With the better weather finally here we hope that you will be out on your bikes soaking up the sunshine and making the most of the longer evenings, weekend festivals and the perfect riding conditions.
Hopefully the summer will be fun packed for you and your friends but what if the worst should happen and you or someone you know has an accident? If you or anyone you know is in an accident think DETAILS!
Below are our top tips of what to do after an accident – fingers crossed you’ll never need to refer to it but how about printing out this page for future reference and keeping it with your insurance documents.
- Make a note of their full name, address and telephone numbers. Quick tip: It is also a good idea to make a note of the other driver’s description.
- If the other vehicle is a commercial vehicle or it becomes apparent they are driving in the course of their employment then get a note of the driver’s employers too.
- Get the details of the other vehicle; make, model, registration number, details of any obvious modifications or defects and the number of passengers with the driver.
- Call the Police, you will need a incident reference number for any vehicle or medical claims.
- If you have a smart phone take pictures, this will help the Police and your insurance company.
- If there were any eye witnesses, try and get their details.
It is often the case that witnesses will stay until the police arrive and then leave before they are spoken to. Evidence from a witness could be crucial in establishing what happened and whose fault it was. Too many cases have to be compromised because the facts are unclear which means that you could lose your no claims bonus and your excess.
- Take a note of the time of the accident.
- Contact your insurers as soon as possible after the accident to get a claim file opened.
- Take legal advice – this should be done at your own pace and as soon as you feel well enough. The key is to do it sooner rather than later whilst the evidence is fresh. Remember in most cases you will only have 3 years to pursue a claim.
- If you or a passenger has been seriously injured they will be taken to A&E by ambulance. There are often minor injuries that, at the time, you might not think are significant but it is useful to have a record of a check up with your GP within a few days of the accident.
- Quick tip: call your work and speak to your HR team about sick pay, you might also need to get benefits advice.
- Get full details of the other driver’s insurance policy.
- Many people won’t know their policy number but they will be able to tell you which insurance company they are with.
- If you’ve been injured seek legal advice to ascertain whether you will have a claim for financial compensation. Make sure you approach a firm of solicitors that are, like us, approved for this type of work by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and the Law Society.
- Quick tip: APIL associated lawyers will offer free initial advice.
- Make notes of the circumstances of the accident whilst it’s fresh in your mind.
- Draw pictures to help you describe what happened. Include details about the time, the date, the location, the direction you and the other driver were travelling, the weather, use of headlights, streetlights, sounding of horns, indicators, break lights etc.
- Quick tip: Was it sunny? Was it raining?
Compensation following a road traffic accident will include all the losses and expenses you have suffered as a result of your injuries as well as a lump sum for the pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
Even where you think you might be partly responsible for the accident you should still enquire about making a claim; you could still be entitled to pursue a claim which would then be reduced to take account of your actions.
You can enquire about a claim on someone’s behalf if they have been badly injured and cannot do this for themselves.
Thomson Snell & Passmore has an expert team on hand to help you if you have suffered a personal injury, dealing with all kinds of injury we can help you on your road to recovery; here is one client’s story.
"As a 60 year old man having had a bike license since the age of 16 it was quite an adjustment when my years of no accidents came to a grinding halt in 2010. Unfortunately on that night a car driver decided not to see me and following a court procedure the driver ended up with points and a fine and I was left facing months of recovery.
After 4 months in a wheelchair I progressed to crutches for a further 2 months and with the aid of physio I am now quite mobile but will never be 100%.
I decided to sue the driver and used the excellent services of Thomson Snell & Passmore. I was surprised at the amount of medical experts I had to see during the course of building my claim. The team helped to build my confidence by keeping me up to date on any progress while reminding me of appointments with regular calls and e-mails.
I can highly recommend their services to anybody who is unfortunately in my situation. My case finally came to very successful conclusion in March 2014. Thanks James Cahan and his team of experts".