What do you do?
Some drivers go through life without even one scrape, bump or serious accident with their vehicle. Others are more unlucky.
So, if you have had an accident, what should you do?
The key to a good outcome is to get as many details as possible written down so make sure you have paper and a pen or pencil with you. Also, ensure you have a contact number for your broker or insurer handy so you can call for advice if needed.
Your first step is to stop your vehicle. It is against the law to drive on if you:
- have had an accident with another vehicle
- collide with a pedestrian
- hit certain animals, such as dogs or farm stock
- damage another person’s property
Having checked everyone is safe and called for an ambulance or police if necessary
make a note of the names, phone numbers and addresses of everyone involved and especially any witnesses
get details of any insurance companies, including policy numbers if known
write down the registration numbers of the vehicles involved
If someone is injured in the accident, you must show your certificate of motor insurance to anyone who has a good reason for asking to see it. You must also tell the police within 24 hours of the incident and also show them your certificate of motor insurance.
Understandably, accidents are stressful but it is essential that you do not:
- admit you are to blame
- offer to pay anything
That could make it very difficult for your insurer to manage your claim successfully and it may also affect your rights. However, do remember to tell your insurer if another party in the accident admits blame!
Finally, write down all the facts of the accident as soon as possible, no matter how trivial they may seem at the time; these facts may help to prove your case. If possible, take a photograph of the scene.
It is also worthwhile making a sketch of the scene including as much detail as you can. Useful information would include:
- the position of all the cars involved, before and after the accident
- road names, road signs and markings
- the width of the road
- skid marks
- where the witnesses were at the time of the accident
- anything that was blocking your and other people’s views
Also make a note of the weather conditions and if anyone is injured, make a note of their name and their injuries.
If you have been injured in the accident try to get someone else, maybe a passenger or a passer-by, to collect as much detail as possible for you.
And finally, don’t panic. Accidents do happen and vehicles can be replaced. Your health and wellbeing and that of the other people involved is always the most important factor.