Car accidents are a nightmare, especially when they cause significant injury. Road accidents are quite common, with approximately 1.2 million people losing their lives from car crashes every year worldwide. What’s even more staggering is that a staggering 50 million people are left disabled or injured every year from road traffic accidents. An accident doesn’t just start and end with the crash, you have a potentially long recovery to think about as well as a potential change in lifestyle. Below are the things you should consider when you have been involved in a car accident.
Immediate Medical Attention
Of course the first priority, for everyone, is to make sure you are 100% okay. If you feel as if you might have been injured in any way, from broken bones to whiplash, you must remain calm, still and call an ambulance. If you’re unable to get to a phone, try to gain the attention of potential passengers or passers by. Your injuries could be more severe than you think, moving with a severe injury could cause disabilities such as permanent nerve damage. Don’t chance it, if you feel any kind of unwell or are in pain you must call for immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t feel injured, you should go to the doctors just to be sure.
Talking To The Authorities
Once you have had an accident you will need to contact the local police station. If your car is an obstruction in the road you must dial 999 and tell the phone operator, who will call out the appropriate emergency services. Even if you’ve just had a small knock, you must stop and phone/talk to the police. If the person in question has fled the scene, you must tell the authorities. Should the person stay to sort out paperwork you can then move forwards with any insurance claims and pass over details. Make sure you do not admit fault at the scene, this might sound deceptive but in a panic situation you may end up taking the blame even if it wasn’t your fault.
Letting People Know
Once you have gotten yourself treated and have talked to the local authorities you can then start to talk to friends and family, plus your employer should you be employed. You must not jump the gun by trying to talk to these people as soon as something happens. As much as they are your loved ones, your health is more important and should be top priority. Once you start letting people know you can start to try and figure out what is next for you. You need to know if you’re going to be staying in hospital, if so for how long and you also need to make sure that any little ones you may have have someone to look after them in your absence.
If you are in employment, and have been advised by a doctor to rest, you must talk to your employer to let them know what is going on. In the UK you can be off work, sick, for up to 1 week without a note from your doctor. Any more than this and you will need a note, plus your employer may be able to give you sick pay. You will need to double check everything with them so you know exactly how to move forwards. When it comes to childcare you must make sure that you are fit to look after your children with your doctor. If your doctor, for example, advises against heavy lifting, you must get someone to help look after the kids so that you can rest and recover. You can ask friends and family, but you can also discuss any issues with the children’s school.
Insurance & Courtesy Cars
If you’ve been in a car accident, the chances are you are now either without a car or need to get your car fixed. Getting your car fixed is something you will have to discuss with your insurer. If you do not have car insurance then you will have to pay for any and all damages to your vehicle (unless/until you make a claim against the person who you were in the accident with). Your insurer may also offer you a courtesy car should you not have one, so that you may potentially get back to work. If you do receive a courtesy car, but are instructed not to drive by your doctor, you must resist temptation to drive it. Doctors orders are final, if you ignore the advice of your doctor you might prolong your recovery.
Making A Personal Injury Claim
Once you have sorted out your car and your personal health you can start thinking about making a personal injury claim. If you don’t want to make a claim you don’t have to, but if you have suffered loss of earnings or now have prolonged health conditions you should get money back for anything you lose. Building up a case is easy if you follow the previous steps, your claim can be made usually up to 3 years after the initial accident, so you don’t need to rush ahead with anything. The claim is easy, all you need to do is show them evidence and police reports that indicate that the accident was not your fault. Generally most injury lawyers work on a no win no fee basis, so there’s really nothing to lose.
This article was created on behalf of Nationwide Injury Lawyers.