Being involved in a car accident can be a major event in anyone’s life and they’re actually quite common – just browse your local news on any day, and you’ll be sure to find one. Not only can the actual accident cause its own disruption to your life, but if you’re injured and can no longer work or you’re without a car for a long period of time, then your life can be hugely affected in many other ways. The only thing that can make all of the above even more of a difficult pill to swallow, is if the car accident wasn’t even your fault.
Being injured or having your car damaged as the result of someone else’s negligence can be very devastating. You will already be slightly hocked or even traumatised by the experience, but the added frustration and anger knowing that it wasn’t even your fault will only compound the problem.
So what do you do if you happen to be involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault? When do you call the police, and when do you call your insurance company? Should you seek legal advice? Luckily we have some advice for you, so keep reading.
One of the most important pieces of advice to remember is to stay calm. If your car has been hit, then you’re probably in a state of shock. Remain calm and breathe. First things first – check yourself for injuries and make sure any passengers in your car are okay. It’s important to remember not to get out of your car and act aggressively. The collision may not have necessarily been your fault, but at this stage you still may not know the full picture or reasons as to why it happened.
The law states that if you are involved in a traffic collision, then you need to stop. If your car is still in motion, put on your hazard lights to signal to other road users that you’re aware of what happened, and pull your vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic if possible. If nobody is seriously injured and it is safe to do so, then get everyone to exit the vehicle and stand in a safe location.
Call the Police
Many people don’t know this, but in the event of a traffic collision it is a legal requirement to inform the police. Contact the police as soon as possible or ask someone else to do it for you. When the police arrive they will begin to file an incident report – you will need a copy of this. During the filing of the incident report the police will ask you what happened. This is not an opportunity to blame the other party, so remain calm and tell the story from your side. If you’re unsure of something then be honest and tell the police that you do not know. The AA gives more advice on this here.
Doing your best to not get in the way of the police or any other emergency services, take photos of the damage to your car as well as any other vehicles that are involved. This will protect your back against any ridiculous insurance claims. If you or any people travelling in your vehicle have any injuries, then take photos of these too. If there were any witnesses to the accident, then speak to them and obtain their contact details. Speak to the drivers of any other vehicles involved in the accident, and take their contact details as well as details about their insurance.
Seek Legal Advice
When it comes to car accidents, getting legal assistance as soon as possible will give you the strongest possible case.
So overall you can hopefully see how this article helps you to avoid being in a car accident – but if you’re unlucky enough to be (and it will statistically happen to us all eventually…) then be sure to follow the above tips and stay safe.