The No-No’s After a Car Accident: What Not to Do!

3 min read

In India road rage is real. Especially in cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru, where the traffic is a nightmare, accidents are more frequent than ever. Then, some rash drivers appear unconcerned and heavy reckless drivers who endanger their lives as well as other people. Did you know according to a report by NCRB or the National Crime Records Bureau, there were a total of 4,49,002 road accidents reported in 2019? The numbers are close in 2023 as well. Car accidents don’t mean damage to the automobile; they also mean injuries that might sometimes turn fatal, financial strain, and of course mental stress. Undoubtedly, you can turn to an accident lawyer to handle your case, but before you go searching for law firms in Mumbai, here’s some information about the legalities involved in road accidents and what you should never do after an accident. 

A Brief Overview

Firstly, accident cases can fall under the wing of criminal or civil law, depending upon their nature. Any accidents that cause damage to the property are considered to fall under civil law because they infringe on an individual’s right to life, so the victim is entitled to monetary compensation. However, they can also be criminal cases when the culprit is deemed as a risk to society and is penalized by the state. In some instances, such as driving under the influence, reckless driving, or hit-and-run accidents are offenses that are punishable under the IPC 1860. 

Provisions in the IPC for accidents

  • Section 279: Addresses reckless driving or riding on public ways endangering human life or safety.
  • Section 337: Covers harm caused by a negligent act, resulting in minor injuries.
  • Section 338: Pertains to grievous harm caused by a rash or negligent act, encompassing more severe injuries.
  • Section 304A: Deals with cases of death by negligence, penalizing those whose negligent acts cause someone's death without intent to cause harm.

Rules to Follow After a Car Accident

  • Inform Authorities: Immediately notify the nearest police station about the accident, providing accurate details and cooperating with the investigation.
  • Render Aid: Provide reasonable assistance to the injured, ensuring they receive medical attention promptly. Failure to do so might result in legal consequences.
  • Preserve the Scene: Avoid tampering with evidence or moving vehicles unless necessary for safety reasons. Preserve the accident site until authorities arrive.
  • Exchange Information: Exchange contact details, vehicle registration, and insurance information with the involved parties. This is crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Avoid Admissions of Fault: Refrain from admitting fault or making statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Stick to factual information when discussing the accident.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if there are no apparent injuries, seeking medical evaluation is advisable. Documenting injuries is essential for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Document the Accident: Take photographs of the scene, damages, and injuries, if possible. Collect witness information to support your account of the incident.
  • Notify Insurance: Inform your insurance company about the accident promptly, providing accurate details without assuming liability.
  • Seek Legal Counsel: If necessary, seek legal advice or representation by a professional accident lawyer to navigate potential legal complexities following the accident.
  • Adhere to Legal Proceedings: Cooperate with legal procedures and investigations following the accident, abiding by legal requirements and obligations.

Need more information, or want expert help? Reach out to the best law firms in Mumbai today! 

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