There is no such thing as a minor car accident for those who are involved. There can be no more sickening feeling than that which accompanies the sound of two cars colliding. Its traumatic and the complications that flow from it can bamboozle you at a time when you are least able to cope with them. Try to observe the following:
- Do not panic – you are likely to be flustered and filled with adrenaline so that you can hardly think straight. It is important to try and remain calm and take stock of the situation.
- Assess any casualties – starting with yourself, check if you are injured and then check your passengers.
- Call the Gardai and the Emergency Services (if required) providing as much information as you can.
- If it is a serious accident do not move any vehicles until the Gardai have arrived and informed you that it is in order to do so. If you can, put a warning triangle on the roadway. If it is a minor accident then pull over to the left hand side as far as possible.
- Exchange motoring details – take the name, address and telephone number of the other driver, details of his/her insurance policy, vehicle registration number, car make, model and colour and also drivers licence number. They are not entitled to withhold this information.
- Photograph the car accident – with the advent of mobile phones this is easy to do.
- Discussing the specifics of the car accident – no discussion of liability needs to take place at the scene of a car crash and only discuss this with the Gardai and your insurance company.
If you are of the view that you do not have any liability for the road traffic accident you should consult your Solicitor as soon as possible after the accident. Your Solicitor will liaise with your insurance company and also with the third party’s insurers and will seek to resolve any claim on your behalf for damages be it in respect of car damage and associated losses and in respect of any personal injuries sustained. It is always advisable to consult your Solicitor.
Joseph O’Hara, Principal O’Hara Solicitors, Cross Street, Athenry, Galway