Even if you are the best driver, you may be involved in a car accident. Driving safely does not mean that the other drivers are doing the same. Factors that contribute to accidents in Australia include bad weather, inexperienced and careless drivers. Whatever the case, you should know what to do should you be involved in a car accident. How react after an accident will have a great impact on whether or not you will be prosecuted. Additionally, it will also affect your insurance claim.
At the Scene
It is mandatory to stop immediately when you are involved in a car accident. If the car you are driving has not been damaged extensively, you will need to move it off the road. This will ensure you do not block traffic. However, you should draw a sketch of the area or better yet, take photos of the scene before you move the car. This will assist in investigations and may assist your insurance claim.
In some cases, the car may be damaged to the point that you cannot move it. If this is the case, turn on your hazard lights and leave the vehicle. Make sure you are at a safe distance, but close enough to see what is going on. Always check on the parties involved and assess any damage that has been caused. Gather details of other parties involved. Information such as insurance details, license plate number, driver’s license number, phone number, address and name are required.
Call Emergency Services
If anyone is injured, call for an ambulance. Police should also be called to investigate the accident. In some cases, the other party may have failed to stop or to give you’re their personal details. Once the police arrive on the scene, they will gather all information required and begin their investigations. Depending on the accident circumstances, a police report may be required.
Since it is mandatory to have car insurance, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible. You can get their number from their website if you do not have it on your phone. The insurance company will assist you get a tow truck should it be needed. Some companies even offer you a courtesy car to use while yours is being repaired. The insurance company will then begin to process your claim.
Take note that there is some information that your insurer will need:
- A brief summary of the accident that includes when and where it occurred
- Insurance details of the other driver
- Details of the other vehicle such as make and model, color, registration number etc.
- Your car’s details
- The license numbers, contact details and name of the driver and owner of the other car
If you find it a challenge to handle all this, you should contact a trustful traffic lawyer.
What not to do
You should never:
- Admit it was your fault
- Drive off without checking for injuries and/or damages
- Argue with other parties involved