A car accident is typically a traumatic and stressful event. No one wants or hopes to be involved in a car accident, but knowing what to do in this situation is incredibly important. It’s true that these steps are not always easy to recall, particularly in such a stressful situation, but if you do follow them, you are likely to have a much easier time sorting out the situation with insurance companies or even in court.
Step 1: Ensure the Safety of All Involved
The most important thing to do immediately after a car accident is to check that everyone is safe. Regardless of whether you are at fault or are a victim, check on the safety of all others involved including other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Emergency services should be called if anyone is injured.
Step 2: Move Vehicles
If it is safe and possible to do so, move all vehicles that have been involved to the side of the road. If cars are left where the accident has occurred, there may be an even greater risk to people involved in the crash and other vehicles approaching.
Step 3: Exchange Information
After an accident, one of the most important things to do is exchange contact information with other drivers, witnesses, and any police personnel who attend the scene of the accident. You should request and obtain the following information:
- Names, addresses and telephone numbers of all other drivers
- Contact details of all witnesses
- For all cars/vehicles involved, obtain registration plate details, as well as details of each car’s make and model
- Vehicle identification numbers and insurance company details for the other cars involved
- The police report number
- If you are able to, take photographs that shows as much of the accident as possible. It is a good idea to photograph the damage to all cars involved, the position(s) of the cars, and any evidence on the road, such as skid marks.
Step 4: Say as Little as Possible
As you go about obtaining information from other parties, try to say as little as possible. Avoid apologising, endeavouring to explain or clarify what happened, saying that you don’t know what happened, or admitting guilt. You should not lie, but try to stop yourself from saying more than is necessary, as this can be the difference between a straightforward insurance claim and a long, complicated legal dispute. If a legal dispute does end up being unavoidable, be sure to use a law firm that specialises in motor accident cases, such as Sinnamon Lawyers .
Step 5: Contact Your Insurance Company
To maximise your chances of obtaining full damages, call your insurance company as soon as you possibly can. If it is possible to do so, make the call from the scene of the accident, as it is sometimes possible for police personnel to give you detailed information that is helpful when processing your claim. Also, the sooner the call is made, the more detailed and accurate your description of the accident is likely to be.
Knowledge of what to do after a car accident is very important. Taking the appropriate steps and offering only required information to other parties involved can influence how easily your claim is dealt with and ensure your rights are protected as much as possible.