Many of us take the ability to hop into our car and travel wherever we like for granted until that freedom is taken away from us. A car accident can be an extremely traumatic occurrence, especially if it wasn’t your fault. As a result of the collision, you may have suffered serious injury and damage to the vehicle. If so, it’s essential that your rights are fully protected, particularly if it was down to someone else’s carelessness. The first step to getting the case resolved is knowing what these rights are and the next steps that need to be taken.
Here are your rights to be aware of:
To call 999
Whether or not you’re at fault, you have every right to call the emergency services and receive the treatment you need. Even if the other party pleads with you not to phone for emergency help and is keen to resolve the case between you both, it is still essential that you call out the police or emergency services, as you may be suffering from internal injuries. A police report is also one of the most important forms of evidence when it comes to dealing with insurance and making a claim, so don’t be persuaded otherwise for the best interests of the other party.
To receive compensation
If you were injured in the accident or your vehicle was damaged, you have the right to make a claim against the person or group of people responsible for the incident. Always be sure to take as many photographs as you can, both of the damage caused to your own vehicle and the other party’s vehicle, as well as any external injuries you may be suffering from. If you believe you may be suffering from a severe injury, it would be wise to make a medical injury claim. Also be sure to capture photos of road conditions, streets signs or anything else which may have played a part in the collision.
To talk to witnesses
If you notice that there are any witnesses around, take note of their name and contact details, as you may need these for insurance or compensation purposes as the case develops. You should always encourage any witnesses to recall their point of view of what they witnessed to the police, as their verdict can play a vital aspect within the police report and result in you getting the justice you deserve.
To remain silent
After the accident has occurred, you have the right to remain silent. You don’t have to contact the other party, their insurance company or solicitors. If the other party is continuously harassing you over the case with no good reason, you need to alert the police.
Not to apologise
Although you may be in shock after the accident, try and avoid getting flustered and continually apologising to the other party. Such a simple phrase could determine whether or not you will end up taking full responsibility for the accident. Therefore, even if you believe you may be in the wrong, wait until the details are released before you settle on taking the blame.