June 15, 2021
8 Mistakes to Avoid After a Vehicular Accident
According to a driving statistic report, 50 million people are injured annually in traffic crashes worldwide. With the nation ranking 16th globally in road safety performance, these accidents are, fortunately, not frequent.
However, the infrequency of such incidents may have a downside, which is that many Canadians may not know what to do in the event of a motor vehicle accident. Responding well to an incident is crucial, both for the health and safety of those involved as well as for legal claims.
- Leaving the Scene
Being caught in a road accident can leave you panicked and frazzled. Some might even leave the scene for fear of its consequences. However, whether you are the victim or alleged perpetrator, the best thing to do is step aside and wait. Even if the damage is not great or noticeable, proper compensation and agreements are best achieved with law enforcement intervention. Check yourself for injuries and your car for damage, but don’t touch anything.
Now, obstruction of traffic is unavoidable during these accidents. You might feel embarrassed about the situation and opt to settle it later. However, that is the wrong move. If you leave the scene without following proper protocol, you might end up in deeper trouble.
If you are the victim, you might not get the appropriate settlement. If you are the offender, you may end up with heavier charges. The best thing to do is to wait, keep it together, and not panic.
- Memory Reliance
Testimonies and evidence can be muddled in the chaos and confusion of a traffic accident. Eyewitnesses accounts can sometimes be unreliable. They can miss details or change their accounts of the incident when put to the stand. To get unbiased and clean-cut evidence, it is best not to rely on word of mouth. Rather, you should take the initiative to secure firsthand proof of injury and damage. You can do this through videos and photographs.
Some people might prefer to live stream on social media to record the event as it happens and have a larger collection of witnesses. However, doing so might damage the integrity of the accident and cause moral legal charges.
To avoid unnecessary drama and litigations, keep the evidence to yourself and share it only with the authorities. Keep your testimonies as consistent and as factual as possible. There is no need to bend the facts to your favour since physical evidence will answer that.
- Declining to Hire a Lawyer
Seek legal aid so you have legal protection against potential harassment after the accident. Affected parties may act in an undesirable manner that may threaten you. Your lawyer is there to protect you and guide you through this tumultuous and arduous process. Even if it is just a minor bump, your lawyer will see to it that you receive proper insurance and settlement.
A car accident lawyer is an expert in negotiations and settlements. By opting to deal with things on your own, you might get the short end of the stick. Hiring a legal representative will cost you money, but it will be worth it if you get the justice you deserve. Your lawyer is there to help you get through the incident smoothly while you recover both mentally and physically. To make sure that you are prepared for every road mishap, try searching for a “car accident lawyer near me” beforehand so you can easily contact them in case of an emergency.
- Settle and Haggle
To get this through the incident as fast as possible, you might be tempted to negotiate on costs and repair. However, if you are not an expert in such things, you might end up overestimating or undervaluing the actual damage. Instead of haggling with the opposite party, you should wait for experts to assess the situation and decide on the settlement. The third-party assessment will be unbiased and make sure that both the offender and victim get what they deserve.
Haggling can cause tempers to rise and can lead to worse arguments. After an accident, it is best to keep to yourself and calmly engage with the opposite party.
- Easing Through the Pain
Seek medical help after an accident — no buts. Adrenaline coursing through your veins after the accident may dull some of the pain caused by injuries. This might lead you to think that you did not sustain any injury. However, only a thorough checkup by a physician can determine whether you’re hurt or not. No matter how mild the injury may seem, go to the hospital right away to be assessed by a medical health professional.
- Ignoring Police Intervention
If you are engaged in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario, it is always the police’s job to intervene. With their help, you can have a smoother process in acquiring legal aid. They can also aid in evidence documentation, first aid, traffic regulation, and accident assessment. With police involvement, a more thorough investigation can be conducted and testimonial facts can be verified.
All of these gathered data by the police will help in court trials and proceedings if necessary. A clearer picture will be presented to the court and better judgment can be made.
- Failing to File on Time
Failing to report or file an official accident report on time is all it takes for things to go downhill in a vehicular accident. The absence of an actual document to support the integrity and credibility of the event will have you denied the insurance and settlements that you deserve. Whether it is an accident of your fault or someone else, you should always document, report, and go the legal path. Sure it can sometimes be long and time-consuming, but justice will be served.
- Over Sharing and Exaggeration
A vehicular accident will always gather a crowd. However, this does not mean that you should talk to them and explain your side. After an accident, you should keep your mouth shut, and only talk to your lawyer. Sharing information with bystanders in your stressed and injured state might result in twisted facts and faulty eyewitness accounts. You should instead record the event by yourself, and take note of what really happened.
No one wins in an accident. Whether it is your fault or not, both parties will experience loss in time, money, and effort. Doing all the things mentioned above will help you get through the ordeal without further mishap. However, this does not erase the damage that has already been done.
So, when you are on the road, make sure to follow the rules and respect your fellow drivers. Share the street and always drive safely. These tips will surely help you be prepared after an accident, but it’s better to avoid such incidents altogether.
If you get into an accident on the road, a vehicular accident lawyer can help you get through it and will provide the legal help you need. If you’re in Ontario, call Michelle Linka Law. We offer legal assistance for motor vehicle accidents so you can get the compensation you deserve. Call us now at the following numbers to book an appointment:
- (416) 477-7288 Toronto Office
- (905) 448-7810 Whitby Office
- (705) 243-6494 Peterborough Office