No one ever truly wishes to be involved in a driving accident but the fact remains that they occur more frequently than most people realise.
According to the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), at least 2,699 people were killed in road crashes that occurred on Nigerian roads between January and June 2019. Within the same period, no less than 18,198 persons sustained injuries.
In total, the FRSC stated that 5,423 crashes were recorded during the period. This brings us to what you should do if you find yourself involved in a driving accident.
What exactly should your response be after a driving accident? Does your response have any implication on your insurance claims or who gets to foot the repairs of the other person’s car? Find out five things you should do after a driving accident:
It is quite hard to ask a Nigerian who has just had an accident to stay calm. The daily picture you see on the road of motorists who are involved in driving accidents makes this advice take the form of a castle in the air. The average Nigerian uses this opportunity to flaunt his/her vocabulary or ability to argue while screaming vulgarities and insults at the other person involved in the accident.
No doubt, emotions are bound to run high – Fear and anger are likely to make you act without caution. However, it is best to stay calm. Do not, out of joy or rage, admit that you are to blame. Never admit liability.
Take Pictures of the Scene
Except in cases where you need urgent medical attention in the hospital, you should not vacate the scene of the accident. Get all the basic information of the other motorist – driver’s license, license plate number, car colour etc.
The prevalence of mobile phones has made it easier to personally record evidence before the arrival of law enforcement agents. This could also be useful for insurance claims.
Take photos of the scene of the accident, even if you do not intend to use it for insurance claims. The photos could be useful for property damage images, images of the positioning of the cars, where they were in the street, etc. If you sustained visible injuries, you should capture them as well.
Call the Police
It is important you call the police even if it is just a minor accident. A police report could be required in filing a claim with your insurance company, no matter how small the claim is. Also, the vehicles should remain at the spot where the accident occurred until the arrival of the police, except if they are impeding the flow of traffic.
Ensure You Make an Accurate Report
With the arrival of the investigating officer, you and the offending driver will be expected to give statements. Make sure you present an accurate account of the events that led to the accident to the investigating officer.
Avoid speculating or misstating any facts. Instead, when in doubt, tell the officer that you are uncertain about that specific question. For instance, if asked whether you are injured, do not say no, if you are not sure. Just tell the officer that you are unsure. This is because sometimes the pain of injuries from a collision may not be obvious at the moment of the accident. Just as you are expected to make an accurate statement, make sure the other person involved in the accident also does the same.
Seek Medical Attention
It is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible even if you can’t see any visible injuries. A medical check-up will make you certain that there are no internal injuries and that the shock from the accident has not impacted you negatively.
Failure to do a medical check-up may present dire consequences on your health in the future. This will be particularly painful if the health problem turns out to be something an early detection could have prevented.
Final Thoughts on What to Do After a Driving Accident
Sometimes, it could be wise to involve your lawyer if the accident is serious. This is to avoid being cheated, manipulated or exploited by the other party or even the insurance company. The involvement of a lawyer could fast-track the payment of your insurance claims. Once you own a car, you can’t overemphasize your need for an insurance policy for your vehicle. It protects you from unforeseen circumstances that come with auto accidents.
By the way, you can be more proactive and cut down your chances of being involved in an auto accident by ensuring the car you’re buying is in good condition, especially when buying a foreign used or Nigerian used car. Cheki Nigeria can help you find, verify and test drive your next car before you make payment for it.