What to do after a Road accident?
Modified On Sep 23, 2019 By Naveen Soni
One of the most deadly things created by God almighty on this planet is traffic accidents. These are those mishaps which happen by a whisker, owing to either the bad luck or the irresponsibility of the either side involved in them. Traffic accidents do happen frequently, in spite of the measures and cautiousness we take to avoid them. The most crash-prone persons amongst the accidents are the bikers, when it comes to facing serious fatal injuries, thanks to the obvious reasons of minimal surrounding protection as compared to the four wheelers such as cars and SUVs. Every rider should be cautious and aware and must consider that the traffic accidents should be the last possibility to happen to his ride as well as him, once he has laid his hands on it. Here are some pointers which should help you to handle the situation when you face an accident:-
1. Just keep calm:-
Whenever you face an accident, you are crumbled up in a lot of mixed emotions of grief, confusion, sadness and anger. You just want to throw out your anger flames on the counterpart of your accident, but let us remind you that this distracts the witnesses, which can help you to come out of this turmoil. Over-reacting upon the situation will alienate the helpers around you and you may end up making them avoid you. Thus, staying in control without losing your patience and anger will have a positive effect on the people surrounding you.
2. Try to get as much witnesses as possible:-
Now, this is a tough task, because normally people avoid involving to help a person who has faced an accident, just to avoid the frequent police questions put up on him/her. All you need to do is judge whether there was any witness around you at the time of accident. Try to gather as many witnesses as possible, because they may prove much useful to picturize the accidental situation, if you want to take the claim of the mishap. If there was any recognizable witness around you at the time of accident, you should try to ask his personal details, such as name, contact number, address, etc, so that they may be contacted as and when required.
3. Make the scene safe:-
After you have faced an accident, if you are in your consciences, you must try to minimize the risk factors. Just turn off the ignition switch and engine and put on the lights/turn indicators only. This will help you to warn the oncoming traffic, particularly in night time. If any four-wheeler is involved in the crash, their reflective triangles may be used.
4. Check injuries:-
- If a biker has faced injuries at the scene of an accident, the first and foremost step of caution is to not remove the helmet which he is wearing, as the rider may have suffered a serious head injury which we are unaware of. Unless the rider has stopped taking breath, you should leave it on. If he is in his senses, try to remove the helmet gradually and carry on the normal CPR, as this puts up the end on the possibility of any spinal or head injury.
- If you are indulged in a situation of bike accident which involves an injured person or a group of persons, it’s very important to judge and study the situation is prone to any kind of danger or not. If you are unsure of making out any positive outcome and putting yourself at risk, then don’t work your brains further. Instead, try to call the police.
- If you have ensured up your mind that your actions are not going to upset the scene and situations further, then check the injured person to make sure that is he/she responding normally. Start with asking them patiently, if that person is OK or not. If they are responding to you normally, be in conversation with that person in a normal and calm way, till the emergency service/ambulance arrives at the scene.
- If the injured is in a state of unconsciousness, check whether the airway is clear or not, whether they are breathing out properly and check whether the heart beat or pulse rate, to check whether their blood circulation is normal or not.
- One thing you should ensure too is that you must seek initial medical first aid and attention for the injured person. This may help the further treatments and ailments of the injury to a large extent and at the same time, provides a medical record which can be used later on to pick the accidental claim.
5. Your obligations, if you have an accident:-
If the accident conditions are making the situations even worse for the incoming traffic or people on the roads and surroundings, then without any second thought, you should dial up 100 and call the police immediately. This may help you to catch up the third party involved, which has left the accidental scene without exchanging any detail for further investigation. The police can find up the best judiciary solution out of an accident.
6. Exchange the details:-
Exchanging the details of the two parties in a positive way within each other helps out to make the situations easy to judge. It’s a legal procedure to get the details of both the parties of either sides involved in the accident, so as to take out the maximum possible help in taking or distributing the claim. The personal details to be exchanged involves the name, contact details, residential address or any other details of insurance, of both the parties involved.
Also, the extra and important details to be noted out are the model, manufacturer name of the model, color and registration number of the vehicles involved in the accident, if you can. This helps you to make the situations even easier to get on. If the other party involved refuses you to provide the details, then it’s better to call the police which will do this job in a perfect strict manner.
7. Do not admit liability:-
It’s better and safe that you should not discuss any kind of liability at the scene of accident. This may lead to make the situations confusing. The situation must be easy to bring out the final verdict, so it’s better to avoid any liability, even if the second party is much more responsible for the crash happened. Usually, motorcycle riders are blamed for the accidents by the surrounding people with the acquisitions of irresponsibility. So, it’s better to keep your mouth shut, rather than blaming the person in front of you, until the police reach the scene.
8. Inform the police:-
Normally, the police reach the accident spot a bit late. So, in order to avoid any kind of further delay, the police should be called immediately as soon as possible after the accident takes place. You unknowingly indulge in a criminal offence, if you fail to report the accident or leave the accident spot before the police reach the scene and make out any verdict. The police, after attending the scene, makes sure that the injured must get proper medical ailments and carry on the further procedures of investigation in a legal way, by taking out the details of the party involved, the description and losses involved in the accident and questioning the witnesses around.
