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Do and Don’t after an accident.

Written by: Sammed Darure


Introduction:


With the development of motor vehicles over time, unauthorized use of them has increased. Improper use of such vehicles can be harmful for the people as well as for the driver.

Since there is the development of roads for smooth transportation vehicles have gained new speed of movement causing mishappenings or accidents due to various factors and errors.

It's important to note that road accidents are often caused by a combination of factors, rather than a single cause. Understanding the underlying causes of accidents can help to prevent them from occurring in the future.


What is an accident:


In the context of road safety, an accident typically refers to a collision between two or more vehicles that results in damage, injury, or death. Road accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including driver error, vehicle malfunctions, poor road conditions, and environmental factors.


The necessity of vehicle insurance:


Vehicle insurance is mandatory in India as per the Motor Vehicles Act, of 1988. This law requires all motor vehicles to have at least third-party liability insurance, which covers the damage or injury caused to a third party in case of an accident.


There are several reasons why vehicle insurance is necessary in India.

First and foremost, it is a legal requirement, and driving without insurance can result in hefty fines, penalties, and legal consequences.

Secondly, vehicle insurance provides financial protection in case of accidents, theft, or damage to your vehicle. It can cover the cost of repairs or replacement of your vehicle and protect you from financial losses.

Thirdly, vehicle insurance can also cover personal accident expenses, which include medical expenses and compensation for disability or death resulting from a vehicle accident


Causes of the accident:


Indian roads are not very safe to ride/drive upon because of disobedient drivers who do not follow the rules laid down by the roadways ministry, nor do they obey traffic rules not all but a few of them which cause accidents.


Below mentioned are a few causes of road accidents:


Driver error:


It is the most common cause of road accidents in India. This can include distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and reckless driving.


Poor road conditions:


Poorly maintained roads, inadequate lighting, and inadequate signage can all contribute to road accidents. In most cases speed breakers are placed on highways that do not follow the guidelines or measurement of ideal speed breakers, they are either a big lump of tar or endless slopes. Once the roads are made toll taxes are collected but there is no proper maintenance of it.


Road design:


Poor road design, such as blind curves or inadequate traffic control measures, can increase the risk of accidents. Vehicle malfunction: Malfunctioning brakes, tires, or other vehicle components can cause accidents. Majorly the vehicles running in India are overaged as per the rules of the Motor Vehicles Act, of 1988. People only use their vehicles without proper maintenance mostly the heavy goods carrier are in critical issues which will surely lead to the breakdown of it causing harm to other vehicles as well.


Environmental factors:


Weather conditions such as rain, snow, or fog, as well as poor visibility due to dust or smoke, can contribute to accidents. Natural calamity or disaster is unavoidable and no one can control it


Human Behaviour:


Pedestrians and cyclists who fail to obey traffic rules and signals can also contribute to accidents. Accidents can also be caused by animals crossing the road unexpectedly. Human factors including Fatigue, stress, and other human factors can also contribute to accidents.


What to do generally after meeting with an accident:


Check for injuries: The first thing to do is check yourself and any passengers in your car for injuries. If anyone is injured, call emergency services immediately.


Move to a safe location: If possible, move your car to a safe location away from traffic. This will help to prevent additional accidents from occurring.


Exchange of information: You have to keep in mind to take the contact and name of any witness who was present during the accidental event. Get the insurance number of the other party with whom the accident occurred.


Collect necessary documents of the accident: Try and take some pictures of the accident through various angles that will act as proof if required, these photos will give a round estimate of insurance and neighboring environment. The documents are necessary during an insurance claim or in any legal matter.


Report the accident: Contact the police to report the accident. They will create an accident report, which can also be helpful when filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action.


Update your insurance company: Whenever an accident occurs try and first reach out to your insurance company and give them all the required information for a speedy claim process.


Get medical treatment: In case an accident occurs and you get out without a scar on your body does not mean that you are fine, there may be internal damage or bleeding which can be more dangerous. So it is better to get medical tests done after an accident. The things one should not do after an accident:


Do not leave the scene: Leaving the scene of an accident is against the law and can result in serious consequences. Stay at the scene until the police arrive and provide assistance to anyone who is injured.


Do not admit fault: Even if you believe that you may have been at fault for the accident, it's important not to admit fault at the scene. Admitting fault can harm your legal case and may not be accurate, as there may be other factors at play that contributed to the accident.


Do not sign anything without consulting an attorney: Insurance companies may ask you to sign forms or documents after an accident, but it's important not to sign anything without consulting an attorney first. These documents may waive your legal rights or limit your ability to seek compensation.


Do not discuss the accident on social media: Avoid discussing the accident on social media or posting pictures or videos related to the accident. These posts can be used against you in legal proceedings and may harm your case.


