Saturday, 11 November 2017

5 things you should do if you’re involved in a car accident

Regardless of whether you’ve just passed your test or you’ve held your licence for many years, being out and about on the roads can be dangerous. Even if you stick to the Highway Code and abide by the speed limit, it’s near impossible to predict what might happen when you’re behind the wheel.

According to figures cited by Michael Jefferies Injury Lawyers, around 750,000 people are injured in road traffic accidents in the UK every year. For the sake of your safety and the wellbeing of others, it’s essential that you do what you can to avoid these types of problems on the roads - but it’s just as important to know what you should do if you find yourself in a car-related mishap. If something like this does happen to you, here’s what you should do.

1. Stop

Did you know that failing to stop when you been involved in an accident is considered to be a criminal offence? Even if it’s a minor bump, it’s important that you stay at the scene. So, to avoid landing yourself in trouble, it’s vital that you bring your vehicle to a complete stop in a safe place.

You should make sure your engine is turned off and switch your hazards lights on. This will make your presence known to other road users.

2. Call 999

It might seem obvious, but if anyone appears to be hurt, you should ring 999 as soon as possible. You should call the police and an ambulance if needed.

You should also call the police if the accident is blocking the road or if you believe foul play was involved - for example, if you think the accident was a deliberate attempt by the other driver to make a fraudulent insurance claim.

It’s important to note that car accidents should be reported to the police within 24 hours. If not, you could face a fine, penalty points or even be disqualified from driving altogether

3. Provide your details

When you’re in an accident, you are required to provide your details to the other parties involved. You should even provide your information if there aren’t any other people involved. For example, if you bump into a parked car, you should try and find out who the owner is. If you’re unable to, you should try and leave your details on a piece of paper on the windscreen.

3. Collect other people’s details

Try to collect the names, address and contact details of anyone else at the scene of the accident, such as the drivers and passengers of any other vehicles involved and witnesses. Remember to get the car insurance details of the other drivers, and find out who the registered owner of the vehicle is.

4. Take notes about the scene of the accident

If you’re well enough to do so, you should try to take notes about the scene of the accident. For example, you should write down the registration plate numbers of any other vehicles involved, including the colour and model of each car. You should also make a list of the damage to the vehicles and the injuries to anyone involved.

It also helps to take photos of the scene and make a note of the weather conditions. Don’t forget to write down the date and time too.

5. Contact your insurer

It’s important to inform your insurer of the accident as soon as possible, regardless of whether you want to make a claim or not. Your insurance company may require you to do this within a certain time period, so make sure you check the terms and conditions of your cover.

You will need to provide your insurer with as much detail as possible about what happened. If you are making a claim, they will advise you on what happens next.

As well as bearing these five points in mind, it's worth noting that if you feel your accident was due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation. If you choose to take this step, a solicitor will be able to advise you on whether you have a viable claim.

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