In the year ending June 2022, there were 137,013 reported casualties on Britain's roads, making it crucial to educate oneself about the risks and procedures involved in a car accident. Even though it is an unpleasant thought, accidents can happen to anyone, and being prepared can make all the difference.
Checklist: what to do in a car accident
If you are involved in a car accident, it's essential to know what to do next. To help you in such a situation, we have compiled a checklist of key points that you should remember. Here's the first point:
1. Always stop
If you are involved in a car accident, it is mandatory to stop your vehicle at the scene of the incident. Failing to do so is a serious offense that could lead to legal repercussions. Even if you think the accident is minor, stopping your car and checking for damages is crucial. It is also courteous to make sure no one has been injured.
To stop your car, pull over to a safe spot if it wasn't already stopped by the crash. Turn off the engine, switch on the hazard lights, and engage the handbrake.
2. Phone the police
After a car accident, it's essential to call the police. Even if there are no serious injuries, you must report the incident to the police within 24 hours as per the Road Traffic Act. This report can be used later when you file an insurance claim and if you engage with a car accident lawyer.
If the accident is serious, call the police immediately. The police will block off the road if necessary, and the vehicles must remain in the same place initially to allow the police to assess the scene. The police will arrange to move the vehicles later if needed.
If there are any injuries, or if the cars are obstructing the road and causing a hazard, call 999 for emergency services. If you don’t need an emergency response, call 101. It is essential to call 999 only in case of a fast emergency response.
3. Exchange the right information
You must exchange the correct information with the other people involved in the accident. This information may or may not be collected by the police.
Get their telephone number, name, and address. You'll also need their insurance information, so the claims can be handled later. You must provide your name, address, and insurance details to the other driver.
Record the other vehicle's registration number, make, model, and colour. Note down the time and date of the crash too.
If there were witnesses to the accident, get their details too. The information they provide may be useful when filing an insurance claim or consulting with your solicitor.
4. Medical issues
It's important to seek medical attention for anyone involved in a car accident. In some cases, individuals may not experience symptoms or pain until a few days later. It is best to err on the side of caution and seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Injuries resulting from car accidents can be severe and life-changing. If you have been seriously injured, you may require the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney. It's advisable to choose a local law firm with an excellent track record to ensure that you receive the quality service you need. Find out more about what to look for in a car accident lawyer in our blog post.
Recovering from an injury from a car accident can be a long and challenging process. It's vital to receive the compensation you deserve for any injuries or damages caused. Without proper compensation, you may face an unexpected bill for an accident that wasn't your fault.
Therefore, it's essential to consult with a solicitor who can help you with your insurance claim and legal proceedings. They can also help you understand your rights and the options available to you. Don't hesitate to seek legal assistance to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
5. Get some photos
Taking pictures of the accident scene can provide critical evidence to support your insurance claim. It's a good idea to take photos as soon as possible after the accident to document the scene before any changes are made.
Ensure that you take enough pictures from different angles, including photos of any damage to your vehicle or property. If it's safe to do so, take pictures of the road and surrounding area to show where you were travelling from and to, which lane you were in, and other relevant details. You may also want to take photos of any injuries you or others involved in the accident sustained.
The more evidence you have, the stronger your insurance claim is likely to be. You can send your pictures to both your insurance company and the police. Make sure to keep the photos safe and accessible, as you may need them later on.
6. Get your facts straight
It's important not to admit fault for the accident or engage in prolonged conversations with the other driver. Doing so can complicate matters when it comes to insurance claims. It's best to let the police or your solicitor talk to the other driver on your behalf.
Simply collect the other driver's details, as outlined above, and pass all the information you have to the police and insurance company.
It's crucial to get your facts straight when speaking to the police. If you're unsure about specific details, it's better to be honest with the police officers instead of guessing. If you feel that the other driver is not giving a true account of what happened, express your concerns to the police. You may not remember all the details, and the facts might be a little hazy, especially if you are injured and in shock, but it's essential not to bend the truth. Witnesses may be able to help fill in any missing facts.
It's worth noting that anything you say to the police could be used as evidence in court. Therefore, it's essential to speak truthfully and stick to the facts as best as you can remember them. It's advisable to consult with a solicitor before giving any statements to the police to ensure that you do not inadvertently incriminate yourself or damage your case.
7. Check your driving
Although the accident may not have been your fault, it's worth reflecting on the way you drive after a crash. Millions of accidents are caused by preventable issues such as distracted driving. Therefore, it's essential not to allow yourself to become distracted while behind the wheel.
Never use your phone while driving and consider using a car HUD (heads-up display) to keep your eyes on the road. If you have children, ensure that they understand the importance of letting you concentrate when driving.
It's also crucial to assess whether there were any factors that contributed to the accident, such as speeding or failing to obey traffic signals. Reflect on these issues and take steps to address them in the future. By making an effort to improve your driving habits, you can help prevent future accidents and ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.
Remember that driving is a privilege, not a right. By being a responsible driver, you not only protect yourself and your passengers, but also other road users.
It's important to remember that accidents can happen even if you're a safe and responsible driver. Therefore, it's advisable to practice advanced driving techniques, such as driving as if everyone else on the road is going to make a mistake. This approach can help you stay alert and anticipate potential hazards, allowing you to react quickly and avoid accidents.
Other advanced driving techniques include maintaining a safe following distance, scanning the road ahead for potential hazards, and being aware of your blind spots. Additionally, consider taking a defensive driving course to improve your skills and knowledge of safe driving practices.
