WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CAR ACCIDENT
Nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, but if you are unlucky enough to be involved in one it is important to know what to do. It is always best to take the right action immediately after your accident to deal with it smoothly and quickly.
Here are the steps you need to make sure this happens:
No matter how minor your accident is, you must always stop. If you fail to do so then you will be committing an offence under the Road Traffic Act.
When doing so make sure your engine is switched off and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
CALLING THE EMERGENCY SERVICES
If anyone has been seriously injured then you should call the Police and Ambulance as soon as possible. If the accident is blocking the road then you should just call the Police.
If, however you feel there is foul play involved then you should call the Police to report the same. This would be where you suspect that the accident has been staged and the other driver has deliberately caused the accident to make a fraudulent claim.
If the Police do not come to the scene of the accident then you should go to the Police station and report it within 24 hours. If you fail to do so then you could potentially end up with a fine, penalty points or even disqualification.
EXCHANGING DETAILS WITH THE OTHER DRIVER
If you are involved in a car accident then you are obliged to give your name and address to anyone else involved.
You have a duty to give your details if you crash into something, for example a parked car, where you should leave your details on the windscreen. If it is just a minor accident then your name and address is sufficient. This includes minor damage, no injuries or no offence committed.
Try to avoid saying sorry or even accepting the blame at the scene of the accident until you know the exact circumstances as this could be held against you later.
OBTAINING THE OTHER DRIVER DETAILS
You should and only if possible obtain details of the other driver, passengers and potential witnesses. Ask the other driver for their car insurance details along with their name and address.
If somebody leaves the scene of the accident without providing their details then call the Police immediately.
OTHER DETAILS TO OBTAIN FROM THE ACCIDENT
Try and collect as much information as possible from the scene of the accident. Here are some important details you should try and collect after your car accident:
- Time and date of the accident
- Location of the accident
- The registration numbers of all vehicles involved, including the vehicle’s colour, make and model
- Sketch or photographs of the vehicles showing the positions
- Weather conditions
- Traffic conditions
- Road markings, signs, signals, quality of lighting
- People involved; number of passengers, descriptions or distinguishing marks of the driver. Also obtain details of any injuries sustained by pedestrians, drivers or passengers.
- Any witnesses at the scene of the accident – remember to obtain their name and contact details.
- Details of any Police attendance
- Any CCTV evidence, or even taking footage on your mobile phone, can also be used as evidence.
CONTACTING YOUR INSURER
Make sure that you contact your insurer as soon as it is possible to do so. If you fail to do so within the time limit stated in your policy then this may invalidate your cover leaving you to pay for any claims. You are duty bound to inform your insurers of any incidents no matter how minor the accident may seem. You should do this even if you or the other driver do not intend to make a claim.
When you contact your insurance company you will need to provide them with the other driver’s name, address and contact details, their vehicle registration and their car insurance details, if this was obtained.
You will have to provide your insurance company with as much information as possible regarding the accident circumstances and provide them with any sketches or pictures you may have taken at the scene of the accident. Also make sure you provide them with the details of any witnesses at the scene.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU COME ACROSS AN ACCIDENT?
If you see an accident or come across it afterwards, you may want to help. This may not always be practical. If you are on a motorway or dual carriageway do not stop unnecessarily as this could lead to another accident. You should only stop if it is safe to do so.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
If you wish to make a claim call us immediately or send us a message. We will take care of your case.
Remember to always keep all information or documentation from the accident in a safe place as it may well be required throughout the process of your claim.