6 Things to Do After a Car Accident
Regardless of how good of a driver you are or how careful you are, getting involved in a car accident is something that can happen to virtually anyone. It’s not always your fault and while 94 percent of all traffic accidents are caused by a human error, it doesn’t have to be your error. Also, 6 percent that comes from vehicle malfunction, road conditions and unexpected occurrences can hardly be seen as insignificant or inconsequential. Still, how you behave in the aftermath is what makes all the difference and here are six suggestions to help you out.
- Stop the car
The first thing you need to do is stop the car and check if everything and everyone’s all right. Never drive away from the scene of the accident, even a minor one, seeing as how you have no idea what just happened to the other party. Sure, you might have just scratched them or just broke their side mirror, however, you have no idea if the person in the other car may have a heart condition and if this kind of unexpected fright might have caused something far more serious. In this scenario, the difference between you stopping the car and leaving the scene of the accident may make a difference between life and death.
- Protect the scene and report on it
The next thing you need to do is protect the scene of the accident. Fortunately, all that this involves is you not touching anything, as well as not allowing anyone else to do the same. However, this is not an effort or time-consuming task, seeing as how it requires of you not to do things rather than to do them. If anything, it saves you time. If there are injured parties involved, make sure to call the paramedics or just call the police and say that there are also serious injuries involved. In this scenario, the police will be the one contacting them.
- Protect yourself
If you’re 100 percent convinced that you’ve done nothing wrong, try to gather the necessary evidence. Previously, we’ve mentioned that you need to avoid tampering with evidence and this information is still completely valid. However, asking people who saw what happened to testify, gathering their contacts and taking some photos of the place are things that are more than highly advised. Just avoid trying to influence eyewitnesses, due to the fact that it’s illegal and may backfire. As for the photos of the place. just bear in mind that everyone has a smartphone at hand. Ideally, you would also have a dashcam installed. This trend is a definite must in Russia since, before the trend, the place was notorious for the number of car accident-related scams.
- Think about your legal protection
Previously, we’ve talked about gathering the evidence, however, photos and contact numbers are not enough. What you need is a report of the scene of the accident and a good lawyer. First of all, you need to look for a specialist. Just because you’re innocent, this doesn’t mean that you won’t suffer from any potential consequences of the incident. Also, different states have different regulations (not necessarily traffic regulations but, for instance, compensation law), so, you might want to go with someone local; someone whose portfolio you can verify. So, if the accident happened in NSW, look for NSW compensation lawyers. Simple and intuitive advice that a lot of people choose to ignore for no reason.
- Seek medical attention
This part here is crucial. You see, people with no previous knowledge in the medical field often assume that the scary symptoms are the dangerous ones. The truth is that this is not always the case. You may have internal injuries that don’t even hurt as much but are far more dangerous than any fracture or bleeding ever could be. So, go for your medical checkup. It will only take a bit of your time and it might make a massive difference.
- Accept what happened
A lot of people can’t live with consequences of what happened (if the outcome was particularly bad) or at least get to retroactively blame themselves for financial damage (if the outcome was not that bad). When it comes to some people, this leads to doubt, loss of self-confidence when it comes to driving or even outright fear of driving. This leads nowhere and you need to learn how to overcome it. Asking for professional help in such situations is more than sensible.
As you can see, there are three issues that you need to address immediately – the physical safety of everyone involved, legal responsibility and financial damage. It is vital that you tend to these three things in this particular order. Doing anything else ranges from neglectful and immoral to outright reckless and dangerous. So, make sure you do everything right.