I’ve been involved in a car accident – what do I do now?

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that if you regularly drive a car, you may at some point be involved in a car accident. Whether that be a minor bump, or something more serious, the experience is bound to be harrowing and it’s very easy for all common sense to fly out of the window when the worst happens.

The most common accident is a front-end crash. These account for over 30% of all accidents on Australia’s roads.  This usually happens when people drive too closely behind the car in front (tailgating) not enough space to stop should the car in front brake quickly.  An accident of this nature will usually be deemed as your fault, whether you think the person in front applied their brakes unnecessarily or not.

Unsurprisingly, speed is also a major factor, closely followed by fatigue and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Before even stepping foot into your car, make sure you have the right insurance cover in place as driving uninsured is both illegal and highly dangerous for both you and other road users.  Go online to get the very best car insurance deals and compare car insurance costs and products across a huge number of different insurance providers.  You are always better to be safe than sorry.

In the unfortunate event of an accident happening, try to remember the following advice:

Stop Immediately

Don’t be tempted to drive away from the scene, no matter how minor you think the bump was.  Stop your vehicle immediately to check for injuries to both you and the other party.  If anyone is injured, or there has been serious damage to property then call the police and an ambulance immediately.

Don’t Admit Liability

Even if you think the accident was your fault, don’t be tempted to admit this at the scene. Accident liability is a complicated matter and you are always better to leave this to your insurance provider.

Keep Calm

In the event of an accident, your adrenaline will be pumping making you feel panicky and unable to think straight.  Take a few deep breaths and try to slow your breathing down.  Try to remember that safety for everyone (including yourself) is paramount and that panicking and crying at the side of the road won’t help anyone.  You will understandably be upset, but try to remove any emotion from the situation whilst you deal with the priorities.

Swap Information

When a vehicle is damaged in an accident, you should exchange the following information with the other driver:

  • Full name
  • Residential address
  • Contact numbers – home and cell phone
  • Car registration details
  • Insurance details

Confirm Accident Details

It’s always wise to confirm key facts about the accident with the other driver and any witnesses.  Confirm the date, time and location of the accident, but don’t be tempted to discuss the cause of the crash at this time, it could start an unnecessary argument. If possible, take photos of the damage caused which will protect you from claimants exaggerating the scale of damage caused.

Call Your Insurance Provider

It’s tempting to call your insurance provider immediately after an accident, but it’s very important to have all the facts clear in your head before making the call.

As soon as you are in a safe place, try to recall as much as you can about the crash and jot the details down on a piece of paper or record them to your cell phone. This includes date, time and location of the incident as well as the speed and direction of travel. Try to be as objective and fact based as you can. This information will help when it comes to deciding who was at fault and what the outcome should be.

Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specialises in providing useful and engaging advice to small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @ellatmason

 

 

Posted by on Dec 22 2013. Filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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