Being involved in an accident is a terrifying experience. And afterward, you’re not always in a state to know what to do. But reading up on what you should do first is a good way to prepare yourself if the worst should happen. Preparing ahead of time will put you at an advantage and stop you from making bad decisions at the scene. Here’s what to do.
Put Safety First
Depending on the severity of the accident there are two courses of action that you should take. In a minor collision, where neither party has been hurt, move your cars to the side of the road. If somebody has been injured, call the emergency services and don’t move the cars. The cars need to be left where they are to determine who was liable for the accident. If possible, put your hazard warning lights on or place flares to indicate and incident to oncoming traffic.
Call The Police
Calling the police is essential. But often those at the scene will try to convince you not to, especially if the collision was their fault. Sometimes when the accident is only minor, the police will not respond. But still make sure that you file an accident report as this may help you make a claim later.
It’s important that you get all the information you can while you’re at the scene. You’ll need the name, address and phone number of the other party. You’ll also need their insurance number, policy number, and driver’s license number, as well as the car license plate. Don’t forget to record any of these details alongside a record of the damage caused during the incident.
Don’t Discuss Fault
The first thing an accident lawyer will advise you to do is avoid discussing fault. Don’t tell the other driver, nor the police that you were to blame. Just explain what happened and let the police, attorneys, and insurance company work out who was to blame.
Make A Personal Record
While the incident is fresh in your mind, write down everything you can remember about the incident. Include the density of the traffic, the weather conditions, and the behaviour of the other vehicle before the crash. Use diagrams to show how the incident unfolded on the road. But ensure that the records are made promptly. Contemporaneous evidence is well regarded in court.
File Your Claim
The reason that you pay for car insurance is to protect yourself financially in these situations. So file a claim as quickly as you can. This means that you don’t have to worry so much about things like towing costs from the scene of the accident. Your insurance company should take care of this for you.
Protect Your Legal Rights
If you’ve been injured in an accident, this can be costly. The first thing you’ll want to do is contact an attorney, specialising in injury compensation claims. And they you’ll want to file a complaint against the other party’s insurance company. Find an experienced lawyer to guide you through this process.
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