Driver Knowledge Tests

What to do after surviving a serious accident while driving

Whether you have walked out of an accident unscratched or with major injuries, it may be a while before you are comfortable enough to get back behind the wheel. Accidents affect you both physically and psychologically. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to improve your experience after a serious accident. Keep reading to learn about them.

1. Check for safety

After an accident, it is normal to feel shocked, confused or overwhelmed. Check for injuries and ensure that other passengers are not injured either. If you have any serious injuries, call for emergency medical help and avoid moving. If other passengers are injured, administer first aid as soon as possible and ensure that emergency services are on their way.

If you can, move to the footpath or the side of the road. If it is impossible to move your car, leave it and move to a safe place. Other people in shock may be wandering around – try to keep them off the road and keep them warm.

2. Exchange information

Speak to the other driver and exchange information. The most important details to get from them include:

  • Their full name and contact details
  • Their license plate number and driver’s license
  •  The type and model of their vehicle
  •  Their insurance provider and policy number

Once you have their details, avoid getting into any other discussions with the other driver, and do not admit fault even if the accident was your fault. An insurance provider will determine fault based on the details of your accident.

3. Document your accident

Get as many details of your accident as you can including the exact location, direction of travel of each vehicle, weather conditions, road conditions and more. The information you have may come in handy when seeking compensation or dealing with your insurer. Take the following steps to protect yourself;

  • Identify the police officers who show up at the accident scene
  • Get the names and details of responding officers and get a copy of the police report
  • Get as many pictures of the accident as possible. Take photos of your car from various angles, the license plate of the other driver, and whatever else seems relevant to your case
  • Write down the names of everyone that was involved in the accident
  • Get witness accounts if possible

4. Speak with your insurance provider

Let your insurance provider know about the accident and kick start the claims process. It is wise to call them before leaving the scene of the accident. That way, you are unlikely to forget what happened. Accidents take a toll on most people, and they can leave even the toughest person frazzled. If you wait too long to contact an insurer, you may end up leaving out important details.

5. Get a lawyer

Hiring a good lawyer after being in an accident will save you time. It takes the frustration out of your claims process. Even when the accident was minor and no one seems to be hurt, the lawyers at advise that you get legal help. A lawyer will let you know what to do as they always have your best interest in mind. They will gather evidence on your behalf, represent you in negotiations, and interpret legal matters to you. They protect your rights and help you get compensation.

In conclusion, getting into a serious accident is life-altering for most people. It is even worse if you were driving. However, there are a few important steps to take right after an accident. They include: checking for your safety and that of others, getting the help of a lawyer, and speaking with your insurance provider.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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