It was reported in September 2011 by The Department for Transport that 24,430 people were killed or seriously injured in road accidents last year.
Then, as if having an accident is not traumatic enough in itself, the very last thing you need is to add to the ordeal by spending weeks on the phone, having confusing and frustrating conversations.
Below are steps that might make things easier after an accident…
- Immediately inform the police
There are many reasons people don’t report accidents to the police. Perhaps they don’t want to get someone else in trouble, perhaps they feel that the accident isn’t ‘big enough’ or perhaps they just want the ordeal to be over and not have to talk about it anymore.
Despite the above, it is essential that you let the police know immediately. Not only does this help with insurance in the future, it is also your duty as a responsible citizen and feeds in to statistics.
- Can I get a witness?
A witness is a valuable asset when making a claim further down the line. You may feel a bit stupid asking for a stranger’s phone number in the heat of the moment but it is essential that you do. Not only does this help with legal proceedings and validating a claim but a third party is proven to recall an incident better than the actual person involved.
- Getting proper medical advice
The correct medical advice is essential, not only for your actual health but also for your insurance claim. It may be worth getting a second opinion. If you don’t get the correct treatment after the accident and then need further medical attention in years to come, you will risk not getting the compensation you deserve. For example, with whip lash or back problems, the extent of damage, needs to be correctly identified at the time of the accident, as a chiropractor 10 years down the line could be exceptionally expensive.
If you suspect misdiagnosis or mal treatment, then you can also investigate getting medical negligence compensation.
- A solicitor to suit you
The options for solicitors really are endless, so you need to make sure you find the correct one. A quick Google search in this case, probably won’t be the right option as they are all trying to sell themselves online. You could try a local advice agency such as a law centre or Citizens Advice Bureau, who should be able to recommend local solicitors who are experienced in the relevant area of law.
Or often the best way is through word of mouth, speak to your friends, they may have the best recommendation.
5. Making that claim
The above steps should lead you to preparing to make a personal injury claim for compensation. If you contact a company, such as the Cooperative, you can speak to someone easily on the phone and discuss exactly how to make the claim.