When you have been the victim of a traffic accident and the other driver was to blame, many things can happen simultaneously, and it is easy to become completely absorbed and somewhat confused about what is best to do.
Legal experts in road accident claims in Gloucestershire offer the following advice: before making rash decisions, use these tips for what to do and not do following a traffic accident, so you can start to get back to normal as soon as possible.
Do not: leave the accident scene before the police arrive.
Do: remain at the accident scene and obtain the police report.
Abandoning the accident scene prevents you from obtaining the evidence and details you may need for a traffic accident compensation case. It might also lead to civil or criminal proceedings against you. Obtaining the police report will assist in classifying details and responsibility.
Do not: leave it to others to record what happened in the accident.
Do: take pictures and collect the documents and evidence related to the incident.
If you have not sustained any serious injuries during the accident (and only if you are able), try to gather all the pertinent evidence available at the scene of the accident. Obviously, a report by the police will be useful to document everything, but recording your own account of the incident can help with small details that may be overlooked. The more evidence you can collect the easier the process will be.
Do not: voluntarily give any unnecessary or non-relevant details.
Do: give only the facts.
When making statements, or responding to questions, at the accident scene, try to stick to just the facts and nothing else. Retain any information that is not essential to reveal after the accident. If the other party was to blame, and decides to file a claim against you, the exchange of information that is not directly related to the incident may potentially be used against you after the incident.
Do not: admit responsibility.
Do: talk to a lawyer as soon as possible about your rights.
As previously stated, it is not advisable to admit responsibility at the accident scene. It is possible that many factors may have contributed to causing the accident and it is better to wait until you speak with a lawyer regarding your rights and the best course of action to follow.
Do not: try to resolve anything at the accident scene.
Do: talk to a personal injury lawyer prior to any action.
The driver at fault may attempt to find a way to blame some aspect of the incident on you. They might even attempt to persuade you, or offer a bribe, or threaten to file charges or a lawsuit. Afterwards, their insurance company might contact you with a settlement offer for a seemingly large amount of money, but this might not even come close to the actual amount of money you will need for repairs, medical expenses, and any losses incurred as a result of the incident. You may be entitled to make a claim for burn injury compensation, or other injuries sustained as a result of the accident which require long-term treatment, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
It is best to consult a personal injury lawyer about the best steps to take in your individual situation.