Motor vehicle accidents are a common occurrence on the roads. They can involve cars, motorcycles, trucks, bicycles and any other vehicle on the road. Even the most skilled drivers can find themselves involved in a road accident, especially because you can’t control the actions of other drivers on the road. If you are injured or harmed due to the wrongful or negligent actions of another driver, you should consult with a compensation lawyer on how to make a compensation claim. An experienced road accident lawyer can give you a guide to car accident claims and how to best approach them.
Read on to learn more about common mistakes you can make after a motor vehicle accident and how to avoid them.
Failing to gather evidence after a motor vehicle accident
After being involved in a road collision, you may feel overrun with emotions and have difficulty concentrating on the best way to handle the situation. The actions you take directly after a motor vehicle accident are important in order to strengthen your motor vehicle accident claim. If you are injured, you must seek medical attention immediately. Minor injuries can progress to serious injuries if you delay getting medical treatment.
If you are uninjured, you are in a good position to collect key pieces of evidence from the scene of the accident. Take photos of the damage to your car (from different angles) and of your surroundings. Key things to take photos of include:
- Road signs (e.g. speed and stop signs)
- Skid marks that the driver’s vehicle left on the road
- View of the road from your car and the other driver’s
Assuming fault when you are unsure of who is responsible
Never assume fault in a motor vehicle accident unless you are sure that you were the one responsible for the accident. If you are in a situation where you are feeling unsure of who was responsible or feeling pressured by the other driver to take responsibility, remain calm and try to speak rationally with the other person. Report the accident to the police as soon as possible so that they can investigate what happened.
Not gathering the correct contact details
In most cases, the driver responsible for the accident will be cooperative in providing their contact details and insurance information. However, some drivers try to argue that they are not responsible for the accident or refuse to give you their details. Always note down the license plate number of the other vehicle involved in the accident, just in case they try to flee the scene of the crime or give you incorrect contact details. You should always take down the following details to prepare for an insurance claim:
- Name, address, contact number, insurer and registration number
- Vehicle colour, make and model
- Time, date and exact location of the incident
Apart from the other driver’s contact details, you should also take down the details of any witnesses at the scene of the accident. Eyewitnesses can help affirm your story which will strengthen your motor vehicle accident claim.
Delaying consulting with a road accident lawyer
Delaying or choosing not to consult with a road accident lawyer will not work in your favour. Motor vehicle claims are complicated and time-consuming which is why you need an experienced compensation lawyer to support you through the process. Most compensation lawyers offer each client a free consultation, which is a good time to ask any questions you may have and get to know your lawyer.
You will be able to tell if they are experienced in the area by their attitude towards the case and their knowledge of what you will need to do for your motor vehicle claim. Always make sure that your lawyer is experienced and qualified to handle your particular type of claim. This will help ensure that your case is in the right hands.
Not making yourself aware of deadlines
After consulting with a road accident lawyer, make sure you are aware of the time limits involved in making a motor vehicle accident claim. If you are claiming for injuries, you have three years from when the accident occurred to make your claim. If you have missed a deadline, consult with your lawyer on whether you would be eligible for an exemption. You may be granted an exemption if you have a viable reason for missing the initial deadline. It’s always important to act quick after a motor vehicle accident occurs, to ensure the best case scenario for possible compensation.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident claim, contact Schreuders for an expert guide to car accident claims.