What to do after an accident
Almost a month back, the World Health Organization had released a report, according to which India contributes the most to the total number of deaths occurring because of the road accidents. Every year around 1.3 million people die and 20-50 million people get injured and out of this the road accidents in India alone take a toll on around 105,000 lives every year. But since the meaning of the word accident means ‘an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally’ it is clear that it cannot be avoided 100 percent and once an accident happens all we can do is to take some immediate and important steps afterwards and help in checking the damage done. Car accidents may or may not result in death but a dent in the car as well as the pocket of the car owner is definitely made. So this article is focused on prepping you up for the after-steps of a car accident.
Emergency Kit in the Glove Box
This emergency kit should be a bit comprehensive containing the first aid necessities, flashlight, camera, a pen and a paper, emergency contact list, information about medical conditions etc. The driver should always carry a cell phone and should have an ICE (In Case of Emergency) folder in his/her contacts so that the relevant people can be called for help as soon as possible. This is by far the best way to deal immediately with an accident.
Always remember to put safety first
In case no serious injuries have resulted from an accident, the drivers involved should be careful of not standing in the middle of the road to solve the issue which we have seen happening at large in India. This unnecessarily obstructs the ongoing traffic and increase the possibility of further accidents. Drivers should take care of parking the cars at the roadside and then deal with the matter in hand. And in case of serious accidents where cars cannot be moved, the drivers should turn the parking lights on and put other warning symbols until help arrives.
Click pictures if possible and exchange information
The emergency camera could be used to catch the accident situation as it is which would further aid in adjusting the claims. Also it is important to take note the name, address, phone number and other essential details like driving license, license plate number etc. of the vehicles involved in an accident. The exact location of the accident and the details of the vehicle could also be of great help later on.
Be aware of what your insurance covers and file a report
It is imperative that you are fully aware of the terms and details of what all your car insurance covers. Reporting an accident in case there are no human injuries involved, might not be necessary but such a step would help in speeding up the process of claims at the insurance company end.
Avoid settling finances of the damages yourself
This approach might work out in the case where accidents are minor but mostly this involves a lot of risk. Since the settlement is informal and off-record, the other party may bail out at the end moment if he/she finds any issue or feels that the settlement cost is too high. And at that time if you turn to the insurance company, the whole picture might become a bit more complicated to track and piece together. Plus the other party might claim a hefty amount from the insurance company and also draw cash out of you; there is also a possibility that the other driver might claim false injuries which might end up in a lawsuit. The gist is, since you are unaware of the psyche of the other driver better not trust blindly and stay on the safe side of the law.
Photography By - Sitaram Swami