I was asked to write a blog on this subject for the excellent Birds On the Blog website, so with some trepidation, I accepted the challenge. Much of this article is based on that piece.
In my experience, women seem to have less accidents than men and certainly cause fewer, because they frequently drive slower and take less risks.
The drawback is that as a consequence of that lower involvement, women may have less experience as to what to do when an accident happens.
THERE’S ALWAYS HELP AVAILABLE
Mobile as a must
Whilst you certainly shouldn’t be using a handheld whist driving, there’s no doubt that a mobile is an absolute essential in a crisis.
Whether you are stranded in a quiet country road and need urgent help or just need to talk to a friendly voice. If it has a camera, it will enable you to take plenty of photos!
Accidents can be very unnerving for anyone and whether you have just rear-ended a trucker the size of a sumo wrestler or he has just ploughed into you, you may want to keep conversation to a minimum!
As you are obliged to exchange some information in any event, a printed form with your name, address and insurance details (to keep in your glovebox) can be helpful to hand to him through a slightly open window.
It’s always a good idea to take a careful note (or better still a photo) of the other driver’s registration number so that your legal or insurance representative can establish the identity of his insurers immediately through the MID.
The benefit of photos
As you will notice, throughout this article, I am suggesting taking photos (albeit discretely). Nothing is ever clear cut, so photos of the damage on both /all vehicles, their registration numbers, the location, any nearby buildings, and the foliage (which changes rapidly) are of enormous assistance.
However, if you get out of your car, to take the photos make sure you don’t expose yourself to being run over by another motorist in the process!
Call the police?
Unless you feel there is risk they might prosecute you, you may want to call the police to be on the safe side (and if they arrive take a photo of their registration number. It may help, when your legal adviser is asking for a copy of any police report).
Even in the most clear cut of accidents, witnesses are essential! It is always wise to get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of anyone kind enough to stop. Your representative may never need to involve them but it is far better to have them available in case.
See also WHO CAN BE A WITNESS?
Out of Pocket Expenses
If you have to spend money to sort out the aftermath of a road accident, a great idea is to keep all the receipts in one place and if possible, maintain a spreadsheet of all the costs on your PC which can be updated whenever needed.
Your legal adviser will thank you for it!
Lorries and buses need to be given a wide birth as they need more room. If you don’t and have an accident as a result, you probably won’t win your claim in full.
See also –50/50 & SPLIT SETTLEMENT CASES
Normal rules don’t apply but if there’s an arrow on the lane, best not to go in the opposite direction.!
Be very wary of vehicles reversing out of a parking space into your path.
..and as my wife always advises me, don’t park next to 4x4s whose large door will dent your pride and joy of a car without leaving a note!
See also – PARKED CAR ACCIDENTS
IF THE ACCIDENT IS NOT YOUR FAULT
If your vehicle is undriveable after the accident or during the repair period, you should be entitled to another vehicle of the same size as yours, either provided through the other driver’s insurers or through a reputable credit hire company. Your legal adviser should be able to arrange this.
So if you have five kids and a dog to take to school in the morning, you don’t need to shoehorn everyone into a mini!
The key to a complete recovery (where possible) is early medical treatment. Your legal adviser should discuss this with you in any event and can probably advise how it can be funded at no cost to you – often paid for by the insurers of the other driver.
GET SOME LEGAL HELP
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident, can be a pain in the neck (all too often, literally). Coping with insurers, repairers, medical advisers can be time frustrating, time consuming and in most non-fault cases, you can let an experienced professional do the job for you.
If you need assistance after a road accident in England or Wales, please complete our Make A Claim form