Regardless of whether you’re a new driver or an experienced driver, knowing what to do in a car accident is extremely important.
Most car accidents happen when you least expect it, which may shake you up and cause you to have a blank moment on what to do next.
If you take the right steps as soon as the car accident has happened, you can avoid the situation from getting more difficult and causing follow-on issues a couple of weeks down the line.
If you’re in any doubt about what needs to be done after a car accident, the following steps should be useful:
1. Stop the car
As soon as any collision occurs; whether it be minor or serious, it’s essential you stop the car immediately. Driving away from the scene is an offence and you could be charged. Turn off the engine and switch on the hazard lights.
2. Check for any injuries
When it’s safe to do so, check both yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If you believe an injury may be serious, call an ambulance and later, the police. Even if injuries are minor, make a note in case they need to claim compensation for a recurring health complaint as a result of the crash.
One of the most common injuries is to the brain, in the event of the head hitting the dashboard. As this isn’t a visible injury, it can be difficult to understand the extent of the damage in the first few minutes after a crash. After seeking medical treatment and being given a diagnosis, it would be advised to get in contact with a brain injury specialist lawyer.
3. Stay calm
Although the situation can be terrifying, try and keep calm. It’s normal to be shaken-up even after a minor accident, but breathe deeply and aim to control your temper in case you say or do anything that may be used against you.
It’s essential you don’t apologise to the other party if you’re not sure whether it was your fault. Simply saying ‘sorry’ could force you to admit responsibility.
4. Collect details
Sharing your name and address with anyone involved in the accident is required by law. Next, swap insurance details and make a note of any witnesses who were around at the scene of the crash. It’s also important to ask whether the other driver owns the vehicle and if not, who it belongs to (for example, it may be a work car).
5. Make a record of the accident
It’s extremely important to make a record of the scene, to help win the case if you are looking to make a claim. Several factors to make a note of include:
- Taking photos of the scene, including the positions of the car and any damage
- The make, model, colour and number plate of the car
- The time and date of the accident
- Injuries to any persons involved
- The weather, road condition and visibility