What should I do immediately following a car accident?
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident of any kind it’s quite likely that you’ll be in something of a state of shock and that making a claim for compensation will be the last thing on your mind. In many ways this is only natural, but if you’ve been hurt in an accident which was caused by another party’s negligence than you’ve every right to seek just and fair compensation, and your actions just after the accident could have a major impact on the outcome of any case you pursue.
When you approach an expert injury solicitor with a view to launching a claim for compensation, their initial job will be to bring together all of the facts pertaining to your car accident and deliver an honest appraisal of how likely a successful claim is going to be. Put simply, the more in formation you can provide the easier and more precise this process becomes, and so it’s vital to do as many of the following things as possible:
- Take down the names, contact information and insurance details of the other people involved in the accident. Since it’s not unknown for people to give false information you should also take down car number plates since these will allow people to be traced after the event.
- Names and numbers – take down the contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident. In many cases the parties involved in an accident will give differing accounts of how it happened, making the unbiased view of a neutral witness vitally important.
- Record the details – try to write down a detailed account of exactly what happened whilst it is clear in your mind. If possible, take photographs of the scene of the crash and draw sketches showing factors such as the position of all parties and the direction of travel in the moments leading up to the crash.
- Inform the police – this is a key legal requirement in terms of any insurance claims to be made, and it will also help to build the official record of the accident itself.
- Seek medical attention – even if you don’t feel as if you’ve been injured you should be looked at by a doctor as quickly as possible. Conditions such as whiplash can take hours or even days to become apparent and injuries such as fractured bones and internal bleeding may require an in depth examination to be spotted. Not only is this vital for your own well-being, but it will also be extremely useful when building your case, since it provides an official, unbiased account of the injuries you sustained.
In the days and weeks following your accident you should also keep receipts for any expenses arising as a direct result, as well as noting any earnings lost through time spent off work. The compensation awarded will be calculated on the basis of your injury, with these figures included to ensure you don’t end up out of pocket as well as hurt.