Prepare the trunk of your car for a possible accident as well by making sure you have a Luminous Warning Triangle.

Make sure you also have:

A pen
A card with relevant medical information for you and your family.

What to do after an auto accident:

1. Stay as calm as possible.
2. Check for injuries. When in doubt, call an ambulance.
3. If the accident is minor and there are no serious injuries, move cars to a safe place, rather than risk being in moving traffic.
4. Turn on hazard lights. If warranted, and possible, use cones, warning triangles or flares for safety.
5. Notify your insurance company about the accident immediately.
6. Don't sign any document unless it is for the police or your insurance agent.
7. Make immediate notes about the accident including the specific damages to all vehicles involved. Get witness information, if possible, as well. If there were witnesses, try to get their contact information; they may be able to help you if the other drivers dispute your version of what happened.
8. Be polite, but don't tell the other drivers or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was. Likewise, do not accuse the other drivers of being at fault at this time. Everyone is usually shaken up immediately after an accident, and it is wise to state only the facts. Limit your discussion of the accident to the insurance agent and the police. Even if the facts are embarrassing or detrimental to you, be truthful.
9. If you have a camera handy, and it is safe to do so, it may be helpful to photograph the accident scene. Use your camera to document the damage to all the vehicles. Keep in mind that you want your photos to show the overall context of the accident. If possible, do not leave the accident scene before the police officers and other drivers do.
10. File an accident report, which is available at your insurance company.

Personal Injury

What is a personal injury?

A personal injury can include, for example, an injury at work or in a traffic accident, an injury received as a result of faulty goods or services, an injury sustained by tripping over paving stones, an injury caused by errors in hospital treatment.

If you have sustained a personal injury you may want to consider the following:-

do you want to make a complaint to the person or organisation you believe was responsible for the injuries
do you want to make a claim for compensation to cover losses you have suffered as a result of the injury
are there any immediate financial problems arising because of the injury, for example, you are unable to work

Action to be taken

Whatever you are intending to do about your personal injury, actions you could take include:

if the injury resulted from a road accident, lodge a police report and report it to your insurance company.
if the injury resulted from an accident at work, you should notify your employer and the accident must be recorded in the accident book.
report the injury to your doctor because it could become more serious. You should do this even if the injury seems minor. If you subsequently go to court to get compensation for the injury, the doctor will be asked to provide a medical report.
gather evidence about the accident and injuries. For example, it may be useful to take photographs of the scene of an accident and of what caused the injury. You should also, if possible, write an account of the incident while details are still fresh in your mind. If there are witnesses, you should make a note of their names and addresses.

Making a complaint

If you have had an accident or suffered an injury you might be able to get an explanation of what went wrong and to receive an apology. In some cases, there may be an official complaints procedure you can use.

One disadvantage of using complaints procedures is that they are often time consuming and the final result will be no more than an apology. If you have suffered a personal injury and you also want compensation, you should be aware that there are time limits for taking legal action and going through a complaints procedure may sometimes delay matters.


The main way of getting compensation for a personal injury is by taking legal action in a civil court.

Amount of compensation

If you have sustained a personal injury you may be able to claim two types of compensation, general damages and special damages.

General damages are paid as compensation for an injury, for example, a payment for pain and suffering or loss of future earnings. The court will decide on the amount to be paid.

Special damages are paid as compensation for actual financial loss caused by the accident up to the date of the hearing. These can include damage to clothing or other belongings, the costs of care, travel costs to hospital, medical expenses (including the cost of private treatment) and the cost of hiring and/or repairing a car if it has been damaged in the accident.

If a court decides that you were partly to blame for the accident, it may reduce the amount of damages you receive. An example of this would be if you were not wearing a seat belt when you were involved in a traffic accident.

Taking legal action

If you want to take legal action to claim compensation for a personal injury you will need to get advice from a solicitor. This must be done as soon as possible as there are strict time limits on taking legal action.

Time limits

There are different time limits within which you must begin legal action in a personal injury claim. The most common claim in a personal injury case is negligence and the time limit for this is 3 years. This means that court proceedings must be issued within 3 years of you first being aware that you have suffered an injury.


Costs are paid by the losing party (party and party costs) upon completion of the matter, the monies will be paid to the Public Trustee. The Public Trustee will then decide what costs are payable to the solicitor (solicitor & client costs) and they will deduct the appropriate sum.

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