Vehicle accidents, even just fender benders, are something that most people want to avoid, but the question is, how can you do that?
As their name also suggests, accidents are unpredictable. Even if you want to believe you will never be the victim of such unfortunate events, it would be best to consider the unexpected and be adequately prepared. Although you can’t prevent collisions from happening, there are certain aspects to have in mind after the impact.
According to Statista, there were 158k car drivers involved in car accidents in the UK from 2003 to 2019, and the projected road traffic fatality rate is predicted to reach 26 per million population by 2025. The numbers don’t lie: vehicle collisions happen quite often, so the need for education in this regard has become more and more acute.
Whether or not you caused the crash, it’s crucial to be prepared to deal with the aftermath of an accident. It’s normal to be too shaken up to think clearly – that’s why we recommend reading ahead what steps are to be taken after a collision. And if you’ve recently gone through an accident, we can only hope that these insights will clarify things for you and make your recovery process smoother.
Check for injuries
The first and most important thing to do after a car accident is to check for injuries. Even if, at first, it may seem that you’re perfectly fine, don’t fall into this trap. Most damages resulting from vehicle crashes have delayed symptoms and are not felt immediately. Common injuries include whiplash, fractured and broken bones, concussions, back and spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), burns, muscle, ligament, or tendon damage, and internet bleeding. There are also mental and emotional injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD which can be just as bad as physical ones. It’s also advisable not to make any sudden movements, especially if you’re bleeding and call 911 at once. Your health is the first to take care of, so if your vehicle is smashed to pieces, just be glad that you’re still alive – everything else can be repaired.
Make sure everyone is safe
It’s also possible to travel with someone else at the moment of the accident, so ensure everyone in the car is safe and get yourself out of danger. If your injuries are minor, you can drive the vehicle to the side of the road so that it won’t impede traffic. Remember not to involve in roadside discussions about responsibility: the police and insurance company will determine who was at fault.
Call your insurance company
As we already mentioned, the effects of a collision are often not evident at the outset, and you may deal with delayed accident symptoms. That’s why it’s vital to get adequately compensated. But this is possible not to happen if you’re not the first who notifies your insurance provider. Thus, ensure you contact your insurance company at once and provide as much information as possible to avoid getting your right to compensation at risk.
Consult an attorney
You should not overlook getting in touch with an attorney, especially if you’ve got seriously injured after the incident. Although calling your insurance company is recommended, the next call should be a solicitor specialising in personal injury claims. Unlike insurance providers, they have your best interests in mind – insurance companies try to pay at least possible amounts.
A solicitor can tell you if you’re eligible for compensation and take care of your rights while you take care of your health. The last thing you want to do during your recovery is get involved in legal proceedings. You surely are confused and have a lot of questions: what falls under personal injury, or how a personal injury claim works. Specialists from Personal Injury Claims UK, for example, can answer all your questions and further guide you on your legal journey. With your health in the hands of a good doctor and your rights in the care of a professional solicitor, be sure your recovery process will be smoother.
Collect the right information
Once you’ve ensured the other people involved in the accident are physically safe, it’s time to assess the scene and exchange information. This is also a great way to protect your rights in case the other driver tries something. If there will be a claim relating to the crash, this information is crucial. Although the investigating police officer will do this job, your collected data might be crucial in solving the case. Therefore, it would be best to obtain information like the other driver’s name, mobile number, address, policy and licence number. Details like the car’s year, make, model and colour will also be of great help, so if you have the possibility to obtain all this information, you would better do that. Don’t forget to keep your police report number (if the police respond to the accident) to obtain the police report later.
If there are witnesses, ensure you get their names and contact information for you or your attorney to contact them. Ask them about details regarding the accident: what has happened, and in what circumstances has the impact taken place. What they saw might be your escape.
We know that it’s difficult to think clearly in such situations, but try to put your mind in order. The insurance company will ask for details like the direction you were heading, the exact location of the impact, or if there were any signs or stop lights.
The best way to make sure your declaration is valid is to take photos of the accident scene. Everything from injuries and vehicle damages to skid marks and the position of the cars is crucial information that will help the police piece it together and determine which driver was at fault. Such evidence will also strengthen your case and help your attorney protect your rights.
Getting involved in a car accident can definitely change your life, but learn that there are ways to minimise the stress resulting from the collision.