We like to think that we are all safe, careful drivers when we’re out on the road.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter how good our driving is when we get behind the wheel. The unfortunate truth is that sometimes other motorists could collide with your car.
I remember a learner driver of all people reversing into my stationary car and having to deal with that. Of course, some collisions are more unforgiving than a slight bump in the car park. Have you just got involved in an accident? If so, you will no doubt be wondering what to do next.
Today’s handy guide will help you to deal with the legal aftermath of your collision. Let’s face it; for many people, the legal process is often more brutal than the accident itself! Here is what you need to know:
Document the scene of the accident
The first thing to do, while it’s fresh in your mind, is to document what happened at the scene. It’s a crucial first step that many people omit when dealing with insurance claims. You should start from the beginning, noting down what you were doing at the time.
For example, were you waiting in a line of traffic at the lights? Were you driving on the motorway? And what action did you take before the collision? If your memory is a little hazy, try jotting down some bullet points of what you can remember.
You can then construct your account of the events that unfolded by putting them in the right order. It’s also handy if you have photographic or video evidence of what happened in the accident.
Many people find that fitting dashcams help as the footage can get relied upon by insurers. They help to speed up any compensation claims as they can often prove who was at fault.
Was the accident your fault?
If you were the cause of the collision, you could still help your case. Gray and Co suggest you seek legal advice, especially if you were “DUI” for example.
That way if the worst happens, and you get prosecuted, you can build a robust legal defence in court.
Get details of witnesses
Regardless of who was to blame, it’s crucial to get details of witnesses at the scene. Some unscrupulous motorists may try to shift the blame to an innocent party. Independent witnesses can back up the truthful version of events.
The best thing to do is make a note of each witness’s name and contact details. Your insurance company or legal team will ask for them later.
Seek medical help if you get injured
Have you sustained injuries from the accident? If you get hit from behind, it’s likely you will suffer from whiplash. In more extreme cases, you may even have other injuries, such as on internal organs.
Even if you “feel” fine, it’s best to get signed off by a doctor just to be on the safe side. Another reason to seek medical help is for documentation purposes. A record of your trip to the hospital will get noted by them. And that information can get requested by your insurance company.