If you have been unlucky enough to be the victim of a road traffic accident you are likely to be in a state of confused panic in the period immediately after the crash. So many things are likely to be running through your head all at once, such as making a call to the police, checking on your family members, replaying what just happened and who knows what else. Knowing the steps that you should follow should you be caught in an accident can limit the amount of confusion that you feel after the event. Plus, following the right steps means that you could be placing yourself in the best position for claiming compensation should the accident be the fault of the other party.
First Things First
Your vehicle should not be left in the roadway, even if you feel that you should in some way be protecting the evidence of the crash, your vehicle needs to be moved off the carriageway otherwise it becomes a hazard to other drivers and you may be putting your lift at further risk. If you can, pull your vehicle over to the side of the road and if your injuries allow, maintain a safe distance away from it. No matter what the level of damage to your car, even if you think it is minimal, you should call the police. The accident needs to be reported.
It could be that any injuries you suffer do not appear until a few days after the event and you will need a report from the police to back any claim for damages that you make, plus your insurance claim will progress more smoothly if it is reported to the police as they will take photographs of the scene and take witness statements that can be used to substantiate your claim. It is vital that you exchange details with the other driver – contact information and details of your insurance provider should be shared. If possible take down the contact details of any witnesses to the accident as you may need to contact them for information later.
Things To Do
If possible take your own pictures of the scene, ensuring that you get images of any damage caused to the vehicles that were involved. You should also get pictures of any visible injuries caused to either you or your passengers, including those in the other cars involved. Take pictures of any obstacles that could have caused the accident, skid marks on the road, the licence plates of the other cars involved and anything else that could possibly be of use in your case.
One thing that you should remember is to never admit that the accident was your fault – it could be used against you later. By all means be courteous and polite to the other driver and the people that are assisting you, but never admit to being at fault for the accident. Make sure that you seek appropriate medical attention at the earliest opportunity as you may not be able to see some of your injuries – they may be hidden, only coming to the surface after a couple of days. The medical staff that you see will be able to treat you for any injuries they find when they examine you.