What To Do After A Car Crash

At the end of 2016, statistics showed that in comparison to 2015, that there was an increase of 4% in road deaths this number rose to 1,792.

We all dread the thought of being in a car crash and try our hardest to avoid them at all costs. However, the unexpected can happen in a blink of an eye; this could either be your fault or someone else’s. Adrenaline can occur regardless of how small or big the crash is; therefore, this can cause shock and suddenly the scene can become a haze.

Immediately after the accident
  1. Stop the car as soon as possible (it's an offence not to do so).
  2. Turn off the engine and switch your hazard lights on.
  3. Check for any injuries to yourself or your passengers.
  4. If it's a minor collision and there are no injuries, make a note of this just in case the other people involved later try to claim for an injury.
  5. Call the police and an ambulance immediately if anyone is hurt or if the road is blocked.
  6. Try to remain as calm as possible, it’s common human nature to be shaken after an accident, take a few deep breaths and try to take charge of the situation the best you can.
  7. Don't apologise or admit responsibility for the accident until you're completely aware of what happened – this can protect you from liability if it wasn't your fault.
Most people would call the police immediately after the accident had occurred, however this shouldn’t always be the case unless in circumstances like if the other driver(s) leave the scene without giving details, or you think the other driver has no insurance or is under the influence of drink/drugs and if you suspect that the other driver caused the accident deliberately.
Basic First Aid
If people are hurt and need medical assistance urgently, someone may be required to perform first aid as the first minutes are crucial, as lack of action immediately following an accident could be the difference between life and death.
For further advice and tips on different first-aid procedures, St Johns Ambulance services give in-depth instructions on how you should perform in these circumstances.
Exchanging motoring details
  1. Share your name and address with everyone involved if the accident caused damage or injury – the law says you must do this.
  2. Swap insurance information and details with the other driver(s).
  3. Take down details of any other passengers and witnesses to the accident.
  4. Try to find out if the other driver is the registered owner of the vehicle, if they are not, find out who the owner is and get that information too (for instance it might be a company car).
If a foreign lorry is involved, get the numbers on both the lorry and its trailer, sometimes they are different. It’s also a good idea to get the name of the company if it is painted on the lorry.

What should you take note of at the scene?
  • The make, model, colour, and number plate of the vehicles involved in the accident or take pictures of them.
  • The time and date of the crash.
  • The driving conditions, including the weather, lighting, and road quality (such as road markings, whether it’s wet or muddy, repair of the road surface).
  • What sort of damage was caused to the vehicles and where – nearside front wing and door (nearside is the left side of your car, offside is the driver’s side).
  • Any injuries to drivers, passengers, or pedestrians.
  • The names and contact details of any witnesses.
  • Use your phone to take pictures of the scene, the positions of the cars involved, and damage to the cars.
If you were the only individual involved in the accident and you’ve caused damage to private property or a parked car, you should leave your details by leaving a simple note where the owner can see and find it easily.
Making a claim to your insurance provider
As soon as possible, you need to get in contact with your insurance provider (ideally at the time of the accident). They will ask you numerous questions like:
  • Your policy number or information to identify you, such as your postcode and car registration number.
  • The registration number of the cars involved.
  • The driver's name, address and phone number.
  • The driver's insurance details if you have them.
If you weren’t to make a claim, still tell your insurer about the accident to make them aware, as the other individual(s) involved may make a claim without notifying you they have. We understand that you may not want to make a claim to protect your no claims discount or if you decide to pay for your repairs yourself.
To conclude, keep your distance with the car in front of you in case they were to break suddenly or their driving behaviour seemed odd and stay vigilant on the roads.

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