What to do after a car accident

In Greece, unfortunately, there are quite a few road accidents and, alas, many of them end in serious injuries and even death. In any case, it is good to know what to do if you are involved in an accident or are near the scene.

Both in terms of helping someone and in terms of the procedures to be followed, you need to know how to deal with such cases.

The KOK (Traffic Regulations in Greece) defines, among other things, the actions to be taken in each case of a car accident, and these are exactly the instructions that you must follow whether you are in the position of the culprit or not. Even if you are simply present at the scene of the accident, it would be good to act in such a way as to help the victim if you can and, of course, feel it is necessary.

In addition to KOK’s instructions, there are some steps you must take with regards to coverage to ensure that all procedures run smoothly.

Traffic accident with bodily injury or death

If you are involved in a car accident with personal injury, the instructions in article 43 of the KOK are very specific and, depending on the case, define different things.

1. What to do in the event of a car accident with personal injury or death

If the accident is fatal or personal injury, there are some KOK actions you must follow to ensure the safety of the participants and follow the necessary legal procedures.

First, you need to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of persons at the scene of an accident, for example, to install a special triangle. If you or another driver cannot do this, obviously someone else must do it. Next, you should provide first aid to the injured, if, of course, you know how to do it. In any case, if possible, help the victim get out of the car if he cannot do it himself. You will also have to call the EKAB (Ambulance) and the police and stay there until they arrive. If this cannot be done, for example, if you need to leave the scene to help the injured or to call the traffic police, you will have to report the incident again as soon as possible. Also, do not touch anything at the scene of the accident. That is, you should not move vehicles and generally not change anything that could be part of an accident. Of course, in some cases it is necessary to move vehicles for traffic. It would be good to take pictures of them before moving so that there is information you need for both traffic and your insurance. Finally, you must notify your insurance company and follow the instructions they give you. You must ask the other driver to do the same.

In addition to the actions we mentioned, you must have medical certificates in case of hospitalization or doctor’s visits so that all procedures in the insurance companies go smoothly.

If you are involved in such an accident and the driver who caused the accident is trying to hide, any information about him and the vehicle will be useful. In particular, it would be good to write down the registration number, vehicle type and color, if possible. In such cases, eyewitness accounts are equally important, and you must carefully collect them. However, there is also relevant legislation and procedures that must be followed and useful to know about.

2. What does the law provide in case of leaving a person after a car accident resulting in bodily injury or death?

When a driver causes a car accident with personal injury and fled the scene, the driver is guilty of an offense and fines can vary depending on the case and the severity of the injury. The punishment can be up to jail time and life imprisonment of the driver’s license. The term of imprisonment and the issue of deprivation of a driver’s license depends on the specific case and is decided in court.

In recent years, there has been talk of harsher punishment for these actions. Whether it is done or not, and whether the punishments are what they should be, it would be good to focus on that person. In such cases, priority should be given to the person in need. Human life is very important and should not be compared to numbers corresponding to prison sentences, fines, or charts showing the number of road traffic accidents per year. ‌‌

Hitting pedestrians

Here we must add that pedestrian collisions are a very common type of car accidents in Greece, especially in large cities. According to ELSTAT data for the period 2012-2018, the majority of pedestrian road traffic fatalities on Greek roads are elderly people aged 71 and over, and vehicle drivers are usually young people aged 21-40.
The very unpleasant thing about knocking down a pedestrian and escaping from the scene is that not only does it prevent you from escaping responsibility, but it also greatly reduces the chances of the victim surviving. If there are no other eyewitnesses, then only the driver can call an ambulance, therefore, if the victim does not do this, he is literally helpless.

A typical example in Greece is the Prefecture of Thessaloniki, where in 2018 14% of pedestrians hit by cars were left at the scene. The figure refers to serious and fatal events.

While the traffic police data on the various types of road traffic accidents that occurred in 2019 in Greece are as follows:

If you find yourself abandoned at the time of the accident, it would be a good idea to provide first aid if you have the knowledge, or to help the injured by calling EKAB and the traffic police.

Accident with property damage

If we can say that this is a good case of a car accident, then this is it. These are small, careless accidents that simply delay you in your work or crush your bumper a little and usually leave only unpleasant emotions. We are talking about road accidents in which there is no bodily injury, but only material damage.

Therefore, if you are involved in a car accident with property damage, you should:

immobilize your vehicle at the location where the incident occurred. Obviously, sometimes it is not possible to leave it exactly where the accident occurred, as this could obstruct the movement of other vehicles. In this case, make sure you take a photo of the event at the exact location and then move your vehicle. take all necessary road safety measures to ensure that those who are near the scene are safe. For example, place a triangle that warns other vehicles of the incident; notify the traffic police so that the incident can be recorded; exchange personal data and data of your insurance company, and any other relevant information with the second driver; notify your insurer and follow the instructions that will be given to complete the entire procedure, and also ask the co-driver (s) to report his insurance company. …

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