Things You Need To Do If You Are Involved In A Car Accident


Do you drive? I got my driving license at age 18. Once you pass your driving test, whether it is as soon as you hit the legal age to drive or whether it is later in life, getting out and about is often all you can think about. It is super exciting to finally have the chance to buy your own car, to be independent and be able to go wherever you want, whenever you want, and not having to endure public transport anymore. However old you are, being able to drive is a huge deal, and it often feels like there will never be anything that takes away that initial excitement of driving. Of course, once you have been on the road for some time, the novelty does tend to wear off, once you realize that sitting in traffic and paying for your own gas is anything but fun! 

Unfortunately, one part of driving that many of us have to deal with at some point or another is an accident. No matter how careful we think we are, they do happen, and usually when we least expect it. It does not matter whether you are at fault, or whether someone has crashed into you; the aftermath can be scary and more than a little overwhelming. When we find ourselves in that situation, it can be difficult to remember exactly what we need to do. However, for your own safety and protection, there are specific protocols that you need to follow, so it is crucial that you are well informed. Here, we look at some of the main things that you need to do if you are involved in a road traffic accident.

Reporting the accident

Before you do anything else, you may need to report the accident, most importantly, to the police. If the road is blocked or damaged, they may need to come out to assist, and if there is any suspicion of any parties involved being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol, or dangerous driving was involved, an investigation may be opened. It is also essential that you stay on the scene unless you have been seriously injured until the police have assessed the situation. If anyone has been injured, you may need to call for an ambulance, or at the very least, visit a doctor. It is important to be checked out as soon as possible if you are injured, even if they seem minor, as you may well be high on adrenaline, and this can affect whether you are feeling pain. It is also essential if you choose to open a legal case against anyone involved - medical evidence is vital.

Collect evidence of the event

If the police come out, they will do this, but if you are able to or if the police are not required to intend, it is important that you collect as much evidence as you can to report to your car insurance provider. Get your cell phone out and take photos of the damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles that may have been involved from various angles. It would help if you also took a picture of the scene, any junctions, and the weather conditions. These will all be important if and when you come to make a claim or talk to your provider.

Think about what you say

Even if you think that the accident is your fault, it is important not to admit blame at the scene or apologize, because this may be used against you if someone files a compensation claim against you. Leave it to the police and insurance companies to determine who is at fault. 

It is also important to think about anything you write or say on social media because again, this can jeopardize any claims.

Obtain witness details

If anyone has witnessed the accident, it can be incredibly helpful to get their details. They may be able to corroborate your story if anyone makes any counterclaims or falsely reports a situation. 

Inform your insurance company

At the earliest opportunity, get in touch with your insurance company and inform your insurance company and let them know that you and your car have been involved in an accident. If your vehicle is not drivable, they will arrange for your vehicle to be towed away for repair and if your policy covers it, provide you with a courtesy car. Obviously, being in an accident can affect your insurance premiums, but it is vital that you let them know; otherwise, you are breaking the law and invalidating your policy.

Consider how you feel emotionally

A car accident can play havoc with your emotions and your mental health. Even if it is minor and there are no significant physical injuries, the shock of being involved can make you emotional, confused and frightened, and this often does not kick in until hours, days, or even weeks later. For some, the mental impact of a car accident can mean that they feel anxious and worried when back on the road, or have flashbacks. It can take time to regain your confidence in driving once it has been knocked, and the best advice we have is to get back behind the wheel as soon as you feel physically and emotionally ready, but if that takes longer than you expect, don't worry. Some people find taking further lessons with a driving instructor or going out with someone with years of experience behind the wheel can make them feel a little better, to begin with.

Remember, a car accident can happen to anybody, regardless of how long they have been driving for or their driving abilities. It is how you react in the immediate aftermath that can make all the difference.