Being involved in a car accident or car crash, no matter how big or small, can be traumatic for everyone involved. The following is a list of 7 tips to follow that can help you through the aftermath of a car crash to ensure not only that you stay safe but you capture all the details required to resolve any insurance claims for your motor vehicle as well.
1. Check for injuries and call 000 if needed
The first thing you need to do after a car accident or car crash is to stay calm. It can be difficult if you are in shock following the motor vehicle crashes, but remain calm and check yourself and any passengers with severe injuries. Also, be aware of your surroundings and who or what is around you.
If there are injuries following the car accident, or it’s an emergency, be sure to call 000 for assistance. If required, take the appropriate first aid measures, especially if anyone is bleeding or unconscious.
If there are serious injuries following the road accident, remember, do not move any injured parties or the motor vehicle involved unless necessary.
2. Move vehicles involved in the car crash if necessary
If the damage or car accident is a minor one, and there is no serious injury, make sure you move any vehicles involved to the side of the road or a safe place where possible. Avoid blocking traffic where the accident happened while you wait unless absolutely necessary. If the police arrive, they may utilise traffic control to avoid the area becoming even more dangerous due to a traffic hazard.
3. Exchange information with other drivers involved
Do not admit guilt or blame another driver for the car accident – both drivers need to do this independently of each other, and both drivers need to take responsibility for exchanging information. Try to remain calm and focused.
If you can do so safely, try and collect the following information from the other driver or drivers involved and the motor vehicle:
- full name
- contact phone number
- driver’s licence number
- vehicle registration number
- model, make and colour of the motor vehicle(s) involved
insurance company & policy number of the motor vehicle(s) involved
4. Collect information on motor vehicle from witnesses involved
Any witnesses at the scene of a car accident are also important. Whether it’s passengers in the motor vehicle involved or drivers of vehicles that may have seen the accident unfold, collect as much information as you can. Try to remember as much as you can to accurately report what happened to the police and your insurance company.
5. Take photos of car accidents
Notes are one thing, but photos tell the whole story. Capture as many photos as you can of your vehicle and any other vehicle involved. Make sure to take a photo of all relevant damage from different angles.
Also, make sure to capture any other important information like street signs or the weather at the time. Such details will assist with any insurance claim and help with claim compensation and legal claims if car accident lawyers ever require this.
6. Sketch the accident scene
Photos are great, but you should also try and sketch the accident scene or crash site if you get the chance – this should be done when it’s fresh in your mind. In most cases, a sketch of the sequence of events that led to the accident or the accident itself could prove very useful if there are any issues with your claim. Many websites online will allow you to draw a diagram with just a few mouse clicks – this is great for a compensation claim if this is required by car accident lawyers and will assist with the claims process and all involved parties.
7. Report it to the police and your insurer
Even if you are not injured in a car accident, it may still be worthwhile to report it to the police (ideally before you leave the scene if possible). The reporting process includes making a statement that outlines all the critical information about what happened during your car accident and can hopefully help you resolve any claims if necessary.
Also, as soon as possible after a car accident, be sure to report it to your insurer. Remember to have all the vital information handy like the date and time of the accident, the location, contact details of all parties involved, and photos and sketches if possible. A detailed and precise sketch will help your insurer process your claim as quickly as possible.
We hope you never have to use this guide, but if you ever find yourself in a car accident, these tips can help you stay safe and ensure that all the necessary steps are taken to resolve any insurance claims that may follow.
At Sutherland Automotive, we have also created a checklist you can print and keep in your glove box if you get into a road accident. Click here to download and print it!