Ever wondered what you would do if you had a car accident?
Unfortunately, car accidents have become part of our everyday lives. We see the reports on the internet, in the newspapers and on the television. When we are about to set off on a long journey, we check traffic reports. It is almost as though we accept car accidents as the norm. But we forget that behind each of these traffic diversions or news announcements is a story of personal anguish and sometimes tragedy. At very best, someone’s day is ruined and they face significant inconvenience. At worst, lives are lost. Most car accidents are somewhere in the middle, leaving injuries, vehicle damage and a long arduous recovery period for those involved.
But what would you actually do if you had a car accident?
People react differently in a crisis. If you had a car accident, would you handle it with calmness and a level head? Would you simply panic? Would you remember to gather all of the vital information that could make your potential compensation claim a lot easier?
Let’s talk about some of the things you should do if you have had a car accident. You’re not likely to manage them all in the heat of the moment, but being prepared could make all the difference to your recovery and compensation outcome.
Dos and Don’ts if you have had a car accident
DO remember that you are likely to be in shock. You are not likely to remember much of what happens immediately after your accident. Try to take things slowly and record as much as possible. You may think that you won’t forget important details, but most people do. So take photos with your phone camera or write things down.
DO collect as much information as possible about the people at the scene. When you talk to witnesses, concentrate on getting as much detail as you can about them, rather than what they saw. Ask them their names, addresses and phone numbers. Also try to ascertain where they work, or whether this is their normal route. If you can, note down their car registration. Any information that helps your personal injury solicitor to talk to them later on is useful.
DO make your own notes about how the accident took place. Comment on approximate speeds, direction of travel and make diagrams if it helps. Also write down facts about the time and date, the weather and road conditions including any rain, potholes and the direction of the sun.
DO use your phone camera if you are able. In particular, try to get a picture of the drivers of any other vehicles involved.
DON’T admit any liability at the scene of the accident or get into arguments about the cause of the accident. Leave the detailed analysis of the scene to police and forensics.
DON’T try to say that you have not been injured. You are likely to be in shock and your adrenaline may mask any pain and injuries. Some injuries such as whiplash can take a few hours or even days for the symptoms to become apparent.
Get the right help
Once you’ve had a car accident, you need to concentrate on recovering. So when it comes to making your compensation claim, get the right help to make it as stress-free as possible. Call our friendly advisors on our freephone number 0800 689 0500, or from your mobile 0333 500 0993, to discuss your accident and your compensation options.