What to do in the aftermath of a road traffic accident

It’s almost guaranteed to be a chaotic and hectic time following your involvement in a road traffic accident, but here are some things you should keep in mind.

It’s almost inevitable, what with the amount of time we all spend behind the wheel commuting to work or simply running errands such as picking up the kids from school or going to the supermarket: odds are that one fine day you’ll be involved in a road traffic accident. Whether it’s just a bit of a prang or you end up having to write off your vehicle, you’re going to have to deal with it sooner or later, so make sure you’re prepared for it before it happens.

keep your head on straight

The first thing you should always do in any car accident is to ensure that no one involved – whether it be you, the other driver, or any passengers in either vehicle – sustained any injuries. No matter if it’s a serious injury or a stiff neck from whiplash, make sure that your first call is to emergency services to provide medical care; vehicles can be replaced, but human life can’t, so don’t delay if there’s even the possibility of someone sustaining an injury.

Barring that, make sure you stay calm and keep your head on straight. Now is absolutely not the time to become irate with the other driver for wrecking your car, and you’re going to have to soothe your jangled nerves in order to help the authorities record the particulars of the incident when they write up their accident report.

Go through the proper channels

Make no mistake: you need to call the police after even the most minor of accidents to ensure that an accident report is indeed filed. Neglecting to do so can lead to innumerable problems when you attempt to make an insurance claim to get your vehicle repaired or replaced, and if you or someone else was hurt in the accident, it’s even more important to make sure you have every scrap of evidence at your disposal if you need to make a personal injury claim.

Not only that, but don’t feel as if you can’t supplement the official record of events with evidence of your own. Nearly every mobile phone today has some sort of camera built in, so take as many snaps as you need, whether it be damage sustained to your vehicle or any others involved in the accident, the conditions of the road, or anything else that would prove useful for your insurer – or your personal injury solicitor – to know in the event of a claim.

Finally, you need to realise that this is exactly why you’ve been paying those exorbitant sums to your car insurance company for so many years on end. Things will be fine, though your premiums may go up – in fact, thanks to the current state of the insurance market even those who weren’t at fault in an accident can sometimes experience upward rate adjustments after a bad accident – but making a mistake in the crucial early moments after an accident can be very bad indeed.

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