Surviving a car crash can be a distressing experience. Not only does the victim have to worry about their health and safety but they also have to consider the possibility of taking legal action.
For someone without the legal knowledge and relevant experience, figuring out the responsibilities can be an incredibly difficult task.
These are the steps one should take after being in a road traffic accident.
1. Get the Necessary Medical Attention
The very first thing a victim of an accident should take care of is their health.
Car crashes can be dangerous and even lethal, that is why it is of paramount importance to get medical assistance as soon as possible. That goes for participants of a car crash that feel uninjured as well. Removing any potential risks to the well-being of car crash victims should always be the top priority.
Furthermore, getting medical assistance can greatly help victims of car accidents when they make their compensation claims, by enabling them to have a complete medical record of their injuries.
2. Call the Gardaí
One should make sure to contact the police after every car crash even if they are not planning to bring forth a claim for compensation. The reason for that is simple — every car accident (even minor ones) can cause severe repercussions. Other parties in the accident could bring a claim asking for compensation for injuries. And even if their claims aren’t legitimate, that may cause a lot of issues for everyone involved.
One should make sure to contact the authorities and, if they can’t come to the scene, go to the nearest station yourself and get the circumstances on record. It is also important to make sure that the other parties do not go to the authorities alone.
3. Do Not Admit Liability
Sometimes people might think the accident was their fault and feel that the right thing to do is to own up to the blame. However, determining fault after a car accident is not as simple as many believe. Moreover, if they admit liability, they can’t put up a good legal defence afterwards. In fact, that is the reason most insurance companies advise against admitting liability.
4. Record the Other Party’s Details
Exchanging contact information is an important step you need to make after a car accident. However, some parties might not want to cooperate. They could refuse to give you their insurance number or contact information. Alternatively, they could provide incorrect information in order to avoid consequences.
In that case, one should make sure that they write down anything that could help identify the other parties. For example, the registration number of their vehicle. One can also take pictures with their phone or record a video to use as evidence.
5. Contact a Solicitor
Making a claim takes a lot of expertise and knowledge. Attempting to do so without the knowledge can lead to a failed case. Furthermore, it might end up costing a lot of money. The correct thing to do is to contact a solicitor to get an estimate of the value of the claim.
*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.