What should you do when you’re involved in a car accident? You’re most likely shocked and overwhelmed after the incident but know that there are steps you can take so you can deal with this problem immediately. Remember to stay calm. Read through this car accident checklist to know what you need to do in this situation.
Things to Do After a Vehicular Accident
- Stop and turn off your engine.
- Turn on your hazard lights.
- Check if you and your passengers are injured. Call the ambulance immediately.
- Notify the police.
- Give and collect details to others involved in the accident.
- Take photos of the incident.
- Call your insurer.
Stop and Turn Off Your Engine
Even if the car accident is only minor and no one is hurt, you should still stop your vehicle. If you don’t, it is an offence according to the Road Traffic Act. Turn off the engine and turn on the hazard lights so that you can alert others that you can’t move your car until the proper authorities arrive.
Call an Ambulance and the Police
Check the people involved to see if they incurred any injuries because of the car accident. If you need an ambulance and the police, call 999. However, if no one needs urgent medical attention, call the police through the 101 number.
If the accident blocks the road, you should also call the police. There are incidents where the accident is caused by a person who’s running a “crash for cash” scam. This means the person deliberately caused the car accident so that they can make a fraudulent claim on the insurance company.
Give Your Details to Others Involved
After a car accident, it is your obligation to give your details like your name and address to others involved. In the event that you hit a parked vehicle, you can leave your information on the car’s windscreen.
Remember not to apologise because this may look like you’re accepting the blame for the incident. This might be used against you. In the meantime, report the car accident to the police as soon as possible. If you don’t you could pay a fine or even result in disqualification.
Collect Details of Others in the Accident
When you’re giving out your details, you may ask for the others’ information as well. Get the insurance details of the other drivers and ask if they are the car’s registered keeper. In case they are not, then ask them who is and take note of the keeper’s name and address. No one should leave the scene of the accident without giving their information. If someone does, call the police immediately.
Here are the details you need to get from the others involved:
- Contact details
- Vehicle registration number
- And insurance company details
Other Details to Gather from the Incident
- Description of each vehicle including make, model, and colour.
- Registration numbers of every car involved
- A sketch or photo of the vehicles’ positions in the accident
- Take note of the weather conditions, as well as other details like the quality of light and also the condition of the road.
- List down the damage incurred by the vehicles and also the injuries sustained by drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
It would be easier for you if you use your smartphone to take photos or record videos of the scene, which you can use as evidence later on.
How to Claim Accident Insurance
After the first steps are done, you have to contact your insurer and report the accident. If your vehicle sustained significant damage, it’s time to start processing your claim.
As soon as you’re able to, inform the insurance company about the accident. If you don’t do this in a timely manner, your claim may no longer be valid. This means you’d have to pay for the repairs and other expenses yourself.
The period of validity of the claim depends on your policy. Check your car insurance policy so you’ll be certain of the validity period. It may range from two days to a couple of weeks after the car accident. Read your insurance policy carefully. In case you don’t need or want to make a claim, you still need to inform the insurer.
To process your claim, ask the insurance company for the next steps as the procedure may differ from one insurer to the next. As for the others involved in the car accidents, your insurer will contact their insurer to resolve any claims.
No one wants to get involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, even if you’re a good driver who always drives carefully, you cannot control other factors. Something might go wrong with your car, another driver could be driving under the influence, the weather condition could be really bad - these are some scenarios that might happen.
What you can do is prepare for the worst. Take note of the steps we’ve provided above so you’ll know what to do immediately after a car accident. Stay level-headed and remember not to panic. Check yourself for any injury and then call the police as soon as possible.