The Association For Safe International Travel’s recent research have revealed an alarming driving statistic, staggeringly on average 3,287 deaths occur a day as a result of car accidents which equates to nearly 1.3 million individuals dying in road accidents every year! Even if you are a very safe driver you ultimately cannot control how others drive or how pedestrians behave, thus it is best to be prepared and know exactly what you need to do in a car accident! In this article the team at AccidentClaims.co.uk reveal their expert legal advice and the top tips on what to do if you are in a car accident and whether you may be entitled to make a car accident compensation claim.
- Check to see if anyone is hurt
Unfortunately cars are powerful machines that used incorrectly or unsafely can cause serious injury or death, therefore following an accident the first thing you should do is to check to see if you are hurt or if anyone else is injured. If so, call 999 immediately! Indeed, if you only experience a minor injury make sure to book a GP appointment to get checked over to check there are no hidden or underlying issues related to your injury. Additionally, this doctor’s documentation can also be used as evidence if you decide to claim for damages following the car accident.
- Breathe in and out
In the immediate aftermath your mind may be going at a pace of 100 miles per hour as you enter a state of shock, this is perfectly normal subsequently it is very important you give yourself a couple of minutes to regroup as a car accident can be a very unsettling experience, especially if someone is seriously hurt or has even been killed. Take deep breaths in and out to help return your heart rate to normal, this will help you keep calm when you need to speak to other parties involved or even the emergency services for instance the Police or a Paramedic. Panicking will only make the situation much worse.
- Collect other parties’ involved details
Collect as much information as you can about the accident and the other parties involved to ensure you have all the details, this information will prove vital if you decide to make a claim for a car accident compensation claim. Take the time, location and date of the accident, and the personal details of anyone involved including their phone number, name, address, insurance details and what car they were driving, along with their registration number. Furthermore, if there are any witnesses of the accident it may be very beneficial in the long run to get their details as well. External circumstances such as weather conditions (snow/ice/low sun) or an unusual road surface (pothole/mud/oil) or suspicious behaviour of another driver are also good to note down incase they will become relevant further down the line.
- Establish if you are entitled to claim
Having all this information to hand will reap dividends if you decide to file a car accident claim – today it is very straightforward to establish whether you are entitled to make a claim. Many legal services offer free consultations giving you the opportunity to ascertain their expert advice on whether your compensation case is worth pursuing. Moreover the risk of making a claim on your finances has been significantly reduced with the rise in No Win No Fee contracts. A legal advisor will have the expert knowledge on what should be your next steps and will determine quickly whether you are wasting your time with a compensation claim you are unlikely to win. Without collecting the information mentioned above immediately after the crash it will be very difficult for a legal advisor to advise whether your claim is one worth making.
- Know the two types of Damage claims
Following a car accident that was not your fault there are two types of compensation damages, recognised by UK law, that you can claim for, Special Damages and General Damages. It is important you are aware of the difference.
General Damages are related to any injury or issue caused as a consequence of the accident as well as any long term impact this injury has had or will have in the future on your life. This is where seeing a doctor regarding any injuries after the accident is crucial as their medical notes will determine how much compensation you could be awarded and their estimation of how this injury will impact your life in the future will also impact how much you are entitled to. Whereas in comparison Special Damages relates to any expenses directly incurred by the car accident which can range from transport costs, vehicle damage, any loss to earnings and medical costs.
- Seek Emotional Support
A car accident can be very traumatic and you do not need to struggle alone, there are a plethora of charities available that can support anyone involved in a car accident. For example. The RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims and SCARD,who provide care and support for any deaths or injuries following a car accident, to name just a few. Prioritise your mental health and wellbeing by speaking to someone even if you feel it is only a minor issue, as in many cases talking helps considerably and these charities can provide their top advice and support of how you can move forward following the ordeal.
All these tips will help you act in the correct way in the aftermath of a collision, however there are also many tactics you can incorporate into your driving that will considerably reduce your likelihood of a car accident occurring and your probability of becoming a victim of a serious car accident related injury. These tactics include always wearing a seatbelt, keeping both hands on the steering wheel at all times, looking both ways when pulling out of a junction, not tailgating other drivers, checking your blind spots, keeping your car music to a sensible volume and putting your phone out of sight whilst driving.