Steps to take when You're Involved in a Traffic Accident
Accidents on the road are common and although they may sometimes have devastating effects, there are still certain procedures to follow once you are involved in one. It is mandatory for you to stop if anyone, other than yourself is hurt or if there is damage done to anything that does not belong to you. This includes stopping if an animal has been injured, even if it happened to be running across the street and you weren’t to blame for anything.
Hitting the Brakes
Once you have pulled over you must wait by your vehicle so that anyone who is directly or indirectly involved in the accident can take down your details. For example, this could include a relative of someone who has been injured, an owner of a wounded animal, or most often the police. In fact it is important to make sure that you make a legal accident report for even the most minor of incidents. It is best to get as many details as possible from anyone else involved as many insurance companies will only record vehicle identification numbers and types of cars. This involves taking down phone numbers, names, addresses, license plates and full car descriptions. If there are any personal injuries caused to other people, then you must produce a valid insurance certificate if a police officer asks for one.
Involving the Authorities
If you encounter a driver who refuses to pass on their information with you, then there are other ways that this can be obtained. You should make a note of their registration number and report the accident. The police can then trace the owner of the vehicle (which may not be the driver) and their insurance company. They may not pass on the details to you directly, but at least this way, matters will be dealt with accordingly. Witnesses can also be very helpful as they may be able to provide evidence that could help with any kind of court proceedings. It is important to take details of any witnesses present so that they can be called upon for court hearings if necessary.
Taking Things a Step Further
If matters do have to be taken to court then usually your insurance company will be acting for you. However, if this is not the case then it will be up to you personally to sue the person who is liable for any damages or injuries caused. If a claim has been made against you then it is best to act quickly as there is a very short timeframe available for any form of defence to be put forward on your behalf. So if you do happen to have a decent counterclaim then it is essential to get things moving as fast as possible for your sake. If you need more advice on court proceedings then it is advisable to seek out Citizens Advice for guidance.