Disorienting and stressful – road traffic accidents are an unfortunate part of driving on the road that luckily most of us will avoid during our time behind the wheel. However, failing to take the right actions immediately after an accident can leave you with issues that add further distress.
So, why is it so important to take care extra care in the wake of an accident and what steps do you need to take before making a claim or resolving the issue with your provider?
Why is it so important to act correctly?
Simply put, because it’s extremely had to think clearly in the immediate aftermath of an accident. No matter whether it’s bumping into a parked car or being involved in a serious collision, your system will likely be flooded with adrenaline – prompting your fight or flight response. While this can be useful in situations you need to flee from, it’s not so helpful when you need to act calmly and carefully to avoid further injury and ensure that the process steps are followed to avoid injury.
The Road Traffic Act (1988) states that individuals are required to stop and exchange details with any individual involved in a collision – detailing your vehicle reg and personal contact details in full. Failure to do so at the time can open you up to significant fines, legal action, and follow up from the police in a worse-case scenario. It is also essential to remember that your actions can potentially expose you to claims from those involved seeking compensation for injuries – real or imagined.
Taking the time to act correctly can help ensure that the immediate aftermath of a crash is addressed correctly and that long-term issues are mitigated or avoided entirely.
What should I do in the long and short term?
Once an accident occurs, there are number of simple steps to follow, starting with-
Acting with Caution: Once an accident occurs, it is important to get yourself and others to safety with the greatest possible care. First, turn off your engine and apply your hazards, checking yourself and other passengers for injury. If the accident is minor, check that others are fine before exiting the vehicle. If the accident is severe, or you are at risk, contact the ambulance and police services immediately. During this, attempt to remain calm and control your breathing. Once you are ready, have others safely leave the vehicle and move to a secure place nearby.
Interact with Others: When you are calm and ready, interact with other individuals involved in the accident. Remember to maintain a safe distance and ask if they need assistance. At no point during this process should you apologise or admit responsibility until there has been a full investigation into what happened. This will give you a sense of the situation and allow you to act correctly.
Assessing the Situation: If the other driver attempts to leave without exchanging details, appears to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or appears to have deliberately caused the crash – call the police about it immediately. If individuals have been injured, do your best to provide care until an ambulance arrives. Remember, some injuries can be made worse by moving the individual so – if you are at all unsure about a person’s injuries – make them comfortable until help arrives.
Capturing Details: At this point, exchange details with the individual capturing the name and address of all involved, your insurance information and establish if the driver is the registered owner of the vehicle. While waiting, take the opportunity to take as much photographic evidence of the scene as possible, including the surrounding area and keep a record of the time and leadup to the crash. This should include the conditions, time and date, the nature of the damage, and any information you can capture – including names of witnesses, nearby CCTV cameras and other elements.
Once you have left the scene of the accident, you are legally required to report the accident to your provider and the police within 24 hours. Once you are out of harm’s way. you must:
Contact Your Insurance Provider: This will allow you to report your crash, detailing your policy number, the details of the car involved and the driver’s name and details. This will enable your provider to start the process of capturing information about your accident and assess whether you want to make a claim. Once this process starts you will only be contacted for further clarification, allowing you to recover and reflect in peace.
Contact A Solicitor: Not all accidents are resolved amicably, and you may find yourself in a position to make a claim against the other driver due to their negligence or defending yourself from a spurious claim accusing you of full culpability for the incident. If this is the case, it is important to contact a reliable solicitor as quickly as possible and provide them with evidence and information that you collected from the scene of the incident. This will allow your provider to assess the integrity of any claim and allow you to rest easy while they pursue every avenue possible to ensure that scammers are promptly dealt with and that you are put in the strongest position to make your case backed by all appropriate evidence.
Get in touch If you want to learn more about handling issues in the aftermath of a crash, our team at Wafer Philips are here to help. With many years’ experience providing care for claimants, we will work with you to provide the protection and care that you require – making the resolution process as efficient and stress-free as possible.
You can review our list of services from here or you can take a look at our testimonials.
If you have specific questions about your case or feel that you have a potential claim, please do not hesitate to get in touch directly and let our team know exactly what you need.