There are few situations more stressful than being involved in a car accident. Injuries can compound shock, fear and panic. Damage to your vehicle may lead to worry about the massive disruption to your daily life. And, of course, the financial cost of repairs, medical bills and the potential loss of earnings while you recuperate can only add to this emotionally charged event.
Unfortunately, injuries on Irish roads remain extremely common. The latest data shows that over 8,000 people were injured on Irish roads in a given year. With these figures in mind, it's vital that every road user knows what to do following a road traffic accident. As Galway personal injury solicitors, we have helped a large number of clients get the legal redress they deserve following a road traffic accident. With this experience, we have put together a checklist of what to do following a road traffic accident.
Immediately Following the Road Traffic Accident
Catch your breath
This may seem obvious, but we highly recommend taking a few moments to compose yourself. Shock and panic can set in following a road traffic accident. So it's essential to take a moment to calm down and gather your thoughts.
Seek medical attention
If you'veve been injured, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Shock can numb the pain, so you may be more injured than you realize.
In the first hour after the accident
Gather information from any other drivers involved in the accident. This includes their names, contact information, car registration, and insurance information. If any other road user witnessed the accident, we also recommend getting their contact information. A statement from a third party may form an essential part of a future injury claim.
Finally, it’s also important to get any emergency personnel who attended the scene's contact information.
Take photos of any damage to your car, the surrounding area and any injuries you obtained. Try and get pictures from multiple angles; this will help a solicitor make sense of the accident.
The Day of the Road Traffic Accident
Make a statement at a local Gardaí station
The Gardaí will not always attend the scene of an accident. If the accident is considered minor, the Gardai may opt not to attend. However, even if the Gardai don't come to the accident scene. You must visit the local Gardai station and make a statement. You want the accident, in your words, officially documented. This Gardai statement may be an importat piece of evidence in any personal injury claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Solicitor
It's crucial to contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. The team at Fidelma Bane Solicitors can assess the circumstances of the road traffic accident and advise if it's in your best interests to pursue a personal injury claim. Even if you're unsure if you want to make a claim, a personal injury solicitor can clarify your legal rights and outline how long you have to make up your mind.
The above advice is by no means an exhaustive list of what to do after a road traffic accident. Please consider it a guideline only. If you've been involved in a road traffic accident, please get in touch with our Galway personal injury Solicitor’s offices today.