What to do if you are in a car accident that wasn’t your fault

This article was published on: 08/28/14

Car accident in Japan

There will be a lot of things going through your mind in the immediate aftermath of a road traffic accident, most notably whether or not your health has been or is under threat. We have compiled 10 useful tips for what you should do following an accident on the road that was caused by another road user’s negligence.

1. Collect Information

When you have been in an accident that was another road users fault, it is vital that you collect as much information as you can regarding the circumstances.

If the other driver has stopped make sure you get their name, address and most importantly their insurance details. Also take note of their vehicle registration number.

Finally speak to any witnesses who are at the scene. Take statements from anyone who saw the accident. This might be useful when trying to prove that the other driver was at fault.

2. Be as Observant as possible

Make sure in the immediate aftermath of the accident that you take notice of what is said by others surrounding the incident, especially the other driver and their party.

Listen out for any any admittance of guilt or apologies made. Remember these people will take on legal advice of their own, so although they might seem nice at the scene, you might find they try and turn the tables on you once they have received advice. This makes any admittance of liability or any other statement of guilt important to your claim.

3. Under no circumstances Admit fault for the accident

Remember you haven’t seen what has happened so it is likely you will perceive the events leading up to the accident differently to the actuality. Therefore, never admit fault until you have spoken to a solicitor.

4. Write down your Account of what happened

Make sure you note down your observations of the accident. Write down important facts such as time and date, the weather and road conditions. These details could be important when building your case for a claim

5. Take Photos of the Accident Scene

Providing you are not injured, if you can, take photos of the accident scene. Be sure to photograph any damage to your’s or the third party’s vehicle, any markings on the roads and anything else that could be beneficial. Photo’s can go a long way in helping to prove the liability of the other road user.

Make sure you get a range of different angles and close ups as well. The minor details can make all the difference should you bring a personal injury claim.

6. Seek Further Medical Examination

Depending on the severity of the crash, you may receive medical assistance at the scene of the accident. But in a lot of cases, the signs of injury can take a few days to develop. You should, therefore, allow a doctor or medical professional to check you over if you start to feel any pain or discomfort.

7. Contact a Solicitor

It is vital that you contact a solicitor following your accident for advice on what to do next. They will help you to determine what the best course of action is and whether or not you might be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

8. Ignore Insurance Phone Calls

Following the accident, it won’t be long before you receive contact from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, especially is there is an element of guilt from the third party involved.

They will often make you a compensation offer there and then before you have had a proper medical examination. Make sure that you ignore their offer. Insurer offers don’t tend to reflect the true severity of your injury and in most cases will be derisory compared to what you could claim through using a solicitor.

9. Make a Claim

If the accident was caused by the other driver your solicitor will advise you to make a claim.

A road traffic accident can cause disruption to your life due to the nature of the injuries that they carry. You might have been forced to take time off work, be unable to play football on a Sunday or provide proper care and attention to your children.

Anyone of these things can cause frustration and distress to you, which you did not ask for. Then there is the cost of any treatment or rehabilitation you may need.

All things considering, it is only fair that the person at fault for the accident that caused these injuries should cover these costs so you should feel comfortable bringing forward a claim for compensation.

10. Keep a Diary

Upon taking legal advice, it is important that you keep a diary of any further pain or discomfort you suffer following the accident.

You should also note down anything that you have been unable to do because of the injury or pain your have been in that under usual circumstance you would be able to.

This could be important to ensure you receive the right level of compensation for your injury.

Image source(s)

1. Wikipedia; Shuets Udono; https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Japanese_car_accident.jpg