Unfortunately, one of the downsides of driving is the possibility of getting into a car accident! According to Brake, a road accident happens every 20 minutes in the UK! If you were involved in a car collision or accident, would you know what to do? Read this guide from car finance company Refused Car Finance on the steps you should take after a car accident and how to stay safe!
1. Stop the car
The first thing you should do in the event of any car accident or collision is to stop the car. Leaving the scene of an accident is an offence. The Road Traffic Act states that is an offence for a vehicle to fail to stop and give their details when involved in an accident. Failing to stop can result in hefty fines or even prison time. You should try to pull over safely if you are able to do so. You should then turn off your engine and put your hazard lights on to warn other drivers.
2. Check for any injuries and report the incident
You should then make sure that everyone in your vehicle is free from injuries and check anyone else involved in the incident. If medical assistance is needed you should ring an ambulance and the police. If there are no injuries, you should log the incident with the police. The police should also be involved if the car accident is blocking the road or if you feel you could be victim of a ‘crash for cash’ scam.
3. Don’t admit guilt if you’re not guilty
Many drivers are unaware that simply saying sorry at the scene of a car accident can be an admission of guilt. Even if it wasn’t your fault, apologising to another driver can be used against you during a compensation claim. You should try to avoid committing to anything that could be used against you or that implies you are to blame.
4. Record details of the accident
At the scene, you should get as much information recorded as possible. If you have a dashcam in your vehicle, you can sue the footage to show your insurance company what happened. If not, you should take photos of the scene as evidence and note down the time, date, weather conditions, the vehicles involved including colour, make model and registration. You should also take contact details of any witnesses involved as this can help your claim too.
5. Exchange details
If another driver was involved, you should exchange details at the scene. There are certain legal details you need to share which includes:
– Name and addresses of anyone else involved including drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
– Your insurance details including company and policy number
– Your certificate of insurance if someone at the scene has reasonable grounds to see it
– Your contact details and driving license number
You should also remember to get these details from any other drivers involved too.
6. Report it to your insurance company
Even if you don’t want to make a claim, you should tell your insurance company about any car accidents straight away. Failing to contact your insurance company within an agreed period can sometimes invalidate your cover. You can check within your car insurance policy to see how long you must report an incident. You should let them know your name, policy number, registration of the cars involved, drivers’ detail such as name and insurance information.
7. Give your car the care it needs
If your car was involved in a collision, it can range from minor scrapes to major damage. If your car needs repair work, you should either go through the insurance or any third party involved may offer to pay for the damages. If your car is written off and you have a car finance agreement in place, you will have to contact your car finance company and let them know. You will be given a settlement figure from your car insurance company which may cover the cost of your car finance payments.