Car accidents happen almost every day and in every corner of the road especially vehicular accidents that is a predicament to every vehicle owners and drivers. There are a number of things causing road related accidents that damages our cars as well as endangers our health.
Do you ever ask yourself "What if I happen to be involved in an accident? What will I do? What are my rights as a driver?” It will be very helpful if you know your rights as a driver as well as being knowledgeable about the things you must do when an accident happen especially when you are involved. Let Philkotse.com bring these knowledge for you.
Don't let your emotions get the best of you: Here are the things you should be able to do when caught in a road accident
I. Driver's rights when involved in a car accident
You as a driver have to know your rights. Here are some of your rights that you better be aware of especially when involved in an accident.
1. Right to contact police
Seeking help from the authorities is the best action. Police officers are trained to handle such situations and they can address traffic transgression. It is their job to take note of the incident record. There will be instances where you'll be unable to contact one. When that happens, ask someone to do it for you.
Contacting a police officer during such incident is a necessity
>>> Worth to note: Road Accidents in the Philippines: Causes, Facts & Latest Statistics
2. Right to remain silent
We are familiar with the line "You have the right to remain silent. Everything you say can be used against you”. Well, this is also applicable in vehicular accidents. Do not admit fault or take the blame. Even an apology can be used against you. It's okay to inform and discuss the incident with the police. But again don't take the blame.
Seeking assistance from a legal counsel will be of great help especially when to opposing side's insurance company will use their tactics on you
3. Right to take down to police officer's name and ask for an accident report
When you get involved in a car accident, you will need to keep records of every important detail. This includes the police officer's name and badge number. Also ask for a copy of the police report and issuance of citations if you have any.
Not only the other parties involved in your accident, but also the police officer's details are important for legal purposes
4. Right to capture personal information of involved parties
This includes the other driver's name, their contact number, number of the driver's license, car's license plate, car model and color.
Both of the parties involved are under a great deal of stress - stay calm before you approach the person and get his details
5. Right to acquire the details of the incident context
This includes photographs of the incident. Take pictures of the overall context of the crash - accident site, road condition, traffic signs, intersections, pedestrian, signal lights etc. It is also your right to capture photos of the scene for any other damages. This includes all the affected area. Be it another vehicle, pedestrian or victim’s involved, damaged property and any other damages involving the accident.
Documenting the details of the accident is very important both for legal and insurance purposes
If your car is covered by insurance, you have the right to claim damages from your insurance. That means your insurance will be obliged to claim insurance from the person liable of the crash.
For instances that your car is not covered by any insurance, you have the right to claim damage costs from the driver liable of the crash. But you will need evidences to support your claim that the other driver is the reckless one. You need to gather evidences like:
- Driving over the speed limit
- Inability to control his/her vehicle
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Texting while driving and/or
- Obstruction of any traffic rule
That's just some of the driver's right whenever involved in a car accident. It's a must to know these things because we can never tell. Accidents happen everywhere. We may not want to be a part of any accidents most specially a vehicular one, at least when it happens; we know our rights as a driver.
II. Things that we must do during an accident
These few things will give ideas of what to do during a vehicular accident.
1. Don't leave the scene
Stay in the scene of accident until you're finally done speaking with the other driver and the police officers. Failure to do so may cause you to be charged of "hit and run". However, there were exemptions to the rule. The following are the ONLY exception:
Although there will always be some exemption, it is better to not leave the scene unless you have someone else you trust to stay there for you
- If he/she is in imminent danger.
- If he/she needs to report the accident to the police officer or authorities.
- If he/she has to seek for a physician or any immediate medical attention to aid any injured victim.
2. Stay calm
When accidents happen, our initial reaction is to panic. But, that will only make the situation worse. Stay calm. Don't let your emotion get the best of you. Avoid any propensity to react to anger. Remember that being calm will help you think rationally even in these undesirable situation.
Not only during road accidents but in any kind of trouble, it is better to stay calm because it will allow you to think clearly
3. Other things to keep in mind
Keep safety first
Observe the surrounding and immediately move the vehicles and occupants/passenger to the safest place possible mostly to the side of the road. Make sure that they are out of traffic to prevent further injuries and harm. In situation where vehicles are immovable and passengers have no injuries; drivers and passengers should stay inside the vehicle with seatbelts tightly fastened until help arrives. Remember to turn on hazard lights. Place cone, flares and warning triangle if it's safe to do so.
Call for medical assistance
Do this immediately if involved are badly injured and bleeding, feels light-headed or suffering physical injury that needs medical help right away. Wait for the medical help before attempting to move and execute emergency aid unless someone at the scene is well-trained for emergency first aid or medical aid.
Wait for the medical help before attempting to move and execute emergency aid
Record of the following:
- The incident’s time and date, exact location of the accident scene and if you notice any Irregularities with your car before the accident.
- Involved Parties - names, addresses, contact numbers, vehicle and driver's license number and insurance carrier.
- Witnesses - their names, addresses and most especially their contact information.
- Police Officers- their names and ask them for a copy of the police reports and any issuance of citations if any.
Always bring necessary document and place it in the globe compartment. That includes insurance company ID (if you have one); validated vehicle registration, medical records and information such as records of personal allergies or health condition that is needed to acquire special attention if you are severely injured.
You will need all the necessary car document when you are caught in any sort of car accident, so it is better to always keep them in your compartment
This must-dos will be a useful tool if an ever you were involved in a car accident. Knowing these tricks will help you deal with accidents knowledgeably. Being a responsible driver, you have legal obligations to obey road rules and to operate their vehicles common sensibly.
This means driving safely, maintaining control, observing traffic signals and using blinkers and headlights and practicing awareness. If all drivers will be responsible and follow all the road rules, the number of vehicular accidents will decrease.
This is a guide to provide ideas of your right as a driver and the must-dos during an accident. But what's best is to be a responsible driver. Not only will it promote a healthy driving environment but also it will prevent undesirable accidents that will cause damage to property or worse, it will peril human lives. So drive responsibly!