If you have been involved in a car crash, there are a number of steps you need to take. You need to ensure that you watch what you say, that’s for sure. After all, you don’t want to implicate yourself in something. You also need to gather witness contact information too. But, do you need to call the police? This depends on the crash itself and any other important details surrounding it, so let’s take a look.
You need to assess the situation carefully to determine whether the police should be called. So, this involves…
- Checking yourself and your passengers to see if there are any injuries – If anyone is injured, call the emergency services immediately. This means both an ambulance and the police. It is important to try and stay calm, although this can be a traumatic and painful experience. Make sure your hazard lights are on, and try to pull out of the lane of traffic.
- Think about where you are in relation to other traffic – If you are positioned in a potentially dangerous area, and you cannot move, it is important to contact the police as soon as possible. They can ensure efforts are put into place to divert the oncoming traffic so that there are not any further accidents.
- Check to see if anyone else is hurt in any other vehicles involved – If you and anyone else in your vehicle are fine, you should check to make sure that no one else is hurt in any of the other cars that have been involved in the car crash. Do not do anything, though, that is going to put your safety or anyone else’s safety at risk. If you cannot get to the car, call the emergency services immediately.
- Do you suspect foul play? – If someone has fled the scene of the crash, then this is a clear reason to call the police. After all, you have been involved in a hit and run. If something about someone else’s behaviour is making you suspicious, it’s always better to go with your gut. Call the police. Maybe this person has something to hide?
- Determine the extent of the damage to the vehicles – Your health and safety is a priority, so once you are sure everyone is okay, you can then look at the extent of damage to the vehicle. All accidents should be reported to the police within 24 hours. This is also important if you want to make a compensation claim. As any car accident lawyer will say, a police record will help you to have a stronger case, as it serves as an official record of what has happened. If the damage is only minor, there is no need to call the police immediately, but make sure you do so while the details are fresh in your mind.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea as to whether you need to call the police or not. Use the steps that have been mentioned above to help you make up your mind. If you are still not certain, it is often better to be safe than sorry, so call the police, but think about going for their standard line rather than the emergency one.
Mistakes to avoid if you want to claim for the incident
If you are thinking about making a claim for compensation, for any reason – be it a car crash, accident at work, or anything else – you need to be prepared. After all, you don’t get a second chance to make a claim. If you miss out on compensation the first time around, then you probably won’t get the justice you deserve for what has happened to you. Therefore, it is a good idea to learn about some of the most common compensation mistakes so that you can avoid them.
- Say too much – One of the biggest mistakes that people make is saying too much after the incident, which can result in them implicating themselves when it was not even their fault. This is something a lot of people tend to do after a car crash when emotions are heightened. Some things to do after a car crash include getting witness details and taking photographs of the scene. Some things not to do include: losing your temper or saying that you were to blame (even if you attempt to share the blame). Keep quiet, and wait until afterward to think about what really happened. A crash may appear to be your fault, but you may learn that the other driver was under the influence.
- Waiting too long to claim – A lot of people assume that they have all of the time in the world to make a claim. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The time limit for most personal injury cases is three years, and do note that court proceedings have to be issued within this period of time. There are a few exceptions to the rule, just to make matters confusing. If you are under the age of 18, a parent can claim on your behalf, or you will have three years from the date of your 18th birthday. If you have an illness, which was caused by a situation that happened years and years ago, yet you have only just been diagnosed, you will have three years from the date of the diagnosis.
- Failing to see a medical professional – This may seem like an obvious point. After all, if you have been hurt, you are going to go and see a doctor. Well, you would be surprised by how many people don’t. A lot of people hate nothing more than hospitals. Therefore, if they sustain a minor injury, they try to look after themselves at home. This is not advised. Not only is it bad for health purposes, but it will also ruin your chances of claiming. You won’t be awarded compensation simply because you say you have been injured – you need to prove that you have. This is where the doctor’s medical report comes in.
So there you have it: the three common mistakes that a lot of people make when making a claim. If you can avoid the issues mentioned above, you can give yourself the best chance of securing compensation in the quickest and smoothest manner.