We have compiled a list of things that you should do or should be aware of if you want to claim for compensation following the aftermath of a car accident.
1. Don’t admit liability
Don’t say sorry and never admit liability after a car accident, even if you think you are to blame.
The faults for road accidents are not always clear cut, and the blame can often by shared. Your specialist personal injury solicitor should be able to ascertain whether you or the third party is to blame. However, if the fault cannot be exactly determined, then your apology or words during the scene may be used against you.
2. Informing the police
All road accidents should be reported to the police within 24 hours for a personal injury claim to be valid.
999 should only be called when the traffic collision results in serious injury or there is a danger present to other road users. If 999 is called and the police arrive, then they can record the details of the accident there and then. If minor injuries or no injuries are suffered, then you should report the accident to the police at your local police station or by calling the non-emergency number 101. The police are not required to attend the scene of every car accident.
3. Exchange contact details
It is an obligation to leave your contact details after a road accident.
You should exchange contact details (name, address, phone number) with the affected third parties. You could also ask them for their insurance details and make a note of their vehicle registration number. You should leave your contact details even when you are the only party involved in the car accident. Failure to do so could mean you are breaking the law by committing a hit and run.
4. Take photographic evidence
It is advisable to take photographs of the scene of the car accident.
Most people nowadays own a smart mobile phone that can take photos. You should take close-up photos of the damage of each vehicle (make sure the vehicle registration number is present), along with the position of the vehicles in the aftermath of the accident. The more photographic evidence you can provide your solicitor and insurer, the stronger your case becomes.
5. Take witness details
Kindly ask witnesses if they would be willing to leave their contact details so they can be contacted in the future for a witness statement.
A witness statement can allow your solicitor and insurer to gather different viewpoints of what actually happened in the accident. This can be invaluable for strengthening your claim. Your claim can still progress and be successful even if there were no witnesses present or they refused to share their contact details and not give a witness statement.
6. Seek medical attention
Medical attention should be sought even if you think you have suffered no injury.
If a serious injury is suffered at the scene of the accident, then an ambulance should be called right away. If you have suffered minor injuries such as whiplash or have suffered no injuries at all, then you should still visit your local GP as soon as possible for a thorough check-up. Your doctor can treat your injuries and can even check for any hidden injuries that you may not initially be aware of. Your injuries (if any) and your visit will be officially documented and can be useful to you in the future should you wish to pursue a personal injury claim.
7. Write a statement
You should write down or film yourself talking about what happened in the accident.
You should include as much detail as possible about the accident. For example, try to include what time the accident occurred; you should talk about the weather and be specific; were there any environmental issues that may have caused the lead up to the accident such as pot holes? The more detailed your recorded statement, the better it is for your claim. This means even if you claim in 1 or 2 years after the event, you will still remember every detail recorded for the accident. Ideally you should claim as soon as possible.
8. Start your claim
If your doctor confirms that you have suffered an injury as a result of the accident, and you did not cause the car accident, then you could be entitled to personal injury compensation.
We would recommend bringing a personal injury claim to a personal injury specialist firm like ourselves. We have the professionalism, the resources and the experience from dealing with road traffic accident claims like yours on a daily basis. We can offer expert advice, genuine support and free initial consultations to help you consider your options. Let us help you get the compensation that you deserve. Call us today to start your claim.