What To Do If You Have An Accident ?

Life is unexpected and things happen when you least expect them. Driving on busy roads with all types of daily hazardous circumstances – poor drivers, weather, roads etc can be extremely dangerous at times. However whenever an accident does occur we need to know how to respond, irrespective of where the fault lies.

 

A checklist of what a person should do if an accident occurs:-

 

  1. Immediately stop the car – it is illegal not to do so

 

  1. Switch off the engine

 

  1. Turn on the hazard lights

 

  1. Call the emergency services such as the police or ambulance especially if the road is blocked and traffic build up will occur, and people are injured

 

  1. Verify if any person from either side is injured i.e. your passengers, yourself and other car/individual

 

  1. Make sure you telephone the Police:-

 

  • If you feel the other driver(s) was driving illegally such as under the influence of alcohol, drugs or without insurance, and/or caused the accident deliberately
  • If you feel the driver(s) will leave the accident scene without providing suitable personal information (name, address, car details) or exchanging appropriate information
  • You need to legally inform the police within 24 hours to avoid points on your driving licence, financial penalty or disqualification

 

              

 

  1. Document all appropriate information from the accident scene:-

 

  • Ensure you record the injuries on both yourself for your own personal needs and if somebody makes any claims later on
  • Ensure you record the model, make, colour, number plates of the vehicles involved and/or take pictures of them
  • Ensure you record time, date and location
  • Ensure you record the types of weather conditions such as rain, slip, road markings, lighting, obstacles, road surface maintenance repairs, etc
  • Ensure you record names, contact details and statements from any witnesses
  • Ensure you record videos or pictures and videos using your phone camera of the damage, scene, car positions, etc

 

  1. Remain relaxed, calm and cool during the incident, and avoid any altercations with other individuals in such a volatile emotional situation

 

  1. Implement further health and safety measures to ensure there is no further escalation of the accident

 

  1. Do not apologise or admit responsibility until full knowledge and circumstances of the accident become known completely – helps to reduce liability later on

 

  1. Exchange Information with other driver

 

  • You must legally provide your name/address/insurance details with all relevant parties involved in the accident
  • You must try to verify if the other driver(s) is the legal owner of the vehicle (s) involved, if not then the actual person
  • You must try to document all the details of any witnesses and passengers
  • You must try to document vehicle details if the automobile happens to be foreign – non-UK cars, vans and lorries
  • You must try to record pictures and videos of the car damage, road location, car positions, overall accident scene
  • You must try to leave your details even if nobody else was involved but damage occurred to private property, land or vehicles – honesty is the best policy
  • You must remember that some unknown witness, CCTV camera or bypasser may have seen or noted something which can be reported at a later date, so honesty is always the best policy

 

 

  1. Insurance Policy Claims

 

  • You must report the accident to the insurance company with all the above details such as policy number, other drivers car details, witnesses, date, time, location, etc even if you do not intend to claim because the other driver may do so without your knowledge.
  • You must report the incident to the insurance company even if you decide to pay for the repairs yourself in order to protect your no-claims discount
  • You must avoid crash-for-claimants bogus scams – there are people who deliberately arrange fake accidents in order to make fraudulent insurance claims by a variety of techniques such as braking unexpectedly so you hit them from behind, or flash their lights signalling you to pass then crashing into you. these are known as crash-for-cash claimants and normally pass the blame for the accident to you and make claims on your insurance for huge escalated amounts (e.g. recovery vehicle, whiplash injuries, car hire) to optimise their financial return. you must remain diligent and aware of all possibilities on the road from bogus drivers to genuine incidents, and drive carefully.
  • You must drive carefully to avoid scams and bogus drivers especially at roundabouts, merging junctions and slow stop start traffic areas, and ensure you leave plenty of car space when driving
  • You must help to reduce risks of car accidents by trying to install safety technology such as audible/visual sensors, adaptive cruise control, dashboard cameras, lane departure warning systems, eCall, Autonomous emergency braking system (AEB)
  • You must remind yourself of action steps to take, both legally and personally, if any potential incident occurred

 

You must make yourself aware of potential hazards and be pro-active in protecting your car and yourself from future dangers.

 

Dr Ghulam S Ashraf – Content Writer for www.greenclaims.co.uk

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