Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Been Involved in an Accident Through No Fault of your Own?

A woman is loaded into an air ambulance that l...
Accidents happen all the time, on the roads, at work, in schools, at the shops… the list goes on and on. As the number 1 accident claims company, we have seen it all. We all hope we will not be a victim of an unfortunate accident, but they are always sudden and unexpected, so who knows which one of us will be next? If you have an accident, and it is not your fault, you may be able to make a personal injury compensation claim, but there are things that need to be done to make sure your claim is successful. For the purpose of our 10 step guide we are going to assume, firstly that you have survived the accident and secondly that your injuries are such that you are conscious and mobile. As it is the most common type of accident, we shall use a road traffic accident as our example.

Our scenario is that you are on a B road; another car doesn’t stop at a junction and crashes into the passenger side of your car. He wasn’t going slow, so has spun your car and his own hit a tree.

10 Steps to Take if you Have Been Involved in an Accident That Was not your Fault

Step 1 – Turn off your engine, get out and see if there looks to be any further immediate danger to anyone. If possible, it is best to get everyone out of the vehicles, but do not move anyone that is in pain, you could do more harm than good.

Step 2 – Hopefully, you or someone else has a mobile phone. Telephone the emergency services so that driver and passengers can be checked out to see if anyone needs to go to hospital. When emergency services are summoned to a road traffic accident, the police attend automatically.

Step 3 – If anyone involved is up to it, have them stand in a safe position guiding other cars round the accident. The last thing you need is another car ploughing into the mess, which could just cause far more serious injuries on top of the ones you already have.
Step 4 – Swap personal and insurance details with the other driver. This would be an important step to take even if no injuries were involved, but as we think you have a broken arm, broken collarbone and probably whiplash, their details will make everything easier.

Step 5 – If there were anyone around when the accident happened, ask them if they would mind acting as a witness in the future if you need them to. If they are OK with that, take their name, address and telephone number.

Step 6 – By now, the police should have made the area safe and traffic should be flowing again. They will talk to every one involved as well as any witnesses, and from all this information, have to compile an accident report. Make sure that you get your view across to them as calmly and clearly as you can, they are far more likely to believe someone with this demeanor than a raving nutcase.

Step 7 – Make notes about the scene and how the accident happened while it is still fresh in your mind, although with that broken arm you may have to wait till you are at home and dictate it to someone. If the other driver does not admit he was at fault and the case goes to court, those notes might prove very useful to you.

Step 8 – You are probably on you way to hospital by now, that arm will need putting in plaster and they may well want to Xray your neck to make sure the injury is soft tissue and no broken bones. You will possibly be there quite some time, so for now sit back in the waiting room and take it easy. When they release you, take care to follow whatever instructions they give you.

Step 9 – Once you are home, and probably after a couple of days rest to relax you a bit more, you need to consider making a personal injury compensation claim against the driver of the other vehicle. There is actually a UK law that says if you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, the guilty party should give you recompense. In reality, it wont be the young lad driving the other car that will have to stump up, his insurance company will settle any claim you make.

Step 10 – Find a good law firm to act on your behalf for your personal injury compensation claim. You could try and do it yourself, but we would not recommend that. Insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with. Their legal team will do their best to pay you as little as possible, quite rightly so. That’s what their job is. Just like the job of a specialist injury claim lawyer, is to make sure they get you as much as possible. Insurance companies would rather deal with the experts; they understand one another and speak the same language, legal jargon. It just makes every ones job easier, and will without a doubt, be a lot easier for you. Use a firm that is reputable, that you can find recommendations from previous claimants, and look to see if there are any other people that recommend them. Gather all your evidence, notes details of the other driver and witnesses and give them a call. If they are worth their salt, they will give you free advice about your claim and will ensure that every aspect of the effect of the injuries is accounted for.

So now we are at the end of our 10 Steps to take if you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault, you can hopefully go out in your car without worrying about what you need to do, and avoid that junction on the B road just in case someone shoots out of there without stopping. All part of the service from the Accident Advice Helpline, the no. 1 accident claims helpline.

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