No matter how carefully you drive or how much attention you pay, the risk of you being involved in a car accident is highly probable due to the increased number of road users. If you have been injured in a car accident, then this guideline should offer the support you need whether you are a passenger, driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian.
What Should Be Done At The Scene Of A Car Accident?
When involved in car accident you have a legal duty to stop at the scene, as well as your legal duty, it is also beneficial for you to stop to make sure you can assess the situation effectively, making sure no one is injured, what (if any) damage has been caused to the vehicles involved and if any other property has been damaged.
Being involved in an accident is not something someone starts their day predicting, therefore, if an unfortunate event happens, it is likely you will be left in a state of shock and could struggle to process what has happened.
It is important to try to remain calm and collect all the necessary details you may need, especially if you pursue to make a car accident claim for the loss and suffering you have experienced.
Important information to collect at this stage would be:
- Vehicle Damage Evidence – this can be obtained by taking photographs via your phone, but try not just to gather evidence of your own vehicle, try to obtain pictures of any damage caused to the other parties’ vehicle as well. If the vehicle is heavily damaged, you need to get professional advice from your car insurer.
- Obtain The Other Driver’s Information – details including name, address, and contact details. If they are not the owner of the vehicle, then be sure to get the owner’s information to
- Vehicle Information – including registration, model of the vehicle and the colour
- Insurance Information – including the name of the insurance company and the driver policy number. Again if the driver is not the owner of that particular vehicle, try to obtain their insurance information also
- Independent Witness Details – this means someone who has not been involved in but has witnessed the accident and can give a clear statement if needed. They also must be unknown to either party involved to ensure they can be classed as independent. While gaining independent witness details, ensure you have gained their full name, contact number and address
- Photographs That Can Help Explain What Has Happened, e.g. taking photographs of road markings, how the vehicles have positioned themselves after the accident etc.
It is important to try and remain calm and keep yourself and any passengers you may have safe, therefore if you feel your safety is at risk or someone has been badly injured then call the emergency services and seek immediate medical attention. If the police were involved, make sure all information given by them is kept safe, most importantly the reference number they provide you
Gaining The Medical Attention You Need After An Accident
However minor or major your injuries feel due to the accident, it is important you seek the appropriate medical attention to ensure there is no underlying condition caused and to ensure you have received all the treatment you need.
Depending on the severity of your injuries will depend on what type of medical attention you seek, if your injuries are severe you may want to call the emergency services to get an ambulance, however, if they seem minor in nature you could attend your GP or a local NHS walk-in centre.
A common occurring injury brought on by RTAs (Road Traffic Accidents) is known as whiplash. This type of injury is caused by a sudden forceful movement which is caused by the impact of your vehicle colliding into something. Common tell-tale signs of having whiplash are discomfort and stiffness in your neck area when moving, along with headaches.
Who Is Eligible To Make A Claim?
All road users have a legal right to make a claim when they have been injured in an accident that isn’t their fault, this includes:
- Vehicle drivers
- Passengers – whether you are a passenger on public or private transport
A passenger can start a claim regardless of whether it is the driver of the vehicle they were in who is at fault. If you were in a passenger in your family member’s or friend’s vehicle, in a taxi or on a bus/coach, whether it was your driver who has caused the accident or not you could be eligible to claim.
A passenger could also be eligible to make a claim if they have sustained an injury due to careless driving. The driver owes their passengers a duty of care to ensure they do not drive carelessly causing anyone to fall, they should also ensure care is taken when passengers are entering or exiting the bus.
Making A Claim For A Car Accident
Starting a claim for compensation for your injuries and other losses sustained in an accident can be quick and easy, simply contact specialist solicitors, and they will guide you through the entire process.
Often as a passenger, it is confusing to know if you are eligible to claim and who from, especially if you feel the driver of the vehicle you were in may be at fault. This is where your solicitors will be able to help you, letting you know from the first point of contact if you have a claim and whose insurance you would be claiming from.
Starting Your Claim
Starting a claim is quick and easy, once you have begun speaking with a solicitor you will find out if you have a valid claim and be able to gain tailored advice that will best suit your situation.
After gaining the advice, if you wish to make a claim, the setup will require the following details:
- Your personal details – e.g. Name, Address, Phone Number, DOB, National Insurance Number
- Details of the accident – e.g. Date, Time, Location and Description
- Any photographic evidence you may have
- Details of independent witnesses (if any)
Details of your medical condition caused by the accident and supporting evidence if you have it at this time (depending upon the nature of your injury your solicitor may need to obtain your medical records)
Once all this information has been provided to your solicitor they will then start notifying the other parties insurance via a claims notification form, this will mean your claims process has officially begun.