What should you do if you have a car crash? Here’s our step-by-step guide…

What should you do if you have a car crash? Here’s our step-by-step guide…

When you have a car crash, there are several steps you need to go through to ensure you do what the law says and what your insurance company wants.
So, we decided to put together a step-by step guide to help you deal with the aftermath of a crash.
Here’s what you need to know…

What does the law say you must do?
Drivers involved in an accident where someone else is injured, there’s damage to another vehicle or property, or someone else’s animal such as a horse, cow, sheep, pig, or dog is killed must:

  • Stop and stay at the scene for a reasonable amount of time.
  • Provide anyone with reasonable grounds to ask for your details your name, address, vehicle registration number, and tell them who the owner is…
  • Or, if you don’t exchange details when you’re at the scene, you must report the accident to a police officer or at a police station within 24 hours. You can’t just report to police by phone if someone is injured and you must do this yourself.
  • Show your certificate of insurance to anyone with reasonable grounds to see it if someone else is injured at the accident, or report it to police within 24 hours, showing your certificate of insurance at a police station within seven days.

You must also do these things if your vehicle’s presence was a factor in an accident, even if it wasn’t directly involved in a collision.

What will your insurance company need you to do?
You’ll need to get all the details of the other motorists involved, including their insurance company details, and contact details of any witnesses.

They need you to provide them with any dashcam footage of the accident and pictures of how your car was left afterwards, and write notes about how the accident happened and include the badge numbers of any police officers who attend the scene.

What are the steps you should take after an accident?

  1. Call the emergency services if someone is injured – ask for the police and an ambulance. Tell them if there are any obstructions or petrol or diesel on the road.
  2. If no one is injured, ensure you report the accident to police within 24 hours.
  3. Remain as calm and polite as possible – it’s easy to get flustered after a crash, but don’t get into a conversation about blame and don’t accept responsibility.
  4. Take notes. Get the registration numbers and insurance policy details of all the cars involved and get the names, addresses, and contact details of the drivers involved and any witnesses. You can do this by making notes on your phone or on paper.
  5. Take pictures and video. Make a photographic note of your car’s position on the road, and that of any other vehicles involved, and close-up images of any damage caused.
  6. Call your insurance company. They have claims handlers who will talk you through everything you need to do to make a claim and can tell you if your policy covers vehicle recovery and a hire car.
  7. Or - call your breakdown company if the car can’t be driven. They will take it to your home or the garage you choose.
  8. Send all correspondence or information about the accident to your insurance company.
  9. Whiplash can take hours to appear, so it’s worth getting checked out by a doctor, too.

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