By adopting advanced driving techniques, you can become a more confident and skilled driver, reducing the risk of accidents and keeping yourself and others safe on the road.
What damages can I claim in a car accident lawsuit?
The specific damages you may be able to claim can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of your case. It's important to consult with a qualified attorney who can provide legal advice tailored to your situation. Here are some common types of damages that may be claimed:
Medical Expenses: You can typically claim the cost of medical treatment, including hospital bills, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and future medical expenses related to the accident such as office visits, assistive devices and transportation to medical facilities.
Property Damage: You can seek compensation for the repair or replacement of your damaged vehicle, as well as any other property that was damaged in the accident.
Lost Wages: If the accident caused you to miss work and lose income, you may be able to claim compensation for the wages you would have earned during that time, as well as future earnings if the accident causes reduced earning capacity in the future.
Pain and Suffering: This category of damages covers physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish resulting from the accident including anxiety and depression. The amount awarded for pain and suffering can vary widely depending on the severity of the injuries and the jurisdiction.
Loss of Consortium: If the accident has adversely affected your relationship with your spouse, you may be able to claim damages for loss of companionship, affection, or intimacy.
Punitive Damages: In cases where the at-fault party's actions were particularly egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter similar behaviour in the future.
It's worth noting that the specific damages you can claim may be subject to limitations, such as statutory caps, in some jurisdictions. This is why it's important to consult with a St. Petersburg car crash lawyer, or a similar professional in your area, as they will be able to provide guidance based on the specific laws and regulations applicable to your situation.
Biohazard cleanup compensation
In some cases, you may require biohazard cleanup services after a car accident. If biohazard cleaning is needed after an accident, you can explore your options for compensation through insurance policies or legal claims, ensuring a thorough and safe cleanup process.
Responsibility for Payment: In the event of a car accident, the responsibility for covering the cost of biohazard or trauma cleaning falls upon the party or parties found responsible for the accident. It's possible that your car insurance policy includes coverage for such cleanup services.
In such situations, it's essential to understand your insurance coverage and how it applies to biohazard cleanup. Contacting your insurance provider to inquire about coverage for such services is a prudent step. Additionally, consulting with a legal professional can help you navigate the process of seeking compensation for biohazard cleanup, ensuring that your rights and safety are protected.
Extra considerations for truck accidents
While the steps to take after a truck accident are similar to those of a car accident, there are some additional considerations to keep in mind due to the potential severity of the accident. Truck accidents can cause more damage and injury due to the size and weight of the vehicle, so it's important to take extra precautions.
First and foremost, make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe and call for medical help if necessary. If the truck driver was carrying hazardous materials, be sure to move away from the scene to a safe location.
After ensuring safety, exchange information with the other driver(s) involved. Get their telephone number, name, address, insurance information, and the registration number, make, model, and colour of their vehicle. Take pictures of the accident, including the damage to both vehicles, any injuries sustained and the surrounding area.
If the accident is severe or there are injuries, call the police immediately. It's important to have a police report, which can be used later on if you need to file an insurance claim.
If you were involved in a truck accident, it's important to consult with truck accident attorneys. Truck accidents can be more complex than car accidents, and a lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, investigate the accident, and potentially recover damages.
Finally, it's important to take care of yourself after a truck accident. Seek medical attention for any injuries, even if they seem minor. The emotional toll of an accident can also be significant, so consider reaching out to a mental health professional for support.
Remember, prevention is always the best course of action. Practice safe driving habits and give trucks plenty of space on the road. If you see a truck driving recklessly or unsafely, report it to the proper authorities.
Driving cautiously and learning vital driver safety reminders will help to lessen your risk of being involved in an accident. It’s also a good idea to avoid driving in snowy conditions or severe storms unless you absolutely have to.
In conclusion, accidents on the road are an unfortunate reality that can impact anyone at any time. As we've discussed throughout this article, being prepared and knowing what to do after a car accident can make a significant difference. With 137,013 reported casualties on Britain's roads in the year ending June 2022, it's vital to understand the risks and procedures involved in such incidents.
Our "7 Things To Do After a Car Accident" checklist serves as a valuable guide in navigating the aftermath of a car accident, whether in the UK or Minneapolis, Minnesota! From the importance of stopping at the scene and contacting the appropriate authorities to gathering accurate information and seeking medical attention, these steps are essential for your well-being and legal protection.
Moreover, we've explored the various damages that can be claimed in a car accident lawsuit. From medical expenses and property damage to lost wages and pain and suffering, understanding your potential compensation is crucial. Consulting with a qualified attorney is key to navigating the complexities of legal claims and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
In some cases, biohazard cleanup services may be necessary after an accident. If you find yourself in need of such services, exploring your compensation options through insurance policies or legal claims is essential to ensuring a thorough and safe cleanup process.
Lastly, for those involved in truck accidents, extra precautions must be taken due to the potential severity of these incidents. Safety is paramount, and seeking medical help, exchanging information, and involving the authorities are critical steps to take. Consulting with truck accident attorneys can help navigate the legal complexities that often arise in such cases.
Remember, while accidents can happen, practicing safe driving habits and staying vigilant on the road can significantly reduce the risk of being involved in an accident. Your safety and well-being, as well as those of others, are of utmost importance.
Stay safe on the road, and may accidents be something you are always prepared for but never have to experience.