A car accident can happen to anyone, even if you’re a careful driver. So it makes sense to know exactly what to do if you’ve been involved in a car accident.
Doing the right things in the correct order not only ensures the safety and wellbeing of other people involved in the accident, it also maximises the chances of a successful insurance claim should it be required.
1. Prioritise safety and health
If possible, move the vehicles involved to a safe location, out of the way of other traffic. Call emergency services if someone is injured. When the accident has resulted in personal injury or damage to property, the police need to attend. Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police arrive.
2. Exchange information
Parties involved in the car accident need to exchange the following information:
- name and address of the driver;
- name and address of the owner of the car (if different to that of the driver);
- registration number and licence details of the driver;
- insurance details.
Carry this information in the glove box of your vehicle. In the aftermath of a car accident, you may be too shaken or injured to easily convey everything that’s needed.
It is important that you do not admit liability (fault) for the incident at the scene.
3. Tell the insurance company about the car accident
Even if you or the other party don’t intend to pursue a claim, it’s important to inform the insurance companies involved of the car accident.
Some car insurance companies won’t pay out if they haven’t been told that a car accident has occurred and there may be third parties who will want to claim.
If you do need to make a car insurance claim, the company will ask you to fill out a claim form.
4. Get legal advice
In some cases, the legal proceedings following an accident can be complex and potentially costly.
If you find that you’re being blamed for an accident that wasn’t your fault, are having difficulty with your car insurance company or have suffered significant injury due to the negligent driving of others, it’s worth obtaining professional legal advice on how the situation might best be resolved.
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