So many of us take the ability to hop into our car and travel wherever we like as a given. That is until we lose that very freedom to do so. In short, knowing your rights in a car accident is important.
Effectively, it 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 you understand and protect your rights in a car accident. Particularly if the accident comes down to someone else’s carelessness.
- knowing what these rights are, and;
- the next steps that you’ll need to take.
Here are your rights in a car accident
To call 999
Whether or not you’re at fault, you have every right to call emergency services and receive necessary treatment. Even if the other party:
- pleads with you not to phone for emergency help, or;
- is keen to resolve the case between you both.
Regardless, it’s still essential that you call the police or emergency services, as you may suffer from internal injuries. A police report is also an important form of evidence in dealing with insurance and making a claim. Therefore, don’t let the other party talk you out of it: think about 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. Namely, pictures of the damage to both vehicles, as well as external injuries you may suffer from. If you think you’re suffering from a severe injury, it’s wise to make a medical injury claim. Also be sure to capture photos of road conditions, streets signs or anything other potential collision factors.
To talk to witnesses
If you notice that there are any witnesses around, you need them on the record. Take note of their name and contact details, as it’s information you may need these for insurance or compensation purposes. You should always encourage any witnesses to recall their point of view of what they saw to the police. In turn, their testimony is a vital aspect in the police report and result in you getting what 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 continuously and needlessly harasses you over the case, you need to alert the police.
Not to apologise
Although you’re in shock after the accident, try to maintain calm. Above all, continually apologising to the other party is a No-No. Such a simple phrase can determine whether or not you will end up taking full responsibility for the accident. Therefore, even if you believe you’re in the wrong, wait until the release of the details before you settle on taking the blame.