Being involved in a car accident is every driver's biggest nightmare. After the panic of the collision comes the stress of dealing with the consequences. So if an accident happens, what should you do at the scene and afterwards?
Safety and Injuries
What To Do After A Car AccidentCompact Cars, Bridgend
April 11, 2017 at 11:04 AM
Firstly, check everybody is alright. If anybody feels pain in their neck or back then wait for help and try not to move them. If the road is blocked call 999 for the police immediately, but if there are injuries call an ambulance first and they will summon the police. Give your location to the operator, including the road, nearest junction, or even a nearby landmark. It's common to become disorientated after a crash, so try to wait somewhere safe for emergency services and avoid wandering around in the road.
Under the Road Traffic Act you are legally required to stop at the scene long enough to provide your details to anyone who needs them. So even if you bump an unattended car at the supermarket, you must leave your details for the owner. After a crash you must give your registration number, name and address (and the vehicle owner's name and address if different), and if anybody has been injured then you're legally obliged to give insurance details too. That's what the law says, but it's always good practice to give as much information as you can. If you fail to exchange details you can be prosecuted by the police.
What To Do At The Scene
Where it is safe to do so, take some photos of the scene and the vehicles in-situ, as well as the damage to each vehicle. This will help your insurance company later. Take details of any witnesses and what they saw. If you or any witnesses have a dash camera fitted, secure the footage, and also check for any CCTV covering the area. Your insurers would usually advise against admitting fault at the scene. Contact your insurers to report the collision and arrange for your car to be recovered if it isn't driveable. If your car is blocking the road and cannot be moved, the police will usually arrange this on your behalf (this is at your cost, but you can usually claim the cost from your insurer).
Dealing With Insurers
One of the terms of your insurance is that you must report any accident to them, so even if you don't intend to claim for your own damage, you should report the incident in case a third party claims against you. Most claims departments are open 24 hours a day so you can report it at any time. Your insurance company can help with recovering your car, potentially arranging a replacement vehicle, and organising repairs. They will assess the damage to your car and determine whether it is economical to repair. If there is too much damage they will write it off, and make you an offer for it.