I had a car accident – what to do next?
When a car accident happens, it is important to follow the right steps. It is often the case that you are so flustered and so filled with adrenaline that you can hardly think straight. However it is important to remain calm and take stock of the situation.
Stop the Vehicle after Impact
The first thing you should when involved in a car crash is to stop your vehicle at the scene of the accident. Failure to stop could result in prosecution.
Check for Injuries
Check passengers and oneself for injuries. Look to see if anyone is unconscious or showing physical signs of injury. A person should not attempt to administer first aid to anyone without first gaining the consent of the injured person. If at all possible, do not move or attempt to treat severe injuries until an ambulance arrives.
If you or someone else has been injured in the accident then you have the obligation to report the matter to the Gardai. If there is no physical injury but simply damage to the car or other vehicle then, strictly speaking, there is no obligation on you to call the Gardai. However, in many cases it is a wise precaution to report the accident as this allows independent verification that the accident did take place and may help to establish who was responsible. Don’t forget to find out the name of the Garda and also the Garda Station.
The Garda usually requests a statement and also may ask you to produce a driving license and insurance details. This can be done at a later stage. It is probably wise to wait until you have recovered from the shock of the accident and are thinking clearly before making any statement.
Never sign any document at the scene of the accident, either admitting liability or accepting payment of any compensation. It is not unusual to find out after the accident that your injury or damage to your car was a lot more severe than originally thought.
Exchange Motoring Details
Exchange details with the driver of the other car. Give him/her your name and address and also details of your registration number and insurance policy. You should also obtain the same details from him/her and be sure to write them down carefully.
Photograph the Car Accident
It is a good idea to photograph the scene of the car crash and the damage to the vehicles concerned. Photograph all vehicles involved capturing their position on the road and close ups of the damage sustained to all cars.
After the Accident
Even if you feel fine immediately after the accident, it is a good idea to go to your Doctor for a check-up. This will allow your Doctor to decide if you have suffered some injury, particularly internal damage which may cause you problems at a later time.
In summary the following can be used as a checklist:-
- Assess any casualties
- Call 999 if Garda or an Ambulance is required
- Decide whether to move your car
- Exchange motoring details
- Photograph the Car Accident
For more information on personal injury due to a car crash click on the following link. https://mcsweeney.ie/personal-injury-car-accident/