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What should I do when I have had an accident?

View profile for Kate Sweeney
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It is not uncommon for victims of serious accidents to fail to report their accident or fail to secure evidence at the earliest opportunity after an accident.

Here are 10 steps which should be taken when you have suffered an accident:

1.   Seek medical treatment early if your injuries require treatment.

2.   Take photographic evidence and note the time and date when any photographs are taken. Modern mobile phones produce good photographs.
 

3.   If possible, you should collect the following information from any drivers, passengers and witnesses:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Contact telephone numbers

When you are involved in a car accident you are obliged to give your name and address details to anyone involved.  Ask the other drivers involved for their insurance details, and try to establish whether they are the registered keeper of their vehicle. If they aren’t, find out who is and make a note of their name and address.

Contact the police immediately if someone leaves the scene of the car accident without giving their details.

Often, witness evidence can still be helpful even if a witness did not actually see the accident.

4.   Report the matter immediately to any relevant organisations such as your employer, the Health and Safety Executive, the police, your insurers or your local Council and ensure you either ask for a copy of the accident report form, if one is completed or at the very least note the full name of the person you spoke to. Failure to report an accident in a timely fashion may debar you from bringing a claim in some circumstances.

5.   Check to see if there is any CCTV equipment nearby and ask the owner to preserve the footage.

6.   Take a note of weather conditions.

7.   Draft a sketched plan of the accident.

8.   Keep a diary of events / appointments after your accident.

9.   Keep receipts for out of pocket expenses such as prescriptions charges and hospital car parking receipts.

10.   Speak a specialist personal injury solicitor for advice at the earliest opportunity as there are time limits for bringing a claim.

By personal injury solicitor, Jennifer Holt

 

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