For those who were involved in a car accident, take note that there are legal obligations to attend to before you leave the scene. You need to stop immediately and provide as much as help as you can to those who were involved from the crash.
If ever someone was injured or killed, then you need to call the ambulance and the police. Of course, there are more things to know about what to do after traffic accidents. While it’s best to prevent it as much as possible, sometimes things happen and it’s best to be prepared beforehand.
With that said, read on to find out what to do.
What to Do After a Traffic Accident
You might be surprised that there are various things to learn about when it comes to traffic accidents. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Leaving the Scene of the Traffic Accident
If you have been involved in a traffic accident, you need to stop and give your details to the other person who was involved. If the vehicle was unoccupied, leave your details. If there was any damage to the vehicles or people involved, report it to the police.
For accidents with injured persons, remain at the scene of the accident and help until the authorities arrive, which are the ambulance and police. Do this unless you’re receiving medical help for yourself or others involved.
For those who left the scene of an accident and were charged for it, you’ll need to seek legal advice.
2. Report the Accident to the Police
Car accidents need to be reported to the police in case there was any damage to vehicles, properties, or if anyone has been injured or died. When the police come to the scene of the accident, they may test the drivers involved in alcohol and/or drugs, as well as ask you questions about the incident and how it happened.
3. Talking to the Police
The police will need information regarding traffic accidents, of course! For those involved in the traffic accident, you need to give police information that can help them identify the following:
- The vehicles’ owners
- Those in possession of the vehicle
- The vehicle’s registered owner
- Identities of those who can give police the information mentioned above
The police may also ask for information about people, vehicles, animals, and/or properties that were involved in the accident, along with how it happened. This may include asking witnesses and/or passengers, as well as those who aren’t involved in the accident.
Note that it is a criminal offense if you do not give the information to the police or give false information on it.
4. About Insurance and Car Accidents
If your car has a car insurance policy and you were involved in the accident, then make sure that you let the insurer know about the accident ASAP. This is actually a requirement for many insurance policies.
Even if you decide to not make a claim against your insurance, it’s best to let them know and make a report, as the other driver might choose to make a claim against you. But even if both parties don’t make a claim against the other, you have the duty of disclosure to report it to your insurer.
Your insurance policy will look into what you’re covered for and if you’ve any dispute with the insurance company, then you’ll need legal advice.
5. What If Someone Made a Claim Against You?
If someone thinks you were responsible for the traffic accident, then they may make a claim against you for damage caused to their vehicle, property, or if they were injured. They might send a letter of demand, asking you to pay for damages caused by the traffic accident.
If you are insured, pass this on to the insurer. However, if you aren’t insured, you’ll need to seek legal advice to see if you are fully or partially responsible for the traffic accident.
You can ask for evidence for the amount of damage that’s being claimed against you. Once you collected all the information, it’s time to negotiate with the other person or their insurer.
6. How to Make a Claim Against Someone Else
If someone else was liable for the traffic accident, then you can make a claim against them for damage to your property or vehicle. If the vehicle can be repaired, get a written quote from the repairers for both labor and parts it took to repair the vehicle. It ever it can’t be repaired, you’ll need to consult experts for your car’s pre-accident value.
You will need to send a letter of demand, including the copies of quotations, to the driver and their insurer requesting for payment.
Wrapping It Up
If ever you witnessed a traffic accident or were involved in one, it’s important to think on your feet and know what to do to ensure that you and everyone else around the scene is safe. You can think of getting traffic lawyers and compensation later on (if required), but the moment after accidents will require you to help out, whether yourself or those around you.
I hope that this guide on what to do after a traffic accident informed you so you can stay prepared. Think ahead and keep these tips in mind just in case!
If you have questions or want to share your insights on traffic accidents, share them in the comments section below. All of your thoughts and stories are much appreciated.