10 Tips to follow should you be involved in a motor vehicle accident.

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10 Tips to follow should you be involved in a motor vehicle accident.

1. STOP. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one.

2. PROTECT THE SCENE. You can prevent further accidents by setting up flares, or keeping your hazards on. If it is dark and your lights don’t work, you should have a flashlight to keep you safe while you wait in your disabled car or by the side of the road.

3. CALL THE POLICE. Even if there are no serious injuries, it is a good idea to call the police. You may need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company, even if it is just to make a claim for damage to your vehicle. The vehicles involved in the accident should remain where they are, unless they interfere with traffic.

4. MAKE AN ACCURATE RECORD. When the police arrive, make sure you tell the investigating officer(s) exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. If you do not know certain facts, tell that to the officer.

Do not speculate, guess or misstate any of the facts. If you are asked if you are injured and you are not sure, say you are not sure, rather than no. Often, the pain and injuries from motor vehicle accidents become apparent hours after the actual collision. You should also make sure statements made by other persons involved in the accident are accurate as well.

5. TAKE PICTURES. If you happen to have a camera in your vehicle, or a cell phone equipped with a camera, you should take pictures of the vehicles if there is visible damage. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well. However, you should in no way interfere with the on-going police investigation. If you cannot take pictures at the scene of the accident, take them as soon as possible after the accident.

6. EXCHANGE INFORMATION. Typically, the investigating police officer obtains this information. However, if the police do not respond to the accident, you should obtain the name, address and telephone number of all persons involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike.

You should also obtain information about insurance by asking the other drivers of all vehicles involved in the accident if they are insured. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them as well so that you or your attorney can contact them in the future. If police respond to the accident, the investigating officer usually will provide all drivers with a police report number. You can use that number later to obtain the police report.

7. REPORT THE ACCIDENT. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. Find out if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage.

8. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Most of our clients report feeling the most pain a day or two following an automobile accident. Unless you are absolutely certain you were not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by seeing your family physician. Even in accidents involving minor impact, you can sustain a serious and permanent injury to your spinal cord. If you lost consciousness or were dazed for even a short period of time following the collision, you may have suffered a concussion or closed head injury.

9. KEEP A FILE. Keep all your accident-related documents and information together. This information should include a claim number, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

10. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Perhaps the most important thing you should do after an accident is to consult your solicitor. Your solicitor can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. It is important that you have received legal advice before providing such a statement.
Your solicitor can advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available.

If you wish to make a claim or would like more information please contact us on 1800 729671 or submit your information through our contact form.