The Essential Guide to Dealing with Your Involvement in a Car Accident
Jan 12, 2016 12:32
Being involved in a car crash is one of the most stressful experiences you can go through. Even if you don’t get badly injured, the stress involved in dealing with the situation can be immense. This guide will take you through each step.
Think About Your Health First
Before you think about anything else, it’s important to make sure that you are fit and healthy after the crash. If you get out of the vehicle but feel dizzy or you’re concerned about the health of anyone else, make sure you call an ambulance. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to car crashes. The adrenalin in your body might mask the pain to begin with, so you might not even notice the extent of your injuries.
If you are injured, don’t worry about what is going on at the scene of the crash. Your car will be moved for you, and that kind of thing can be taken care of later. It is much more important to get to a doctor who can check you over, diagnose you and start treatment. Don’t try to ignore the medical advice you get. Even if you think you feel fine, trust the medical experts at the scene of the crash.
Get the Other Driver's Details
After the crash, as long as everyone at the scene is unscathed, you should get the other driver’s basic details. This is important for various reasons. First of all, you don’t know what the other driver might decide to do next. If they know they have done something wrong, they might try to drive away before the police get there. So, having their name, contact details and insurance details is essential.
But it’s not always a great idea to talk to the other driver too much. If you apologise or take some responsibility for what happened, you might find it hard to get compensation later on. It’s best to exchange details and, from then on, only interact with the other driver in the presence of the police or your lawyer.
Cooperate with the Police Report
When a crash takes place, the police will usually conduct a report. Before taking any legal steps, you should wait for the outcome of this report. It might help to support your efforts to get compensation later on in the process. You can use the report to back up your claims that you were not to blame and that the other driver was.
You should make an effort to cooperate in the police investigation as much as you can. This will help to show that you have nothing to hide, and make sure that the right outcome is reached. If the police decide to undertake criminal proceedings, you will have no trouble getting compensation. But even if they don’t take that action, the police report might still help you a great deal when mounting your own case for compensation.
You should try to collect as much information at the scene of the crash as possible. A lot of this will be included in the police report, but it’s a good idea to make your own notes as well. First of all, try to take as many photos as possible, as long as it's appropriate to do so. Of course, you shouldn’t do this if anyone is hurt. But, if you can, taking photos of where the cars ended up, and the marks on the road can help to boost your case.
Other basic things like the exact time, date and registration of cars involved in the accident should be noted too. Also, note down what the weather conditions were like, as well as any strange circumstance that made have had an impact on the crash.
Speak to Witnesses
If there was an independent witness at the scene of the crash, you should talk to them. If they can back up your version of events, it might help you to get compensation later on. Of course, if the witness is someone you know, it won’t be regarded as highly. But if it’s someone who has no connection to either party involved in the crash, their testimony will be regarded very highly in court.
You should also make sure that the witness speaks to the police when they carry out their investigations. This will help to make sure that the final police report on the incident is given more validity and supports your claims. This is the better option because the fact that it has been included in the police report will hand the testimony even more weight.
The lawyer you hire should also be good at communicating with you throughout the whole process. Get to know the lawyer and talk to them before you agree to hire them. There has to be a good relationship between the lawyer and the client if you want everything to go smoothly. It’s not a smart idea to represent yourself in court. Yes, it might save some money, but it will diminish your chances of success.
Start to Pursue a Compensation Claim
Now that you have a good lawyer on your side, you can start to get the ball rolling. If you are sure that you have a case, and your lawyer agrees, hand over the evidence to your lawyer. They can then start to compile the case and make sure that it’s organised and presentable for when you get to court. This is when all the hard work gets done, so collaborate with your lawyer as much as possible.
As the case develops and progresses, your lawyer will be able to identify problems and holes in your case. You can then start to look for answers that will make it easier for you to win the compensation you’re entitled to. You shouldn’t stop working to improve the case until you’re entering the court.
Add Up Your Costs and Loss of Income
If you are going to win compensation for what happened to you, you will have to be prepared to prove a few things. First of all, you will need to show what expenses you have incurred as a result of your illness. Maybe you had to pay expensive medical bills, for example. Or maybe you had to pay for home care as a result of your injuries. Add up all your expenses, and make sure you have proof of them in the form of receipts.
You should also think about how you have lost out on income. This is something that is not uncommon for people who suffer an injury in a car crash. If you are not able to work as you normally do, it could mean that you find it hard to make ends meet. Make sure that this made clear in court as well because it could help your case succeed.
Track Your Medical Progres
Another factor that might affect the amount of money you’re entitled to in compensation is your injuries. The suffering caused by the incident can play a part when you get to court. Your lawyer should help you clarify this. But it’s a good idea to make sure that you are tracking your medical situation. Start by getting a copy of your medical records up until your treatment ended.
You can also collect physical evidence of the damage that was caused to your body by the crash. Taking photos of your injuries and how they progressed after the crash can help a lot. This kind of solid photographic evidence can be great for supporting the point that you’re making when you turn up in court. Make sure you take photos of the injuries at the earliest time to show the full extent of them.
Present Your Evidence in Court
Facing a judge can seem like a daunting prospect. And it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about the whole thing. But as long as you have a good lawyer by your side, and you are fully prepared, it should all go according to plan. All that you need to do is present your evidence in a confident and concise manner. If you can do this well, the judge will be able to judge your case based on the facts at hand.
Make sure that you and lawyer go over the court process in detail so that you won’t be surprised on the day. You should be prepared for exactly how the day will play out. That way, you can enter the court with confidence. It’s not difficult to plan things if your lawyer has the experience of being in those kinds of situations before.
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