Legal actions to take after an accident:


1. Call the police: If you have been involved in a car accident, you should immediately call the police. They will come to the scene and create a report, which will be useful for your insurance claim and any legal proceedings.

2. Seek medical attention: If you or anyone else involved in the accident has been injured, seek medical attention right away. Your health is the most important thing, and getting prompt medical attention can also strengthen your legal case.

3. Collect information: Get the contact information of everyone involved in the accident, including their names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance information. Take pictures of the accident scene and any damage to vehicles or property.

4. Contact your insurance company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all the necessary information and be honest about what happened.

5. Consult with an attorney: If you have been injured or if the accident was particularly severe, you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases. They are the person who can guide you through the legal process that deals with the insurance company and guarantee that you get enough compensation.

6. Keep records: Keep a detailed record of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and any other costs. All these documents can be proof and act as evidence in the court matter.

7. Be cautious: Avoid discussing the accident with anyone other than the police, your insurance company, and your attorney. Don't admit fault or apologize, as these statements can be used against you later on.

8. File a report: Depending on the severity of the accident, you may need to file a report with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Check with your state's DMV to determine if this is necessary.

9. Follow up with medical treatment: If you have been injured, it's important to follow up with any recommended medical treatment, including doctor visits, physical therapy, or other treatments. Not only is this important for your health, but it can also help to document the extent of your injuries for insurance and legal purposes.

10. Don't accept a settlement too quickly: Insurance companies may offer you a settlement quickly after an accident, but it's important not to accept it too quickly. These initial settlements may not adequately compensate you for your injuries, and you may be entitled to more compensation. Consult with an attorney before accepting any settlements.

11. Know your statute of limitations: Each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which is the deadline by which you must file a lawsuit. Make sure you know the statute of limitations in your state, and act accordingly to ensure that you do not miss the deadline.

12. Keep communication records: Keep a record of all communication with insurance companies, including emails, letters, and phone calls. This can help to ensure that you have a clear record of what was discussed, and can help to support your case if necessary.


Which law governs and deals with accidents in India: In India, the Motor Vehicles Act, of 1988, is used to settle motor vehicle accidents. This act provides a framework for determining liability and compensation in the event of a motor vehicle accident. The act requires that all motor vehicle owners carry third-party insurance, which provides compensation for damages or injuries caused to third parties as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

Under the Motor Vehicles Act, a victim of a motor vehicle accident can file a claim for compensation with the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT). The MACT is responsible for determining the amount of compensation to be awarded to the victim or the victim's family in the event of death. The compensation amount is based on the severity of the injuries, the cost of medical treatment, and the loss of income or earning capacity.


In addition to providing compensation to victims of motor vehicle accidents, the Motor Vehicles Act also establishes rules and regulations for driving and road safety, such as requiring the use of seat belts and helmets, prohibiting drunk driving, and establishing speed limits. The act also provides for penalties for violations of these rules and regulations.


Overall, the Motor Vehicles Act plays a critical role in ensuring road safety and providing compensation to victims of motor vehicle accidents in India. The sections of the Motor Vehicles Act dealing with accidents:

The Motor Vehicles Act, of 1988 is the primary legislation that deals with road accidents in India. Some of the key sections of the act that are relevant to accidents are


Section 134: This section deals with the duties of the driver in the event of an accident. It requires the driver to stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident, provide assistance to any injured persons, and report the accident to the police.

Section 161: This section empowers the police to conduct an investigation into the accident and prepare an accident report.

Section 166: This section deals with the liability of the owner of the vehicle for the damages caused by the accident. It provides for the payment of compensation to the victim of the accident.

Section 167: This section provides for the establishment of Motor Accident Claims Tribunals (MACTs), which are responsible for adjudicating claims for compensation in motor accident cases.

Section 168: This section sets out the factors that the MACT must consider when determining the amount of compensation to be awarded to the victim.

Section 192: This section deals with the penalties for driving without a license, which is a common offense in motor accident cases.


Conclusion:


The above steps guide one about the steps that should be taken following an accident. One should keep in mind motor vehicles are man-made and non-living so the first preference should be saving your own life and then thinking about your vehicle. In the situation try not to panic or fight, instead stay cool and follow the above steps. Also, do not fear to help the victims of an accident in case you see anyone who needs help on an accidental sight. Try to give your contribution by providing them with necessary basic aid and not by posting the accidents on social media.


References:


1] "Fatal Accidents and Road Traffic in India" by Dinesh Mohan

2] https://www.iffcotokio.co.in/motor-insurance/why-is-motor-vehicle-insurancemandatory-in-india

3] The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

4] Rajpal Singh vs The Union Of India And Ors. on 20 February 1985

5] Deepchand Nayak vs Madhya Pradesh State Road ... on 28 July 1975

6] Rajesh Tyagi & Ors. vs Jaibir Singh & Ors. on 28 May, 2009

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