Being involved in a car accident will make you feel anxious or scared even if it is a minor scrape. There are things you need to do after an accident, so try to keep calm, even if you feel angry and gather together the information you’ll need to present to your insurance company.
Firstly, if anyone is injured or your car is causing an obstruction you need to call the police and an ambulance. If the accident isn’t too serious you can deal with it between yourselves. You should also contact the police if it is obvious the other driver has been drinking or if they can’t produce their insurance details.
If you have an accident:
- It is an offence to drive away.
- Turn off your engine and put your hazards lights on
- Make sure nobody is injured is your car and in the other vehicle
- Don’t admit responsibility or apologise. It might not be your fault
If the police don’t need to be at the scene you need to swap details with the other driver.
- Swap names, addresses and insurance details
- Make a note of the make, model and registration number of the other car
- Jot down the weather conditions. Was visibility poor? Was the road wet, or were driving conditions normal?
- Put down the date and time the accident occurred
Next, write down the damage to your car and the other vehicle. Take photos if you can. Find out if there were any witnesses and take down their names and addresses and contact details.
When you get home write down what happened. Do this as quickly as you can while your memory is fresh. Then phone your insurance company and report the accident. The insurance company will send you a form to fill in. You will be asked for details of the other driver, ow the accident occurred, and the damage caused to your vehicle.
If you start to feel unwell at any time after the accident, make sure you see a doctor. If you want to make a claim for an injury you will need to send a doctor’s report to the other driver’s insurance company.
If you were not at fault your insurance company will deal with the damage to your car. But, you might also have other losses. These are called uninsured losses and unless you have this cover with your insurance company they will not deal with them.
If you don’t have cover you will either have to claim yourself or use a solicitor or uninsured loss specialist. You make the claim with the other driver’s insurance company. If you are injured get specialised advice.
Uninsured losses can include:
- Reimbursement of your policy excess
- Car Hire
- Loss of earnings
- Expenses occurred in making the claim.
An insurance company will only deal with reasonable claims. For example, if you were driving a mini and you hire an Audi to get you to work, the insurance company won’t pay. You can hire a similar car to your own and for a reasonable amount of time. You will also have to supply supporting documents for any claims you make.