What to do if you’re involved in an accident on the road?

two people exchanging details after an accident

Being involved in a car accident can be a very overwhelming and distressing experience for any driver, especially if someone has been injured as a result of the crash. It is important to focus on the wellbeing of those in the accident but in doing so, people forget to document the incident.

In accidents where ambulance or police are involved, the details and important information are normally taken care of but what happens when an incident occurs, and the authorities are not required?

Without acquiring all the necessary information, you leave yourself at risk of being negatively affected either financially or legally.

Follow the checklist below should you ever find yourself in this situation to cover your bases!

  1. Exchange Details 

After assessing the situation and making sure everyone involved is okay, exchange details with the drivers and owners of the vehicles involved or anyone else involved whose property has been damaged. Their name, address, license number, vehicle registration number, and any information to identify their vehicle will suffice; if the other drivers involved refuse to exchange these details you should report the incident to the police immediately.

Additionally, it is important to obtain the details of any possible witnesses to the crash. The other driver may be admitting fault now but has every chance to change their story when it comes time to lodge a claim. This is helpful when verifying the correct version of events.

  1. Take Photos

Photos provide clear evidence about the accident and allow insurance companies to gain a better understanding of the incident. Insurance companies will be reluctant to pay out unless there is proof that their client was at fault, so it is important to gather as much evidence as possible. Be sure to photograph all damage incurred as well as others involved, the position of the car, and the condition of the road.

Additionally, capture the surrounding area, anything that could have played a part in the accident like skid marks or traffic signs. Skid marks can give an insight into the speed, braking, or sliding of the car, while traffic signs may prove fault or who had right of way.

  1. At the Crash Scene

A crash of any severity can be stressful, however, it’s important to stay calm and follow these steps to de-escalate the immediate situation.

  • Turn your hazard lights on to alert surrounding drivers of the accident so that they can safely avoid the vehicles involved.
  • When it is safe to do so and you have not injured yourself, approach the other vehicle/s to check on the well-being of others and if emergency services need to be contacted.
  • In a minor incident, move your car to the side of the road to allow traffic to safely pass.
  1. Report the Incident  

While the majority of Australians feel it is unnecessary to report small or insignificant accidents to the police, we encourage you to always contact the authorities and provide them with accurate details of the crash. This should include the time and date of the incident, location, contact details of all parties involved, and any injuries if applicable.

A police report presents an unbiased third-party review considered to be more reliable than testimonies from those involved and can play an impartial role in determining the true sequence of events. Additionally, filing a report shows your cooperation with current law and protects your own interests. This can become extremely useful if a case is opened and a lawsuit is filed.

  1. Notify your Insurance Company 

Your insurer should be contacted at the earliest opportunity. Even if you are not claiming against your insurance, other drivers may decide to make a claim against you, and your insurer should be informed. Comprehensive Insurance will cover all damages to your vehicle as well as other parties’ vehicles and property.

If you have been in an accident and think that Claimify can help your situation, do not hesitate to contact us.

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