The few moments after being in a road accident are crucial, though your post-accident brain fog could make it hard to keep your wits about you. Especially if this is your first car, there could be hundreds of questions flooding your mind.
One really effective way to make sure that you look after your best interests in the crucial moments immediately after a traffic accident is to commit important steps to memory before hand. That way, if you’re unlucky enough to find yourself in a car accident, the right handling of the situation will be second nature to you.
So here’s what you need to do once you’ve been in a crash, both at the roadside and once you’re safely home.
Stop Your Car
Even if you hardly felt the other vehicle bump yours, you are obliged by law to pull over and stop your car if you’ve been involved in a road incident. This blanket rule applies to everyone, regardless of whether it was a write-off or a minor bump. Switch off your car’s engine and turn on the hazard lights to let other vehicles know that you are stationary.
Keep Key Numbers on Speed Dial
The first thing you need to ask after an accident is: is anyone hurt? If there have been injuries, immediately call the police and the ambulance. You should also make the police aware if any of the cars involved have come to rest in a position that is obstructing the flow of traffic, as they will need to arrange for prompt removal to allow other drivers to continue to safely use the road. Another important reason to ring the police at the roadside is if you suspect that you’ve been a victim of a slam-on, or what’s called a “crash-for-cash” scam. If your vehicle has hit the other in the rear after they suddenly hit the brakes for no obvious reason, you’d be wise to report this to the police, as well as your Car insurance provider, to prevent a fraudulent claim against your insurance policy.
Get Your Camera Out
Even if you’re blessed with a photographic memory, always take photos of both vehicles at the scene, as these images may prove helpful as evidence once you get home and call your insurance company. To decide which driver is at fault, your insurer’s decision may come down to evidence of the damage to both cars and the positions in which both cars came to rest after the collision. Other factors, like weather conditions, could be crucial, too. Bonus points if you have footage from your dash-cam! If you weren’t at fault for the accident, the sooner you can provide useful evidence for your insurer’s decision making process, the sooner you can be sure of your non-fault liability decision. This means less inconvenience for you, and less time spent off the road.
Nobody expects that they will have the misfortune to be involved in a road traffic accident, but these things do happen. If you find yourself on the roadside after a crash, this situation can be extremely daunting, and it’s easy to make a mistake, or forget something important. These tips will help make sure you do and say all the right things.