Dos and Don’ts after a road traffic accident

Dos and Don’ts after a road traffic accident

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In the UK, the road traffic trends have been affected by the pandemic, reporting a decrease in accidents in the past two years. Another reason for that is a decline in vehicle purchasing and other factors regarding the improvements in education and training. However, in most accidents, people don’t know what they should do, therefore worsening the situation. So, in this article, we’ll talk about the dos and don’ts of road traffic accidents.

orange and white traffic cone

Do contact the police 

The first thing you need to do is to call for help. The police and ambulance should be the first contacted to assess the situation and offer the proper help to you and any other victims. After that, you can contact your family and friends to assure that you’re safe. After the accident, it’s best to get to a safer place, like a sidewalk and call for help. The police will come and photograph the scene, examine the situation and make an official police report. Having their descriptions is important because leaving the accident place and not assessing the situation won’t benefit you.

Then, paramedics will assist you and other injured people involved in the accident so that they can prevent any further medical complications. For example, spinal cord injuries can lead to complete paralysis if they’re not properly taken care of. Other common injuries resulting from accidents are sprains, strains or muscle damage, and they need immediate medical help.

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Don’t panic 

Being involved in an accident is usually more shocking than it seems. Most people are so frightened that they can’t speak or move anymore, while others shout and become agitated. We know it’s not that easy to control emotions in such situations, but for your own good, it would be best to calm down and assess the circumstances. You’re not critically injured, and you’ll figure everything out, there’s no point in worsening the situation.

At that moment, try to control your breathing and your thoughts. If it helps, sit down somewhere and try to regain your awareness. Most of the time, these intense feelings you’re experiencing will pass, and you’ll heal psychologically, but if you’re stuck in the same scenario repeatedly, it might be a sign of post-traumatic stress (PTSD). You may experience anxiety about driving again, irritability, trouble sleeping or relying too much on alcohol to cope with your emotions.

Do try to gather evidence 

It might sound extreme, but if you’re not in a dreadful state, try to gather evidence as much as possible. If you can prove that the accident happened because of someone else, you’re eligible to file a compensation claim. For example, you could:

  • Take pictures or videos of the place the accident occurred, along with the vehicles involved, so that you can certify their conditions.
  • Take witnesses’ declarations, in which you’ll ask about what they saw before the accident.
  • After the accident, you could ask for footage from the shops or buildings around the place. Even road junctions are provided with CCTV, so you can request the images, which will be provided with no charge within 30 days from the date of the accident.
  • Keep all your medical records to prove that the accident caused your injuries. Additionally, keep all your financial records to show any expenses or losses you’ve experienced because of your injuries.
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Don’t leave the accident area 

You might’ve heard this many times, but why is it so important to stay at the place of the accident? Most people are so traumatized that they leave or just feel guilty about the situation but try not to leave the area until after the police have assessed the situation. But now it’s illegal to run away from the accident place because you might be charged for a hit-and-run.

You should stay if any other injured people need help, especially if you’re able to do it without worsening their situation. On the other hand, if you observe someone running from the scene, you should report this to the police with any information you remember about the person.

Do file a compensation claim 

The best thing you can do besides taking care of your injuries is to file a compensation claim, so you can cover all the general damages you’ve experienced after the accident. According to you can make a claim if a person or party was responsible for the accident. It can be another driver or the institution accountable for maintaining the roads.

You can file a compensation within three years, so you could ask for a solicitor’s advice if more time has passed after the accident and you’re unsure how to proceed with the legalities. At the same time, you can agree with your solicitor on a No Win No Fee agreement, in which you’re not obliged to pay anything if your case wasn’t successful. However, if you win and get your compensation, a small amount of money will be directed to them (agreed beforehand).

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Don’t ignore your injuries 

The worst thing you can do is ignore your injuries. Even if they don’t hurt or there’s no obvious injury, you can’t know how the crash might’ve affected your body. Plus, your injury doesn’t have to be necessarily physical. As we discussed, PTSD can occur any time after the accident, and it may affect your life more than you’d think. You might need active monitoring or psychological therapy to get over the incident.

Meanwhile, get the proper treatment for your wounds and injuries. Your doctor can give you a prescription on what can help you recover, but it’s important to follow their recommendations and get adequate rest. If you return to your normal lifestyle too soon, your body won’t recover properly, and your condition might worsen. It would be best to get enough sleep, eat plenty of nutritious food and get low physical activity, like walking (if possible).

In conclusion, a road traffic accident can be pretty traumatizing and affect your health. Still, if you ensure early medical care, you can get over the incident and focus on your general well-being.

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