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What to do if you’re in a car accident

December 14, 2018

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s the last thing you think of but the first thing to remember if you are unfortunate enough to be in a car accident. Learn these 10 checks by heart before you go on the road. Staying calm, kind and collected can save more than a failed insurance claim, it can save lives.

  1. First, is everyone okay? Check the other car(s), too.
  2. DO NOT move anyone who is unconscious or injured and discourage them from moving too much if they are awake.
  3. Call for medical help if you are even slightly unsure. Beware of assuming everyone is okay – whiplash can be delayed, and some injuries don’t necessarily manifest with pain or disorientation.
  4. Is anyone showing signs of allergies or medical conditions taking hold? Asthma? Epilepsy? Ask about an EpiPen, antihistamine, etc, and share this info with the medical professionals who arrive to help. Do not administer the medication yourself unless you are qualified to do so: somebody suffering from epilepsy, for example, can become disoriented and misjudge their own medication. This could lead to a lethal overdose.
  5. Sympathise with others but avoid incriminating or defending yourself if accused of causing the accident. Being defensive might be interpreted as accepting culpability. This is for a court to decide if it comes to that. Being defensive can also make a tense situation worse.
  6. Get the other car’s registration, driver’s ID, and give your own details.
  7. Record the scene for evidence either in your insurance claim or court. Take photos or a video.
  8. Call the police (and your lawyer) if things get testy or if you’re not sure what happened. An officer of the law can help diffuse tensions and take statements.
  9. Are there any neutral witnesses? Somebody who saw the accident happen who is not connected to you, your passengers, the other driver(s), or their passengers? Ask them to give their statement to the police officer on duty, or make a video or voice recording as future evidence. Ask the witness’s permission to contact them at a later date and request their contact details. This is particularly useful for hit-and-run cases which we hope never happens to you.
  10. Are there any security cameras in the immediate vicinity? They might be in your or the driver’s car, on property adjoining accident scene, or on traffic cameras. Get that footage now! It’s evidence.

 

FINALLY, remember that we all make mistakes, and be gentle on yourself, and others. Taking action can help turn a bad experience into a learning one, save lives and reduce the impact of injuries, and your positive input can make all the difference, regardless of who may be to blame.

Remember, we’re here for you day or night. Phone us on 0861 dotsure (368 7873). You can also log your claim online using our online management portal.

 

Safe travels

Sources

www.dotsure.co.za

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