Road accidents are always an unfortunate occasion that no one is usually prepared for. You might be cautious about road safety at all times like using the seatbelt, maintaining a safe distance with other vehicles, and regular car maintenance. However, this does not completely cushion you from an accident.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 million people die annually as a result of road crashes, which translates to an average of 3700 deaths daily. This is exclusive of the 20 to 50 million non-fatal injuries that often result in long-term disability. Additionally, road crashes have been identified as the leading cause of deaths among people aged 5 and 29 years. Young adults from 15-44 years account for more than half of the total road-related deaths.
These high numbers are scary for all road users. Therefore, in case of the unfortunate event of a car accident, you need to be aware of the actions to take.
What to do after you have been in a car accident:
In an accident scene, safety should be your first priority; everything else can wait. If the accident is minor, you should step out of your vehicle and put on the hazard lights and reflective emergency triangles to alert the oncoming drivers. Whenever you step out of the way, you should be careful and think straight. If there is someone injured at the scene, you should immediately call 911 for an emergency response. For the 911 call, you will need to give your details and the location the crash happened. In case you do not know the street name, ask someone around.
Whether the accident was minor or a severe one, you need to call the police. At times, the police might not be able to respond to minor accidents because they are attending to other urgent issues. In such cases, you can call the non-emergency police line or go to the nearest police station and give a statement. After the police have assessed the scene, be sure to request a copy of the accident report.
Before moving your vehicle out of the scene, you need to take inventory of what happened. Record as many details about the accident as possible. Take pictures and videos of the scenes together with the surrounding debris. Also, get the name, address, phone number, and license information of the driver(s) involved in the accident. Vehicle information such as year, make, and model also needs to be documented. You need to do this calmly.
You need to report the accident to your insurance service provider to be able to build a claim. In case there is a disagreement on who is liable for the accident, it is in the best interest to let the police handle the claim. The insurance company might also send someone to assess the accident.
In case the accident is minor and you do not feel any pain, you might want to avoid the hassle of visiting a doctor. This is not right since some injuries might start being apparent after a few days. Therefore, regardless of the severity of the injury, you need to make a doctor’s appointment.
Car accidents can have legal implications. However, by following the stated measures, you have nothing to worry about as it is essential for your safety.