Each year there are nearly 120,000 casualties of all varying severities due to road accidents. Car accidents are traumatising experiences that can leave you with lasting mental and physical scars, whether you’re in the driver orpedestrian’s position . Unfortunately, they are also the type of events that are often completely unpredictable. While following all the rules is the best way to stay protected, the unexpected can and does occur. And if it happens, you must be prepared for the steps you need to make.

motor accidents image Matt C unsplash

motor accidents image Matt C unsplash

Check for injuries

The first thing to do following an accident is to check if you or anyone else that may have been travelling with you was injured. This can sometimes be difficult to ascertain following such a shocking event. Adrenaline makes you feel absolutely no pain. So even if you have a broken arm, you can simply not be aware of it until sometime later. If someone is severely injured, make sure they don’t move and wait for the paramedics to arrive. You may require medical assistance over the next few days. Sometimes injuries only become apparent after forty-eight to seventy-two hours. It’s vital to be under medical surveillance if an emergency, such as internal bleeding, occurs so that it can be promptly addressed. If you sustained head or spinal wounds, you might also necessitate additional medical observation.

Call the authorities

You should call 999 even if you don’t think anyone needs immediate medical assistance. It’s best to be checked by a professional in order to rule out any severe damage. The next step is to call the police. When the police arrive, behave in an orderly manner and avoid roadside discussions. If you have injured a pedestrian, you should check on them, while if the accident involved two or more vehicles, you should stay in your car. This is especially important as an investigation may be necessary, and you moving about would hinder the process. Other drivers may become aggressive, so it is best to stay safe if someone is trying to provoke an altercation.

Document the accident

You should obtain the proper documentation of the event while you’re on the scene or shortly after. Make sure you know the names and badge numbers of the responding officers. Get a copy of the accident report and take pictures of your car from different angles to prove the extent of the damage. You should also get the info of the other people involved, including possible passengers in the other cars. If there are witnesses, you should get their contact information if you require it.

If you are too shaken to write all this down or type it on your phone, use a voice memo app to record all the information. Make sure to record yourself dictating the details of the accident, such as the date, time, the direction each vehicle was heading into, street or avenue names, as well as weather conditions, visibility, and if there was any additional property damage.

Look into accident claims

If you’ve been involved in an accident and are the innocent party, it is possible to claim compensation. If you’re not sure if your situation fits this description, you should get specialist lawyers to look into the details of your case. The accident needs to have happened within the last three years. You should also make sure that you’ve gathered all the records you need, so you need to follow the previous steps. The details of all the vehicles involved and the people who were inside them at the time of the accident are vital, but so are your medical files, which can be used to support your claim in court.

Depending on the case, there are different claims you can make. For example, if a car crash results in death, you can request compensation for the funeral and punitive damage and loss of companionship. If a car accident happened at work, and your employer is to blame, you should gather the necessary evidence and put your claim forward. Perhaps your employer didn’t maintain the vehicle properly or didn’t provide you with the proper equipment or training. And while it can seem daunting to go against your employer, you should know that your work contract can’t be terminated because of these circumstances and that doing so would result in a lot of trouble for your employer.

The claim pay-outs cover both general and special damages. General damages refer to your remuneration for the injuries you suffered. Special damages, on the other hand, reference the expenses you’ve had to deal with as a result of the accident, such as counselling expenses, travelling for healthcare expenses, or accommodation adaptations you’ve had to make following the accident.

Road accidents can cause many injuries, and many of them can be covered by your claim. They include psychological injuries, damage to your internal organs, face and back injuries, as well as neck and spinal cord injuries. Head wounds, some of the most severe complications of car crashes, are also covered. The severity of these injuries is variable, but they are all covered, from the mild forms to the most severe ones. 

Protect your mental health

After experiencing a car accident, it’s natural that you’ll feel upset. If you have to deal with additional health issues in the aftermath, whether yours or those of someone close to you, the burden gets even heavier. If you’ve lost a loved one due to an accident, you will need time to grieve. And if you are dealing with something chronic, whether paralysis or persistent pain, you will require guidance in order to adjust to your new conditions. In this case, therapy can help you make sense of the place you’re in now and how you can move forward. Anxiety, depression and PTSD are also common after an accident, and therapy can certainly help you work through them.

Car accidents are awful occurrences. And while there are many ways to protect yourself, it’s also important to know what you need to do in case it ever happens to you to get out of it as unscathed as possible. 

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