Nobody expects to figure in a car accident, but they are, unfortunately, exceedingly common. In fact, last 2019, the Department for Transport recorded 153,158 injuries and 1,752 deaths arising from road traffic accidents. To prove that point even further, a study by MoneySuperMarket states that at least 37% of drivers in the UK have been involved in a car accident at some point in the past five years.
Given that information, while everybody hopes for an accident-free experience every time they hit the road, it pays to be knowledgeable about one’s responsibilities in the event of a car crash. Aside from remembering to contact car accident management services, here are four things that you should remember to avoid if you figure in a car crash:
1. Running away
Leaving the scene of an accident, also called a “hit-and-run,” is considered as a crime in the UK. To be specific, UK law punishes both the failure to report and the failure to stop in case of an accident.
If you run away, you might evade liability for a while. However, by all intents and purposes, you have also turned yourself into a fugitive. Whereas most lawsuits arising from accidents are tried as civil cases, running away from an accident turns it into a criminal case!
In the United Kingdom, the penalty for hit-and-runs is up to six months of imprisonment if personal injuries or deaths occur.
2. Admitting fault
As they say, everything you say can and will be held against you. Lawyers, insurers, and police officers will take what you say and use it as evidence to point to who is at fault. If you’re pressing for personal injury claims, then admitting fault can seriously reduce the compensation you are eligible for.
Proving fault is a complex matter that is best left to the authorities and, if you decide to press a personal injury lawsuit, to the court. So while you should cooperate with the investigation and be truthful with your statements, you should not offer conjecture as to who is at fault, even if you think you were.
In UK law at least, negligence is usually spread between two parties. If the court finds that the other party is partly to blame, then the amount of the compensatory damages they could get will be reduced by their fault percentage.
3. Not gathering evidence
If you are sufficiently confident that you did not incur severe injuries during the crash, you must take photo and video evidence of the crash site. Besides recording the extent of the damage on both vehicles, you will also want to capture potentially exacerbating factors, like the road condition, the weather, or any other physical obstacles, that may have contributed to the accident.
Evidence gathering doesn’t end with the crash site. You should also gather medical evidence such as your medical bills, prescription notes, and official diagnosis. This is particularly crucial if you plan to press for personal injury claims from the other party’s insurer.
4. Refusing to call emergency responders
In the UK, calling 999 or 112 enables you to contact the police, an ambulance, or the fire brigade. Calling the police and an emergency ambulance should be the top priority of people in a car crash.
You should call paramedics even if you think that nobody is badly injured. Car collisions are highly traumatic events, and it’s common to see people not realise the extent of their injuries immediately because the body’s adrenaline response can mask pain receptors. In cases involving potentially fatal personal injuries, a few minutes may make the difference between life and death.
If you get embroiled in a vehicular collision on the road, do not attempt to evade accountability. Park your car in a safe place to avoid further accidents, size up the damage and injuries incurred by all vehicles and persons involved, call the authorities, and cooperate with the investigation. While the process might be inconvenient, it is your duty as a driver to help keep the road a safe place for everybody!
Dealing with a car accident in the UK is made easier by calling a car accident management company to help you out. Road to Recovery helps by handling your claims processes, taking care of damage assessments, arranging vehicle repairs, and dealing with insurers. Contact us today to learn more about our services!