With ever more vehicles on the road and people becoming more impatient, there have never been more car accidents and consequently, more car accident claims. This article examines how best to proceed if you have been injured on the road.
It seems that there are innumerable adverts not he television and the radio for firms encouraging people to seek legal advice if they have suffered an injury due to the negligent or careless behaviour of someone else. But these adverts do not give advice as to what should be done immediately following an accident in order to ensure that any subsequent claim runs as smoothly as possible. But any claim for compensation can be made a little easier if some simple steps are taken following an accident.
The first and most important issue is, of course, to ensure that anyone involved in an accident on the road is safe from further injury. This can mean something as simple as switching on the hazard lights of your car to alert other drivers of a problem, or it could require giving assistance to move someone to a place of safety. If there is no immediate danger, someone who is seriously injured should not be moved until assessed by the emergency services. If any immediate danger has been negated, then follow the next steps for any road accident claims.
Witnesses and photographs are invaluable when pursuing a claim. If you are not in need of immediate medical assistance, take the time to take down details of anyone who may have witnessed the accident, as their testimony could mean that matters are settled out of court, saving time and stress for you further down the line. Most people have a camera on their phone, so take photographs of the accident damage and the surrounding area, as well as of any apparent injuries sustained. Ensure that you seek medical advice as soon as possible after the incident if you haven’t needed first aid at the scene, as issues such as whiplash can worsen over time and the earlier you seek treatment, the better. Solicitors who specialise in dealing with road accident claims will be able to give you further advice as to the evidence that you might require to substantiate your claim.
Car and road accident claims are often settled out of court, although it is generally advisable not to accept the first offer that you are given. Your solicitor will know roughly what your claim might be worth based on comparing the facts of the case to other, similar claims, so they will be able to advise as to whether an offer is in the right area. If you have provided strong evidence supporting your claim, your offer is likely to come earlier and be higher than otherwise, so it really is worth taking the time to ensure you have done all that you can.
Maria John is a claims advisor who writes on the issue of car and road accident claims for a number of online publications. She has witnessed firsthand the difference that gathering evidence at the scene can make to a compensation offer, but warns that the first thought should be of safety and health whenever an accident occurs.