It’s easy to get comfortable when you’ve been driving for a long time. In fact, it’s easy to get a little too comfortable, and that’s why a road accident can come as such a huge shock to the system for anybody. If you’re a calm, observant and skilled driver, the last thing you would ever expect is to crash your car. Unfortunately, no matter how skilled you are on the road, it only takes one unobservant, reckless driver to cause an accident.
You can look out for warning signs. Sometimes there are tells with drivers who might be using their phone with one hand, whilst only keeping one on the wheel; slight swerving, or maybe even a delay before accelerating at green traffic lights are both signs that the driver of the vehicle in question might not be paying attention to the road in front of them. The best advice in such a situation would be to maintain distance, drive slowly and cautiously, and try to avert the irresponsible driver at all costs. Use your good driving to counteract their bad driving.
You may think you’re a driver, but, whilst this may be the case, you can end up becoming a bad driver if you don’t pay proper attention to the ability of everyone else on the road with you. Part of being a good driver is noticing when somebody else is performing a dangerous manoeuvre or seems to be losing control of their vehicle in some capacity or another. Failure to do so is a less serious form of neglect, but still a lapse of concentration, nonetheless.
Any car-related incident is bad enough in itself. You might be injured, the other person might be injured, and your vehicle has likely incurred a heap of damage that’ll cost you half of your savings to repair. Well, not quite, but it’ll feel that way. The last thing on your mind during all of this, of course, is the financial and legal aftermath of such an event. Still, whether you’re ready for it or not, such proceedings need to be dealt with quickly to ensure that you’re protected in accordance with the rights you have under state law.
You can never prepare for an accident. You can only prepare after one.
This is perhaps the most crucial piece of advice to take on board if you’ve recently been involved in a horrific or a minor car accident, because there was absolutely nothing you could do to foresee this shocking event. The only control you have, no matter your position, is damage control; you can either act now to find out what you’re owed legally in terms of your insurance, and through compensation at the hand of the culprit in your accident, or you can accept whatever financial help comes your way by not fighting your case. The problem with the latter is that, if you act too slowly or don’t act at all, you’ll probably end up receiving much less financial help than you deserve. You’ve suffered enough, so it doesn’t make sense to cut yourself short in this regard too.
Perhaps you’ve never been in an accident and you’re simply reading out of curiosity, which is good, because there are ways to prepare for the aftermath of an accident before one even occurs; and hopefully you’ll never be involved in one, but it’s better to have a safety net in place, in order to accept the possibility that you might one day be in such a situation. Moreover, if you’re struggling to get your head straight after a harrowing ordeal, it can help to have steps and procedures pre-planned that you can put in motion as soon as you’re ever involved in a road accident.
So what are the first steps immediately after a road accident?
Approach the other driver.
Not only should you ensure that the other driver doesn’t drive away, but you’re also legally required to remain at the scene of the accident until the pair of you have exchanged names, addresses, vehicle registration and insurance details. This is the most vital step, because there will be legal proceedings, involving both drivers, following the event. There has to be a record of all who were involved, in order to avoid any discrepancies, disagreements, or muddling of facts later down the line; at the hand of either party.
Of course, in most cases, both drivers might be equally as shaken concerning the whole accident, because nobody crashes with malicious intent; it’s just as dangerous and upsetting for the party responsible as it is for the ‘victim’ involved. Remember this and ensure that both you and the other driver are physically unharmed. If there are injuries, then ring an ambulance before calling the police. Physical safety must come first.
That being said, calling the police is not an absolute necessity. Legally, as long as there has been damage caused to any property and no drivers on the road or pedestrians on the pavement are at risk, you don’t have to call the police. If police need to attend to a traffic obstruction or other major forms of damage, then obviously the incident is a little more serious and ringing them should be a priority. Of course, if the other driver is non-compliant, that’s also a cause for contacting the police, because refusing to exchange details is a crime.
Try to remain calm, whether you’re the cause of the accident or not.
Accusations only increase tensions are they’re pointless. Just collect the details and contact the emergency services, because attempting to move anything or anyone could pose a safety risk not only to yourself or anybody injured, but to other drivers passing by on the road.
Of course, if you’re the culprit, it’s also important not to admit responsibility for causing the accident. You might think it’s the noble thing to do, but we live in a complicated world where nobility means nothing in the face of a brutal and merciless juridical system. You might be doing yourself more damage in terms of your financial safety net and the help your insurance company can offer if you own up to the crash, so it’s better to leave all such talk until later.
But what if the incident wasn’t your fault?
The only thing worse than the car accident itself is the headache you’ll later feel when trying to sort out your what you’re owed from your insurance and whether you’ll receive the financial help you deserve to cover any personal injuries or damages to your vehicle. You might have prepared for this already, but, even so, it’s best to enlist the legal help of professionals. Robins Cloud have the details, so remember that there are people out there who are willing to help you get the legal and financial cover you’re owed; otherwise, you may find you’re falling way short of what you, as the victim, deserve.
Dealing with any sort of insurance company is always going to be a stressful experience, because, despite it being their purpose to ‘help you’, they want to ensure they pay as little as humanly possible. They’re companies who make huge amounts of money at the end of the day, and claiming from them is not always in your best interest. The system is stacked up against you and your insurance could look worse in the future if you don’t plan your move carefully; even if you’re not at fault.
That’s why legal help is practically a necessity, because you might otherwise find yourself getting a rotten deal and you’ve already been dealt a rotten hand. Get an expert opinion and ensure that you’re either making the fullest claim to which you’re entitled, or you’re taking a legal route which can help you attain all the financial support you need to cover the damages or injuries inflicted upon you during this incident.
Plan out your costs carefully.
It can be easy to rush into everything following a horrible accident, because you’re struggling to think clearly. You just want to get all of your affairs in order, so you can put this awful nightmare to the back of your head and try very hard to never think about it ever again. When it comes to repairing your car, this applies more than ever.
Yes, of course your vehicle is important. You most likely need it to get to work every day, so time is a luxury you can’t afford when it comes to vehicular repair. You might be tempted to choose anybody for any price, but it could really work in your favour to take things a little slower and ‘shop around’ first. Get a few quotes from a few different garages and compare them before making any decisions. Find out how much the mechanic will charge and then, whilst also comparing this with other repairers in the area, compare this price with the price of a new car. If it doesn’t seem worth it, then it probably isn’t.
In any case, road accidents are always traumatic events, so ensure you’re prepared both before and after any possible incident.