the accident, gather evidence, and build your case.
  • Demand Letter: Your lawyer will send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company outlining your injuries and damages.
  • Negotiation: Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement.
  • Lawsuit (if necessary): If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may file a lawsuit and take your case to court.

8. Be Cautious with Settlement Offers

Insurance companies may offer quick settlements soon after the accident. While it might be tempting to accept a quick payout, these offers often do not cover the full extent of your damages, especially if long-term medical treatment or rehabilitation is needed. Consult with your lawyer before accepting any settlement to ensure it is fair and adequate.

9. Know the Statute of Limitations

In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the accident. It’s important to file your claim within this time frame, or you may lose your right to seek compensation.

10. Focus on Your Recovery

Handling a personal injury claim can be stressful, but your primary focus should be on your recovery. Allow your lawyer to handle the legal aspects of your case while you concentrate on healing and getting back to your normal life.


Accidents during Memorial Day weekend can disrupt your plans and cause significant physical, emotional, and financial stress. By taking the right steps immediately after the accident and consulting with a personal injury lawyer, you can navigate the claims process more effectively and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been injured, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced legal team for guidance and support. Your well-being is our top priority, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.


About Coffman Law Offices, P.C.

Coffman Law is Chicago’s leading personal injury law firm and is committed to providing superb legal representation for people who are suffering from severe personal injuries or are dealing with the loss of a loved one due to negligence or misconduct. Coffman Law is results-driven law firm focused on ensuring that clients receive the compassion, attention, and consideration that they need to seek adequate compensation for injuries or loss. The firm is led by Owner and Founding Partner Brian W. Coffman, who has dedicated his career to helping accident victims navigate the legal system and obtain compensation for their injuries.