9. Obtain your evidence:-
Usually, if you face a minor accident, you can minimize the job of police by gathering the basic information of the accident happened, by yourself. The details which can be taken by you are:-
- The make, manufacturer name, color, registration number and type of the vehicles involved.
- Contact details and address of the nearby police station or any police officer.
- The exact particular location, where the accident took place. This includes the street name and the name of any landmark nearby.
- The condition and position of the vehicles involved before and after the accident took place.
- Other factors of visibility, such as condition of the street, traffic and weather.
Details of any light displayed by the vehicles involved at the time of accident.
10. Take photographs at the scene:-
This procedure helps a lot for making the things much easier. Taking photographs of the accident scene is the best way of pictorial description of the accident happened, which may help the police to make the situations and investigations much easier. Normally, the police itself take the photographs of the scene, but it is advisable to take the photographs by you also, to avoid any kind of misconception and misjudging. In the photographs, the position of the vehicles must be evident enough to tell the whole story by itself. The areas of damage happened to the motorcycle must be clicked clearly to show the extent of damage. The normal damage which happens to a motorcycle involves broken body panels, mirrors, lights, tyres, etc. This involves damage of all kinds, ranging from scratches to broken parts. Taking the photographs of the surroundings is also advisable. Apart from taking photographs of your vehicle, take the images of the other vehicles involved too, to avoid any false acquisitions and claims. If you are not in a condition of taking photographs, ask a friend to do this job for you.
Taking these photographs must be done as soon as possible, otherwise any change in the accident scene may lead to unwanted disputes. Also, these photographs help you a lot while taking claim of the insurance of the damaged vehicle.
11. Prepare a sketch plan:-
Normally, it’s beneficial for your solicitor to make out the situation much more livelier. So, a sketch depicting the conditions of the vehicles, the road maps, the exact location of collision of the vehicles can be drawn to make the things much easier.
12. Keep details of your losses:-
After an accident has happened, it’s better to keep a record of the mishap happened and the involved losses you faced. The receipts of the repaired damages must be kept safe, in order to facilitate the further servicing of the vehicle. Apart from the record of the damages your motorcycle faced, you must also keep a detail of the after-effects of your injuries on your personal life, such as medical treatments and how the injury you got in the accident affects your daily life. All these information help you a lot while picking up your compensation claim from the insurance agencies.
13. Notify your insurance company:-
Normally, either minor or major, you face a loss during an accident which directly affect your pocket. So, in order to minimize those holes in your pocket, it’s advisable to notify your insurance company as soon as possible, after the accident has happened. You must describe the information to your insurance company in an elaborated way, so that you may get the maximum possible claim for your damage. Your insurers will put one of their solicitors on the job of studying your accident chapter, so it’s better to convince them to the point of depth. This is done particularly in the case of legal expenses in accordance to the motor policy act. Be careful while doing this job, as the solicitor provided by the insurance company might not be the best possible man. Remember, you have the full freedom to select the solicitor of your own choice.
14. Proving who is to blame:-
In most of the cases, making out the verdict that who is the culprit responsible for the accident, is not that tedious task and the faulty party to be judged is a straightforward task. However, there are some situations in which judging who is responsible for the mishap is quite a tough task, when both the parties involved are equally responsible for the crash. In such cases, as mentioned earlier, the first and foremost blame is put on the motorcycle rider, both by the witnesses and police, owing to the reasons of over-speeding and faulty overtaking. Just put this point in mind, in case of motorcycle crashes, legal liability is minimum in your favor.
Thus, until any kind of legal expert advice is obtained, it is important to avoid any kind of liability factors and judgement from your side, as this may make the situations worse and not in your favor. Also, if the other party takes the responsibility of being liable for the incident happened, it is very important that the rider and pillion get separate advantages of the insurance. Therefore, independent legal expert advice of an expert solicitor will help you a lot in providing you the best possible advantages of compensation of all the losses you face, whether related to yourself or the motorcycle.
15. Common questions regarding fault in motorcycle accident claims:-
- Can I claim for the accident, when I was the rider at time of crash, and partly somewhere, I was responsible for it?
Ans – YES! If you are injured in the road accident you faced, it’s not your fault, as you didn’t intended to do so. You can claim compensation for the damage happened to you. You can raise up your hand to pick up the claim even you are somewhere responsible for the accident, provided you are aided with proper legal expert advice to back you up, otherwise the other party involved may make the use of your lack in support and will try to take his maximum claim out of yourself. If you are found to be guilty or your riding actions and role is found to be suspicious and responsible for the accident, then still you will get the claim, but your final compensation will be reduced by a fair margin, owing to your major role in the mishap. However, the final award may be significantly larger in your side, if the damage and injuries faced by you is severe, but then again, you must have proper legal support on your side, who can stand up to get you your share of console.
- Can I claim if the accident was caused by the rider of the motorcycle on which I was travelling as a pillion?
Ans – YES! If you are travelling as a pillion behind the rider on the motorcycle, and you get yourself injured, you can stand up for claiming the compensation for both the personal injuries or any kind of financial losses you faced in the accident. The claim will be in separate of the rider who was responsible for the accident, which also includes the rider behind whom you were travelling while the incident took place.