Road accidents still remain a serious global issue. Statistics from the World Health Organization show that road accidents are among the top 10 leading causes of death globally. In North America, and specifically Canada, road accidents are the third leading causes of death and injuries nationwide. Although there has been a gradual decline in the number of fatalities and personal injuries due to road accidents since 2000, the alarmingly high numbers of road accidents experienced each year remain a serious health and safety concern.
With the high prevalence rates of road accidents today, chances are that you may be involved in a vehicular accident. Knowing the precious steps to take immediately after the occurrence of a road accident is crucial to your ability to recover from the trauma and injuries sustained.
Here is an overview of 10 things you need to do in case you are involved in a vehicular accident.
1. Stop and stay at the scene
Whenever involved in a road crash, it is highly advisable that you immediately stop your vehicle and stay at the scene. Instances such as those where drivers are involved in a hit-and-run accident are considered as an act of contravening the law. This can lead you to serious trouble and even cause the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Staying at the scene ensures that the police will an easy time processing the accident scene and clearing the road for other users.
2. Secure the accident scene
Depending on the location of the occurrence of the road accident, it is highly advisable to ensure that you secure the accident scene. To effectively warn other road users against bumping and crashing into the stationary wreckage on the road, it is advisable that you display hazard warning signs strategically behind and in front of your vehicle. If your vehicle is still in good working condition, you may also put the flashing hazard lights on.
3. Calling for medical help
In case the road accident is tragic, the chances are that you have sustained serious injuries. An evaluation conducted by Preszler law shows that when motor vehicle accidents happen, they lead to serious bodily injuries. Among the most common of such injuries include fractured or broken bones, torn muscles, severe bruises, and excessive bleeding. Calling for medical aid ensures that you receive the crucial and life-saving first aid. In case you have been seriously injured and thus unable to call for such medical attention, you may yell out for other motorists to come to your rescue.
4. Check on other persons
If the road crash involved other vehicles or persons, it is important to disembark from your vehicle and check on their welfare. Walking over to the other wreckage and seeing the condition of the passengers and driver will enable you to take the necessary action, including calling for medical attention in case anyone is seriously injured. This may help save a life.
5. Be polite and calm
Some accidents may be so tragic and inconveniencing that you may be tempted to blame and scold the other driver, especially if you think that they are at fault. However much you may be pissed off, you are always required to maintain calm and be polite in your conversations. It may even help to avoid discussing any issue relating to the accident before the police arrive at the scene.
6. Contacting and informing the police
After all matters of medical emergencies have been handled, it is important to call in the police and inform them of the occurrence of the accident. To ensure that the police have an easy time locating the accident scene, you may have to inform them of the exact location in terms of the road where the crash happened. In case medical attention does not arrive on time to attend to the injured, you should appropriately inform the police for them to dispatch information to emergency responders.
7. Document the accident
After an accident occurs, it is important to collect as much information as possible regarding the incident. It may help to have a dash cam video recording that may help show what precisely happened. Such footage should be secured after the accident and availed to the police to help with investigations. Other crucial details that you may document include the involved parties in terms of their names, addresses, and contacts. You may also record the vehicles’ details, any witnesses that may have witnessed the accident, and the police officers who were involved in writing the accident report.
8. Do not admit fault
During the entire process of accident investigation, it is important to avoid discussing the specific details of the accident with any other party other than the police. During the questioning process, you are only required to specifically detail what happened in the few moments before the accident. You should avoid incriminating yourself by admitting fault as the police will be required to determine the driver at fault independently from their investigations.
9. Inform your insurance company
Your insurance company should be at a position of handling and compensating every loss incurred in the accident. To ensure that the company expedites the claim processing steps, you should endeavor to inform them immediately after the accident happens. It may help expedite the process further by providing them with the police abstract report detailing the accident, your insurance details, and the insurance details of the other vehicle and driver.
10. Inform an accident attorney
Sometimes, it greatly helps to have a personal accident attorney who will help you and walk you through the entire process of insurance compensation. You should, therefore, immediately after the accident, inform a qualified accident attorney who will then give you some valuable tips such as what to say and not say to the police during the investigation. The attorney may also come in handy in helping file a court case in case the insurance company fails or delays to compensate you accordingly.
Road accidents, however minor, may be inconveniencing and risky and may catch you by surprise. In case you are involved in one, maintaining calm and composure while putting into practice the ten post-accident action steps outlined above ensures that you stand a better chance of recovering much quicker. Knowing who to call and what to say not only saves lives but also ensures a seamless post-accident investigation and compensation from the insurance company.