What to Do After A Car Accident
Getting into a car accident isn’t something anyone expects, or plans, to happen. But that being said, it still does happen and, no matter who’s fault the crash was, you should be prepared for handling the aftermath.
Whether it’s a small bump or a serious collision, here are some tips on what to do after a car accident.
What to do immediately after the accident
Here are several things you should do immediately after any car accident. These are as follows:
- Stop your car immediately no matter how small the accident seems – it’s an offense not to
- Turn off your engine and switch on your hazard lights
- Check over yourself and your passengers for any injuries
- If it’s a minor crash and there aren’t any injuries to your passengers make a note of this fact – this will come in handy later in case anyone tries to claim an injury
- If people are hurt, or the road is blocked - call the police and an ambulance
- Stay calm and try not to lose your temper – it’s perfectly natural for emotions to run high following an accident, but this won’t help ease the situation
- Never apologise or admit responsibility until you are 100% aware of all the details – this will protect you from accepting liability if the accident turns out to not be your fault
Should you call the police and/or an ambulance?
It’s advisable to call the police after any accident, but whether or not you need to call 999 or 101 depends on the circumstances of that accident. In the following circumstances, you should call 999.
- If the accident is a major collision
- If the accident is blocking the road
- When the other driver leaves the scene of the crash without stopping or exchanging their details with you
- If you believe the other driver is/was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- When you suspect the other driver caused the accident intentionally
- If the offending driver doesn’t have insurance
In any other circumstance, you should still call the police, but you should use the non-emergency number 101. You should also always call an ambulance if there are people injured in the crash as this may save a person’s life.
Record details and exchange information
Once you’ve made sure that all parties involved are safe and being looked after, you’ll need to attend to some post-accident formalities. This means recording the details of the accident and exchanging personal and insurance information. You should do the following:
- Note down the date and time of the crash and any driving conditions at the time. This means noting things like the weather, lighting, and condition of the road. Note down anything unusual too.
- Get photos of any other vehicles involved in the accident. Make sure they show the cars in the position they were in after the crash. Get photos from many angles, too.
- Record the make, model, color, and registration number of every car involved and detailed notes of the damage each car has suffered – preferably with the photos from the previous point to back these details up
- Note the injuries each person involved in the crash has suffered
- Exchange insurance information with the other drivers
- If the driver who collided with you isn’t the car’s registered owner make sure you check their documentation to find out who is, and take note of their detail
What to do following the accident
Once all of the above has been taken care of, what comes next? The first thing you should do is let your insurer know that you’ve been involved in an accident, even if you don’t intend to make a claim. After you do, they will take over and advise you on what to do.
You can also follow up to find out what will happen to your car after the accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, you will have different options. Your insurance may cover the cost of repairs, or one of the other drivers may have to pay for damages.
In the worst-case scenario, your car may get written off due to the damage suffered in the collision. If this is the case, you will need to be sure to keep in touch with your insurer and the other drivers to see what will happen next.
Nobody likes the thought of being in a car accident; after all, it’s a scary thought. However, with the tips in this article, you will at least be prepared for what comes next to make sure that you get the justice you deserve.
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