No-one wants to imagine it but the stats are clear; every single driver is likely to get into at least one accident in their lifetime. You should do all you can to prevent it, but how you handle the aftermath is just as important. Here are the steps you need to take to ensure your wellbeing after a road accident.
Ensure Your Safety First
Checking yourself for serious injuries will naturally be your first priority. Don’t neglect to check in on your passengers, and as well as anyone else involved in the accident. You can be held legally responsible for not providing care to someone who has been injured, so every driver should learn emergency first aid and have a first aid kit at the ready. Do your due diligence long after you’ve left the scene as well. Talk to your doctor and keep a close eye on your condition in the next few days, and as well as the condition of anyone else who was in your car. Even if you don’t see any injuries, there can be some health issues hidden under the surface.
Call the Essentials
Once you have ensured that everyone is safe, you have to call the emergency services. Again, if you fail to do so, you could be held accountable by the law. If the accident wasn’t your fault and someone has been injured, you may want to seek legal help to ensure you’re being held responsible. Following that, it’s wise to call a family member so that they are aware of the situation and can provide help. Don’t leave the scene just yet.
Survey the Scene
If you anticipate an insurance battle or potential legal action, then the more evidence you can get in your favour, the better. If someone has witnessed the accident, you can ask them to give you their contact details to back up your side of the story. Furthermore, you should take as many photos of the incident as possible. They may prove the evidence that you weren’t in the wrong, especially if you’re worried that any other drivers involved will leave the scene.
Get in Touch with Your Insurance Company
You have to report to your insurance providers, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. Otherwise, if you’re trying to claim off the other driver’s insurance, they can use that lack of contact against you. Exchange insurance and contact details with other drivers if possible and if everyone is safe. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you when talking to them, keep it strictly business. Don’t let your nerves and your desire to smooth over the situation take control. You may feel like admitting fault or apologising even if it isn’t your fault and that can come back to get in the way of a claim. Of course, getting angry or hostile can be just as bad for you.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, following the tips above can ensure that any health risks are kept to a minimum or that you’re not held fully responsible for something that wasn’t your fault. It’s important to memorise this now so that you can act effectively when the time comes.