Dealing With Car Accidents: Your 101 Guide

Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. Road traffic accidents can be especially dangerous and worrying, given the emotional, physical and economic burden you’re likely to suffer. 

Being involved in a car accident can not only ruin your day but affect your life in the long term, especially in the case of a serious injury. Even a seemingly minor accident can result in loss of time and energy, missed appointments, stress, and heightened emotions. Or perhaps injuries like stiff necks and backs that can develop over time. 

We could simply advise you to drive safely and responsibly. But even when you do everything right, accidents still happen. After all, you could be the victim of the negligence or misconduct of another driver. 

Accidents can be overwhelming but there are a few things you can do to protect yourself, your passengers and other drivers safe from unnecessary harm. Here are our top tips to help you prepare yourself, in case you are involved in a road traffic accident.

Never Drive Away from the Scene of an Accident

Our first advice to you is to stop in the event of any road traffic accident. There is a legal obligation for all parties involved in a car accident to stay and deal with the situation. 

Do not drive away or leave the scene of an accident until you’ve sorted the situation out with the other driver involved, or until you have received clearance from the appropriate authorities. 

If you leave the scene of the accident prematurely, you can face criminal charges, especially if the other parties have sustained injuries or vehicle damage.

Calm Down First

Feeling shocked, frightened, guilty, angry, nervous, and overwhelmed, or a mixture of all of the above is a completely natural response to a car accident. Once you’ve pulled over, focus on pulling yourself together. 

Remind yourself to take a few deep breaths, check yourself and your passengers for injury and look around to gauge the level of damage. 

If you’re on a busy road or freeway, your first priority should be to ensure that you are not at risk of being hit by other vehicles. The calmer you are, the easier it will be for you to make clear judgments.

Call the Police and/or an Ambulance 

Regardless of the nature of the accident or the degree of damage, you should call the police as soon as possible. 

The police will conduct an inspection of the scene of the accident and file a report. This police report is essential in the event you need to file an insurance claim. 

It’s also important in the case of a serious accident, particularly if someone has been injured or fatally wounded. 

Assess yourself for any physical injuries, then your fellow passengers, and then any other injured parties on the road or in the other cars. Keep in mind that not all injuries are immediately obvious, especially in a stressful situation. 

So, if you or someone else looks dazed or complains of feeling dizzy or nauseous call an ambulance immediately.

Exchange Information with All Parties Involved

If you’re not seriously injured, assess the scene and try to fix the details in your mind. Then, when questioned by law enforcement or your insurance company, you will be able to provide them with the most accurate facts. 

Note down the names, contact details, driver’s license information, license plate number and the insurance details of all parties involved. This list should also include information on any passengers or witnesses present. 

Take pictures of the vehicle and the scene of the accident. Remember, the more details you can gather from the incident and the people involved, the better. 

To avoid any legal liability, you should remain calm and be cordial at all times. Never admit fault unnecessarily and state the facts simply and truthfully. 

Bear in mind that insurance providers can take advantage of your emotional outburst or unintentional admission of guilt to avoid paying out your claim. 

Therefore, it’s important to limit your interactions with all parties involved to simply collecting basic information. Discuss the details only with the police, healthcare providers and insurance companies.

Seek Legal Advice from Qualified Professionals

Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible and never make the mistake of filing a lawsuit on your own.

Car accidents are followed by complicated legal claims and procedures. Without expert help, insurance companies can refuse to cover you for accidents based on technicalities that are generally beyond a layman’s understanding. 

We’d strongly advise you to hire a car accident lawyer. Don’t accept any settlement offers from your insurance company without consulting an attorney. Insurance providers often try to settle disputes by offering prompt settlements that can jeopardize any future claims. 

The Final Word

A car accident can be a terrifying experience. The emotional torture is often worsened by the stress of dealing with the aftermath. Try to minimize the stress by keeping a cool head and acting responsibly. 

Collecting the contact details of the other people involved, documenting the scene yourself by taking photographs and writing down notes, and hiring the services of an attorney can be helpful. 

Stay safe out there!

Author: Brandon Park