The last thing you ever want as a driver is to end up having an accident. It can end up costing you a huge amount of pain, medical bills, and having to write off your car. It is a huge pain in the neck and can not only cause you or your family member’s serious injury, but the financial repercussions can be incredibly severe too.
If you do ever find yourself in an accident on the road, there are several things you need to do.
Stay at the Scene
If you ever have an accident on the road, don’t leave the scene. If you have been injured or someone else has been injured- or even killed and you flee the scene, you will end up facing some harsh penalties by the authorities for being a hit and run driver. You do not want to aggravate the situation if at all possible. Stay at the scene, call for help and wait for the police to arrive.
Check on Everyone else
Unless you have been injured to a point where you cannot move around, make sure that after checking yourself over to see if you have any serious injuries, you check on all of the other drivers who were involved. Make sure that everyone is conscious and get medical attention for those who need it. If the person you are treating has back or neck pain, don’t move them or let them move until a medical professional can come and assess the situation; because they may have sustained a broken neck or back.
Call the Police
If the accident is serious and someone has died or a property has been severely damaged, the next call after the ambulance is the police. Make sure that a police report is filed and that you get the names of the officers in case you need to take the case further down the line.
Make sure that you get all of the contact information you can from anyone who was involved in the accident with you, as well as anyone who witnessed the accident and could provide a testimony in court. You will need the names, numbers, driving license numbers, addresses, registration plate numbers and insurance information from everyone. It can be overwhelming being involved in an accident and we understand that writing down a ton of information may not be the first thing on your mind, but it is essential that you do it in order to be able to claim any compensation you deserve.
Talk to Witnesses
If there were any witnesses to the accident, make sure you ask them what they saw. It can be unclear when you are involved in an accident what it was that caused it, but an outsider will see with a clear eye and will be able to tell you what happened. Try and also note down their information so you can contact them.
Inform Your Insurance Company
After an accident it is crucial that you inform your insurance company as soon as possible. Tell them everything that happened and let them know the extent of your injuries. Explain everything to the best of your ability and do not under any circumstances lie about what happened. If your insurer finds out that you have lied, you will not be able to claim anything and you may be prosecuted for a miscarriage of justice.
Keep Track of Hospital Visits
If you have been injured severely enough to require treatment at the hospital, make sure you keep a thorough record of everything you are subjected to. Note down the names of the doctors, nurses, chiropractors, physical therapists and other professionals who treat you after the event. Note down any tests done, treatment administered and the cost of your visits. This will be what you use later on if you make a claim to ask for compensation for your losses.
An image speaks a thousand words. If you are able, snap some photos at the scene of the accident and even take a video of the full scene if you can. It will be useful to the authorities to be able to see the scene first hand and analyse the footage for any clues and evidence that would point to the cause of the crash.
Property Damage Valuation
It might be worth looking into getting you vehicle valued a few times by independent companies in order to get the best price you can. It will mean that you know you’ll get the best deal and you aren’t just being fobbed off by your insurance company.
Be Careful Discussing the Incident
Don’t start talking about the accident to anyone other than the people who are relevant to the case: the police, your insurance company and your lawyer. If you slip up in conversation or say something which is not completely accurate, this could be used against you and the police may start to doubt the accuracy of your story and whether or not you are telling the truth.
Early Settlement Offers
Don’t just take the first offer you are handed by the insurance company. Most of the time they will test the water first with a low offer to see if you will take the bait. If you do, you could be losing out on what you really deserve. The best course of action is the get a lawyer involved to investigate the case properly.
Hiring an Attorney
When it comes to choosing and hiring car accident lawyers, you will need to do thorough research online and try to speak to any previous clients to determine if the service is good. Having a lawyer by your side after an accident will take the stress off you and they will be able to delve into the whys and wherefores, and make sure that you get every bit of cover you deserve. As long as you provide them with a detailed account of the accident, photographs, contact information and medical records, they should be able to settle the case for you easily.