10 Top Tips On What You Should Do After A Car Accident – Some years ago, an article appeared in the American Forbes magazine, which made the rather sobering claim that, on average, we are each likely to be in a car accident once every 18 years!
Being involved in a car accident is a frightening experience. Even relatively minor ‘bent metal’ bumps can be scary. The noise of vehicles colliding, the smell of burning rubber that signifies the airbag has done its job, and the feeling of numbness followed by a wave of shock. If you have suffered injuries, then another dimension is added to the mix.
While no one should ever get in their car, expecting the worst to happen, forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes. We’ve put together a few tips from experienced lawyers at Mooneerams, UK car accident claim solicitors, about what to do in the immediate aftermath of a road traffic accident.
What you do immediately following an accident will depend on one thing alone – whether you are injured or not.
All our personal injury lawyers agree on one thing. Getting the medical attention you need, should be your priority. What to do first after a car crash sometimes speaks for itself. If you are injured to the extent that you require urgent medical attention, an ambulance should be called. In some cases, you might be able to call the ambulance yourself. In others you may be reliant on another person to do it for you.
Whatever the severity of your injury, after an accident you will suffer from shock. Sometimes the effect of shock can cloud your judgment and you will try to carry on without medical assistance. Doing so may be dangerous if you have suffered an injury, particularly if it’s a head injury.
If you don’t get medical attention at the scene or are taken to the hospital in an ambulance, you must visit your GP or A&E as soon as is reasonably practicable.
Now, here are our 10 top tips about what to do after a car accident
1. Take a few moments to compose yourself. Take some deep breaths and try to calm yourself down. It’s easier said than done, and everyone’s situation will be different, but put it this way – no post-accident situation was made worse by those involved remaining as calm as possible.
2. Injury permitting, if your vehicle is in a position that could cause danger to other road users and you are able to do so, try to get it off the road and to a safer place. Otherwise, it is best to leave all vehicles involved in the collision in their immediate post-accident position. Doing so can help the Police assess who was liable for the accident.
3. Call a relative or friend. If they live nearby ask them to come down. It always helps to have a friendly face and some comforting words from someone who cares for you, at a time when you are likely to be at least very shaken up. Having someone with you after dark can be particularly reassuring.
4. If you haven’t been injured, check whether anyone else involved in the collision needs to go to the hospital and make the call for them.
5. Get the details of any other driver involved; registration number, name, address, telephone number, and insurance details or as many of these as possible. This is really important.
6. If there are witnesses, take their contact details. If liability for an accident is disputed, witnesses have a key role to play in providing an independent view of who was at fault
7. Take photos: of the scene of the accident and of the vehicles showing their damage. If the accident doesn’t involve anyone else e.g., in the case of a pothole accident, take photos of the defect close up, if it is safe to do so.
8. Report the accident to the police. If all parties to the accident stopped at the accident scene and exchanged names and addresses, there is no need to report the matter to the police. In all other cases where damage to other vehicles, animals or property are involved, you must inform the police.
9. Never apologise or admit liability.
10. Don’t agree to an offer from the other party to ‘pay for your damage.’ Even if you weren’t injured, private arrangements to pay for car accident damage, tend not to end well!
Finally, if you have suffered an injury and the collision was the fault of the other driver involved in the accident, call a specialist car accident solicitor. By doing so, you are not committing yourself to hire a lawyer. Most experienced road traffic accident solicitors will provide you with invaluable initial advice following an accident. It’s then entirely up to you whether you decide to pursue a claim.