How To Handle A Road Traffic Accident For The Purposes Of Making A Claim
by Jim Loxley - Legal Executive
19 September 2012, filed under Personal Injury
As is the case with many things in life, it's often easier to avoid thinking what we might do if the worst happens. However, knowing how to handle adverse or even disastrous situations goes a long way to mitigating the damage should would one occur. A road traffic accident is no different and this is especially true if you're involved in one which was not your fault. A traffic accident claim is a naturally considered course of action and understanding how to increase your chances of a successful claim is valuable information. If you've been in a road traffic accident in the past, much of this information will still be of use and all of it will be crucial to know should you experience such a road traffic accident in the future.
1. Force yourself into composure at the scene of the accident.
Just about the last natural response likely to be elicited by a road traffic accident is one of composure. However, this is the single most important cornerstone to the successful handling of the scene of an accident. If you lose your temper with an offending driver, it could damage your case in court later on and you will not be much help to anyone who sustained a personal injury at the scene. Force yourself into composure and act effectively.
2. Call 999 as soon as possible.
If anybody has sustained an injury in the traffic accident, it will be tempting to rush to their aid before doing anything else, especially if it’s a friend or loved one. However, it's essential that you get on the phone and call the emergency service operator as soon as you’re able. If you manage to remain composed, you will be able to do so more effectively. Get the professionals en route ASAP.
3. Collecting personal details #1 - Number plates.
The legal professional that takes on your road traffic accident claim will be able to manage the pre-court processes much more effectively if you have the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved. They only take a moment to note down, so make sure you do this for all vehicles involved in the incident.
4. Collecting personal details #2 - Insurance policy numbers.
It's common for people to note down only the insurance details of the main offending driver. However, it's essential that you have the insurance policy details of all drivers who were involved in the road traffic accident, irrespective of the level of severity or fault.
5. Collecting case evidence #1 - Eyewitness details.
If any passers-by witnessed the road traffic accident happen, politely ask if they would mind acting as an eyewitness. Exchange names phone numbers and emails with them and be sure to express your thanks. Impartial eyewitnesses are doing you a considerable favour and are one of the most valuable types of evidence should your claim have to go to court.
6. Collecting case evidence #2 - Photographic evidence.
In today’s world, the majority of mobile phones and other mobile devices such as tablets have a camera. The scene of a road traffic accident is a time when you can use yours to good effect. Take many pictures of the scene, concentrating on any skid marks on the road, damage to the vehicles and also damage done to trees, fences, or other scenery. Take photos from several angles and distances.
7. Storing your collected information securely.
By far the easiest, cheapest, most secure and most commonly overlooked method of storing such information is to email it to yourself. Email all information and photos to yourself as soon as the opportunity arises rather than delaying and potentially losing your valuable information later on.
8. Ensure governmental regulation of considered firms.
When considering who to take on your road traffic accident claim, it’s absolutely critical to check that the firm is registered with the appropriate regulatory body. Claims management firms must be registered with the Ministry of Justice and have a CRM number displayed on their website. Solicitors must be registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority and have an SRA number. Claims companies making unsolicited contact via phone or text is against the law and if someone contacts you directly in this way, they’re not authorised to trade.
9. Use road traffic accident claim experts.
Many general legal practitioners would consider taking on your claim. If you want to maximise your chances of success, however, go straight to a specialist. Someone that has made a career out of helping people in this situation and does so every working day will have a considerably more intimate understanding of the processes involved. Usually, you’ll get a more complete service, too. Some firms can even take care of replacement car hire and medical reports free of charge.
10. Respond promptly to the road traffic accident.
A prompt response to initiating your road traffic accident claim has a twofold benefit. Firstly, it can make you appear more confident in your innocence and secondly, the sequences of events and how they unfolded will be fresh in the minds of everybody involved. This way, you have a stronger chance of a fair case.
For more information on road traffic accident claims or any other personal injury matters we recommend that you visit http://www.my-compensation.co.uk/ which is an excellent personal injury advice service.
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