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Dealing with accidents whilst driving
No matter how careful a driver you are, the statistics collected by the major insurance companies show that you’re still likely to be involved in an accident at some time or another. So go prepared for the worst. The law says that all motorists have to take reasonable care to avoid loss, damage, or injury to other road users. If you don’t take reasonable care or you’re negligent and cause injury, damage, or loss to someone else, you will have to compensate them.
You can also be prosecuted if you’ve broken the law, for example, your dangerous driving caused the accident. So that you can pay compensation if anyone else claims against you, you must have insurance.
If an accident occurs because you become ill at the wheel – for example, you had a stroke or a heart attack – you’re unlikely to be prosecuted for the way you were driving, but you may still be liable for compensation.
The most basic piece of advice to anyone in an accident – apart from not screaming and shouting at the other drivers! – is the one that’s most difficult to put into practice: Don’t say sorry! In fact, don’t say anything that may be taken as an admission that the accident was your fault. Your insurance company will want to sort out who was to blame and if each party was partly at fault, who should shoulder what proportion of the blame. It won’t be very happy with you if you’ve gone around saying, ‘It was all my fault, I’m so sorry’ – even if that was the case. If someone is injured, you’ll probably want to say sorry to comfort them, but don’t! Sorry, maybe taken as ‘Sorry, I’m to blame’, rather than ‘I’m sorry you’re hurt.’