It’s not something anyone would want to think about, but with so many people on the roads, there’s a big chance it could happen. Annual road casualties in the UK are published every year by the government, and it appears numbers are rising. If you’re unlucky enough to be involved in a car accident, there are steps you need to take so that it’s dealt with quickly and smoothly. Taking the right steps when it happens stops a bad situation from getting worse. It’s also going to help your insurance claim get paid out painlessly. Here’s what you need to do.
Being involved in a car accident is serious and not something you can just drive away from. You must stop the car, switch off the engine and turn on the hazard lights to warn other drivers of your presence. Failure to stop is an offence for which you’ll be prosecuted. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries.
- Who to Call?
When you’ve checked around to see whether anyone is injured you then have to call the police. Call 999 and request an ambulance as well if there are people with injuries. If an emergency response is not required call the police on 101 instead. The police should also be called if vehicles are blocking the road or you suspect you’re the victim of a crash for cash scam.
- Providing and Collecting Details
You are obliged to give your name and address to anyone else who was involved in the accident. However, don’t make the mistake of admitting liability until you’re 100% sure what happened. If the police aren’t needed immediately, you should contact them and report the incident within 24 hours. Even if you crash into something and no other people are involved, you should still report it.
As well as giving your name and address to other drivers it’s also important you collect names, addresses and contact details of any other drivers, passengers, and possible witnesses. If the registered owner of the vehicle isn’t present, you need to find out who they are and keep a note of their name and address.
Other information that is vital to collect will be the registration numbers of all vehicles involved, time, date and location of the crash as well as a description of the weather and road conditions. Use your mobile phone to take photographs of the scene and damage to vehicles. It’s also in your interests to make a note of any injuries sustained by pedestrians, drivers and passengers.
- Insurance Claims
You need to inform your insurance provider as soon as possible so the process of making a claim can begin. There may also be a set time period set out in your policy. Failing to notify your insurer within that time may mean your cover is invalid. As well as damage to your vehicle you may also be able to claim for injuries and make a whiplash injury compensation claim.
If you want to make a claim, your insurance company will provide you with all the information you need and let you know what to do next. If other people were involved in the accident, your insurer will contact them and resolve any claims.