Car accidents can vary from minor bumps with minimal damage to severe collisions that cause serious injury and even loss of life. What you can do after an accident will depend on whether you are injured, how seriously and what support you need.
What Steps Should I Follow?
In general, you should take the following steps and gather as much evidence as you can:
- If you can, ensure that everyone involved in the accident is safe and does not require any medical attention.
- Even if damage to the cars looks small, you should contact the police as they will produce an incident report. If it’s a serious accident where both parties are injured, police and ambulance should be on-site fairly quickly.
- If you are not too badly injured, take pictures of the damage caused and the surrounding area so that you have a record of everything.
- If you have visible injuries try to take photos of those too, as close to the accident as possible.
Injuries can be obvious at first but some from automobile accidents can follow one or two days later, especially when there is damage to the neck.
Make sure that you keep records of doctors’ appointments and prescriptions, any notification from work that you had to take time off because of your injuries and anything else that is relevant. You may also want to keep a journal and note down your experience of coping with the injury over the coming days.
Each case will be different but it is important to collate as much information and evidence as you can.
Should I Make a Personal Injury Claim?
You can claim compensation if the injury wasn’t your fault. That compensation can be used to pay for expenses such as additional treatment and wages lost because of time off work.
With more severe injuries, the claim can be used to pay for changes to your home because, for example, you now have a disability. If you are unable to do the job you used to or earn as much money, an award will take this into account. You can also be compensated for the psychological impact of the accident and the injuries you incurred.
It can be a little daunting going to see a solicitor but most now offer a full consultation for free where you can discuss your potential claim. They’ll talk to you in plain language and advise whether you have a case or not.
If you do, they will normally offer a no win no fee arrangement. This is where they take on your claim for damages without asking for upfront fees. If the claim is settled successfully, they will take a share of the compensation. If the claim does not succeed, you will pay nothing.
How much compensation you might be awarded will depend on the type and extent of the injury and how this has affected your life. That’s why it’s important to collect as much evidence as possible.
If you have been the victim of a car accident and suffered an injury, contact our personal injury lawyers today to see if you can claim compensation.