No one likes to think about it, but statistics suggest that most American citizens who got their license at 16 will be involved in some kind of car accident by the time they are 34 years old.
This is a staggering statistic that comes off the back of a study that showed the average human is involved in a car accident once every 18 years, averaging to 4 accidents over the average lifetime of a person.
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What Should You Do?
While it’s our sincerest wish that it never happens to you, it’s important that you know the things to do after an accident, who to speak to, where to get help and how to pick an attorney should you need one.
Here are the three things you should do in the event of an accident. As a good scout always says: be prepared!
In an age where calling the police can seem fraught with so many underlying problems, it’s important that you treat the police officer/s that comes to your accident with respect, and treat them as if they are your ally.
The police will need to make a report to determine who was at fault, and they will be used to dealing with people who are shaken after a stressful incident like a car accident. Once they’ve checked to ensure you’re not in need of hospital treatment, you’ll be asked some questions, answer them as fully and as honestly as you can.
In the case of most accidents, fault can be very ambiguous. Did the driver in front suddenly break with no warning? Was there a missing signal? Were everyone’s lights working? Was everyone driving in a safe and sensible manner?
The answer to the last question will probably be no, accidents usually happen due to a loss of concentration or reckless behaviour, but if it wasn’t you who was at fault (or even if you’re not sure), it’s important that you don’t admit it straight away.
This is not legal advice, but it is life advice. Allow the police to do their investigations and don’t take the blame unless you were found to be at fault. Many times, when accidents that were caused by another driver acting in a reckless way are investigated the investigation will find that the reckless driver tried to blame the innocent driver, and if the innocent driver admits it out of shock it can be very difficult to then disprove an admission.
It’s important to stay calm when dealing with a. Not only do you need to stay calm to ensure that everyone is safely out of the vehicles and out of the danger of oncoming traffic or other hazards, but staying calm will ensure that you can answer questions with a clear head and remember details.
If you can, write things down as soon as possible and remember to only ever swap insurance details with the other driver or drivers.
Have you ever been in a car accident? What did the experience teach you?