Have you suffered injuries as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault? You might be entitled to compensation for any loss.
Being involved in an accident can be traumatic.
It can leave you feeling anxious, emotional and frightened.
There are more than 1.2 million licensed vehicles in Northern Ireland, and with so many people out on the road accidents are, unfortunately, inevitable.
But if you were involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you should not be out of pocket financially.
Nor should you have to spend a penny on rehabilitation or vehicle repair.
And if you can’t work after an accident, you should be compensated fairly.
There were 5,676 injury road traffic collisions recorded last year by police.
Sadly, 56 people died as a result, and 774 people sustained serious injuries.
So if the worst should happen to you, do these 5 things immediately after an accident
1. Contact the police on 999 or the non-emergency number, 101.
After a collision, your adrenaline is pumping, and you might not be able to think clearly.
If there are any injuries, call for an ambulance.
Regardless of whether the collision was a significant smash or a minor scratch, call the police immediately.
This will ensure there is an accident report recorded by the police; you might need this later for insurance purposes.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not the police’s job to investigate collisions on behalf of insurance companies.
Their initial concern will be to ensure the safety of those in the accident and ensure the scene does not result in subsequent collisions endangering other road users.
And because accidents sometimes result in traffic jams and diversions, the police will want to ensure the free flow of traffic as quickly as possible.
Their central role is to investigate the collision to determine whether any criminal offences have been committed.
2. Get to safety.
Your safety is paramount.
If you are involved in an accident on a motorway, go to a safe location off the hard shoulder until help arrives.
It might be tempting to sit in the car with the hazard lights on, but this can be risky as oncoming vehicles may not be able to see you and your vehicle correctly if your lights are damaged in the collision.
3. Check on the other driver and take pictures from the scene.
After calling the police and getting to a safe place off the road, check on the other driver.
If necessary, help them get to a safe place off-road.
Do not engage in a ‘blame game’ about who was responsible for the collision as this can lead to unhelpful conflict at a time of great stress.
If you have a smartphone, take pictures of both cars, damage etc. as this might come in handy at a later date.
Use the voice recorder to make a note of any particular circumstances, like road and weather conditions, you might want to remember later.
4. Exchange contact details.
If you have a pen and paper with you, write down details about the other driver.
This should include their full name, driving licence number, phone number, address, car make and model, the colour of the car, registration plate and any apparent damage.
Using your smartphone’s camera and recording features will also be helpful.
5. Contact JMK Solicitors.
If you believe the accident was fully or partly caused by someone else, JMK Solicitors can act on your behalf to recover all damages from the at-fault person or their insurance company.
JMK will take into account any anticipated medical expenses, loss of any past, present or future earnings, vehicle repair, replacement hire vehicle and any other losses incurred by you.
After speaking with you and establishing all the facts, JMK Solicitors will give you an honest opinion on your case and how best to proceed, including arranging for car repairs and temporary car hire.
As well as helping to ensure you are put back in the position you were before the accident as much as is possible, JMK can also provide assistance should you need to make statements to the police or your insurer.
If you have suffered a personal injury call JMK Solicitors on 028 9032 0222 to arrange a free consultation or fill in our free enquiry form online.